CHELTENHAM DAY 2. RACE TIMES SAY ITS FIRM.SURPRISE SURPRISE.
I reviewed Tuesday on an earlier post and I hope we can do as well on Day 2. My concerns about the ground have come through and do not mind what you hear on television, this ground is fast and will become dangerous from here on in if they do not water. Horses will pay the ultimate penalty with their lives and the risk of injury to the jockeys will increase. Please God this will not happen. Here is Day 2.
Ballyalton : Nice looking big lengthy horse who is smart and a multiple winner of six of his eight starts. Coming into this off a break he will give his running but seven year olds have a brutal record in this. Not impossible still.
Coctails At Dawn : Very hard to see this one involved.
Cole Harden : Needs to go this way round and strong front runner but he needs soft and this is good ground. No.
Creepy : Has bits of form but this will be beyond him.
Cup Final : Do not be fooled by his form or his price. Very inexperienced and has had two quiet ,staying on runs behind Irving [ reasons for his very poor run yesterday and will explain later] and will relish this step up in trip and the fast ground. He is a maiden and I cannot remember such an animal ever winning at this Festival but I believe he has a realistic chance.
Faugheen : Named after a little village in Tipperary in Ireland this fellow could make that place famous yet. He is rated the banker of the meeting by many. I thought he would go for the Albert Bartlett but I am sure Willie knows better. The big problem for Faugheen is his inexperience and now the very fast ground. He will have to be as smart as Willie thinks to overcome those two negatives but still an obvious player.
Fennell Bay : Improving ex flat racer but I simply cannot fancy on this course but is low in the betting.
Killala Quay : Goes well fresh but I have to say probably not going to place here.
Knock House : Lovely staying chasing type but will not be fast enough here.
Lieutenent Colonel : Another lovely type and trained by a genius he could easily go close and his form behind Vautour looks even better now. A player here..
Midnight Thunder : Outclassed.
Rathvinden : I wonder does he have too much speed to land a Neptune ? Very decent and has to be considered.Nick Mordin likes him a lot and rates both him and Red Sherlock as the fastest in this division so a big player.
Red Sherlock : I have written this horse up since his bumper win at Towcester where he smashed the clock. Remains unbeaten and will be involved and his form with Rathvinden is the best on offer numbers wise but may prefer slower ground.Big Player.
Royal Boy : Big chasing type and will still make his mark over the larger ones and will be fancied here but he is top heavy and this lightning fast terrain will not suit him.
Shanahans Turn : Will need to improve massively so unlikely.
Twelve Roses: Outclassed.
SUMMARY : The players are Lieutenant Colonel, Red Sherlock, Rathvinden, Cup Final and Faugheen. I am going to go for a bit of value and suggest a one point bet on CUP FINAL in the betting without the favourite market at 14/1 with Paddy Power.
Annacotty : Feltham winner but will do well to win this on this fast ground. He will try make all and give you a run for your money but I can’t see it.
Ballycasey : The favourite and the big Irish fancy. I just don’t know about him. Loads of talent and stable are all over him. His jumping on fast ground could be the problem and moreover I have a stamina doubt. I am opposing him.
Black Thunder : Multiple winner but I feel he has a lot on to get involved here.
Carlingford Lough : Has been on the go a long time and won the Galway Plate but I think he will struggle on this fast ground.
Corrin Wood : Genuine consistent sort and short in the betting but I feel he will struggle here on fast ground and a tendency to jump to his right is also a worry. Hard to fancy.
Don Cossack : I am a fan but many question his resolution. I don’t know why they do as he is a Grade 1 and Grade 2 winner and has been victorious in six of his twelve starts. He would prefer slower ground but I feel in a first time tongue tie he will handle the fast and be a big player.
Gevry Chambertain : No.
Just A Par : Don’t be fooled by his poor last run. He will love the surface and will stay up this hill. Has run big figures and can be involved at a big price.
Le Bec : Best fresh and stays forever and this giant [nearly 18 hands] will go on the ground. Nothing wrong but will his jumping stand the test ?
Many Clouds : Extravagant jumper but on soft. Stays well and might be best fresh so passed over.
Morning Assembly : The big whisper and mover in the market for this. Really likeable type, sound jumper and can quicken .Nothing wrong at all and every chance. His ability to handle these undulations an unknown but I do not see it as a problem. Going to be involved.
O’Faolins Boy : One hardy bugger of a horse and I think he will be involved. The softer the ground the better his chance so these lightning fast conditions are after upsetting that. Will still give his all but might just find one or two too good.
Samingarry : No.
Sam Winner : Slightly in and out performer who jumps nearly too big, he clears his fences with feet to spare. That alone is a reason to worry on this ground and I now can now see him getting outspeeded.
Smad Place : Big striking almost white horse and is now near or at the top of the market. Trainer is impossible to predict with his charges but this horse should be involved if seeing out the trip but personally I have a stamina doubt so passed over.
SUMMARY : Three horses stand out in my opinion, Morning Assembly, Just A Par and Don Cossack. I suggest a one point win on DON COSSACK at 14/1 with PP.
I have this huge field narrowed down to DELL’ARCA and CALCULATED RISK . I suggest a 1/2 point win on both at 14/1 and 40/1 respectively and those prices are freely available.
If you will scroll down on site to February 20th you will see the in depth preview. This is a terrible renewal of this great race. My original fancy is out and I am now going for CAPTAIN CONAN who looks a standout now on this ground. 1 pt win at 5/1 with Coral and Bet 365. Hinterland might chase him home.
BIG SHU and BISHOPSFURZE are my two against the field here. The former will take a lot of stopping in his bid to repeat last year’s win and barring accidents will be involved and the latter is still a class animal in the context of this type of race. He will have learned from his fall over the Banks course the last day at Punchestown. Experience is vital in these events and that fall may have taught him to be more careful. 1 pt win BIG SHU at 5/1 with PP and a 1 pt win on BISHOPSFURZE at 16/1 with William Hill
One would be better off buying a ticket in the Lottery as looking for the winner in here but as it is Cheltenham I will advise a 1/2 point each way on VIOLET DANCER whom I mentioned in despatches earlier in the season as a likely contender for this. We will be rewarded at 25/1 with William Hill if I am right.
This is rather simple. Back Willie Mullins trained horses. He has three running and I propose to go with two of them so a 1 pt won on both SHANESHILL 7/1 freely and BLACK HERCULES 8/1 with PP and others. Sods law of course dictates that Willie’s other runner Killultagh Vic will make me look stupid but for betting purposes I have to leave him out.
As yesterday, may the Lord be with you and be careful with your money……