It was a case of rain overnight bookies delight yesterday and we added another frustrating 3 second placers to our tally making it 8 on the week. One last chance to convert those to wins…
NAP OF THE DAY: Cool Survivor (1730 Cheltenham), 3pts win, 5/1:
Nothing like finishing in a blaze of glory, and napping in a huge field of handicappers. This race is a Mullins or Elliott bonanza. Spanish Harlem for Willie and Imagine for Gordon have to be respected, but conditions look ideal for Gordon’s Cool Survivor who looks to have a touch of class and has been winning and running well in top 3m hurdles. He won’t be outstayed up this long straight and yet also has the class to handle this drop in trip.
RACE OF THE DAY: Ahoy Senor and Royal Pagaille (1530 Cheltenham), each 0.5pts each way, 25/1 and 66/1 respectively.
To my eyes the rain softened ground opens this up as it should test favourite Galopin Des Champs’ stamina. Instead the bookies have reacted by closing down the top two and lengthening everything else. With place concessions, it makes this an each way bonanza. Ahoy Senor won here in January and generally runs really well each season once into the new year, a slugger with a touch of class. Royal Pagaille love soft ground. He managed 5th in this last year on a quicker surface and was recently second in the King George yet is priced like a selling hurdler.
REST OF THE CARD
Lossiemouth, (1330 Cheltenham), 1pt win, 7/4:
A few withdrawals has seen this race lose some lustre. It now looks like a private Mullins gallop. You’d have to trust that stable jockey Townend knows which one to be on and he will feel he made a mess on Lossiemouth last time that needs to be amended, and probably will.
Pembroke, (1410 Cheltenham), 3pts win, 6/1:
Love the County Hurdle. I am not sure Hunters Yarn is quite in the same league as some of Willie’s winners here yet carries a higher rating going into the race. If not Willie then Dan Skelton is the motto here. He loves to target this race and has already landed a big handicap hurdle this week with Langer Dan. Pembroke is a novice off a nice low rating. He ran an excellent race here last time fading late on over a much longer trip. He races as if being held up off a strongly run 2m will suit and this looks tailor made.
Hiddenvalley Lake, (1450 Cheltenham), 1pt win, 7/1
This promises to be an almighty slog for novices and is a race that can throw up some bizarre results. Hiddenvalley Lake is proven at the trip, the stable is finally back in flying form, and has a tongue tie fitted for the first time. Had to ame his own running when slightly disappointing last time but should be ridden with a little more restraint here and can reverse the form.
Vaucelet, (1610 Cheltenham) 1pt win, 11/4:
Trainer David Christie has become the pre-eminent name in Irish hunter chases and point-to-points in recent years. His Winged Leader got touched off on the line in this last year, but despite having that horse in a clutch of entries for this race he relies on just one, Vaucelet, to exact revenge. This young horse has looked good and should be reaching his prime, that’s good enough for me.
Pink Legend, (1650 Cheltenham), 1pt each way, 33/1:
With last year’s winner Elimay seemingly out of love with the game, focus has been on new joint favourites. I have my doubts about Allegories De Vassey going left handed but even then still prefer her to the less experienced Impervious. I think Pink Legend looks ignored in the market for one who ran a close and closing second in this last year and must have an each way chance. Zambella might also make the frame at a big price.
THE DAILY YANKEE
Pembroke- Hiddenvalley Lake – Vaucelet – Cool Survivor