Thursday Nap: Simply The Betts, (1610 Cheltenham), 3pts win, 9/2:
Our good friend Harry Whittington saddles this rapidly improving novice. He really impressed winning over this course and distance in January when able both to race near the pace and then dig deep after being passed to beat Imperial Aura who was himself an impressive winner here in Tuesday. Novice form is golden in this race and even though upped to a mark of 149 he could be too impressive for these.
Thursday Big Race Feature: Summerville Boy, (1530 Cheltenham), 1pt win, 4/1 – betting without Paisley Park:
This should be a coronation of last year’s winner, the excellent Paisley Park. He can be vulnerable but he is most likely to power clear late on for a second win. He won the main trial for this here in January, but he was made to work by former festival winner Summerville Boy and a repeat looks likely. That makes Summerville look great value in the betting without Paisley Park market where you collect if he wins or if he comes second tot he favourite.
Rest of Tuesday:
Itchy Feet, (1330 Cheltenham), 1pt win, 4/1
A fascinating opener in which veteran Faugheen will be carrying a mountain of sentimental support. That may make him a fraction short in the betting for his achievements over fences and the same can be said of the much-hyped but often disappointing Samcro. Itchy Feet heads the market and is there by earned merit and probably deserves the vote.
Relegate, (1410 Cheltenham), 1pt win, 7/1:
Always one of the most intriguing races of the week. Last year’s winner Sire de Berlais is back and not without a chance, whilst The Storyteller fits the mould for this. But we prefer the mare Relegate – a bumper winner here two years ago. She could be a really classy staying hurdler if she could just learnt to jump. There aren’t many hurdles late in this race and that could suit her running style. A Great View, Skandiburg and Silver Sheen all have some appeal too, with Silver Sheen the biggest danger.
A Plus Tard, (1450 Cheltenham), 2pts win, 2/1:
Frodon won this for us bravely last year and might well lead them a merry dance again. The key question is the tactics for the classy Min for who a hold up ride in last year’s Champion Chase was a disaster. If he and Frodon mix it up front then they’ll put it on a plate for another one of our heroes of last year A Plus Tard. He loves going left handed. likes a bit of cut and displayed his Grade credentials when beating Chacun Pour Soir over 2 miles. Has that heady mix of stamina and speed and tactical versatility , and should win this.
Ard Abhainn, (1650 Cheltenham), 1pt win, 14/1:
Minella Melody is a worthy favourite having won Ireland’s best mares novice and with no outstanding domestic challenger. However when she won in a small race at Punchestown she had a couple of lengths to spare over Gordon Elliott’s Ard Abhainn. Whilst Elliott’s horse has a bit to find, she will be well suited by a more quickly run race and the long straight and uphill climb could be right up her street.
Le Breuil, (1730 Cheltenham), 1pt win, 7/1:
A classic amateur riders race. The golden rule when the amateurs line up is follow the Coddfather. Jockey Jamie Codd is a class apart, and we sadly left him unbacked when he won yet another amateur race here on Tuesday. We won’t be making that mistake here, and thankfully he has the assistance of the useful Le Breuil, looking well handicapped, and himself a winner under Codd here last year.
The Daily Yankee:
Simply The Betts – Relegate – A Plus Tard – Le Breuil
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