CHELTENHAM DAY 2. WILLIE IS ‘THE DON’. 4 MORE? CHAMPION CHASE UPDATE,FEVER IS OUT.
I showed a profit of 28.5 points on Day 1 but that will not happen today, that was just a great reward for a huge amount of work, if the site can just show a plus on day 2 then that would be a bonus but I will be giving it some shot.
I must say that I think the achievements of Willie Mullins yesterday was the singlemost outstanding day’s training in the history of NH racing ,as far as I can remember anyway and that includes my friend Michael Dickinson’s first 5 home in the Gold Cup.
1 30 Neptune .
Anteros : Will be fighting out the finish for last .
Beast Of Burden : Really strong chasing type and is progressive but is up against it here .
Nichols Canyon : High class flat stayer and just as good over hurdles and now a dual Grade 1 winner in that sphere. Has now learned how to jump at speed and for a horse that preferred soft or even heavy on the flat the fast ground will pose no issues.
Ordo Ab Chao : Keen going sort and seems best fresh from limited evidence and was impressive here last time out. Off for 46 days he should run his race but can he cope with the powerful Irish challenge ? Should be best of the home brigade if he settles.
Outlander : Five from seven under rules after only one placing in three point to points. Very smart until he got injured in Punchestown Champion bumper in April 13. Back with a bang and if he can keep it all together here he will take beating, I say that as he can take a very strong hold so he will be hoping for and should get a strong pace.
Parlour Games : Thriving this season and has a big course win plus the Grade One Challow at Newbury last time. That was a substandard renewal in my opinion and I feel he will struggle here, smart as he is.
Snow Falcon : Irish invader has it all to do.
Vyta Du Roc : Has some big form coming into this and fancied by many but not by me. Best fresh which he is here.
Warrantor : Should beat Anteros home.
Windsor Park : Has a huge following and has been punted . Has a terrific record on undulating tracks, three from three but I am not in his camp.
Verdict : Willie Mullins holds the aces again here but which one will win it ? There is light rain forecast but in the belief that the ground will stay on the fast side I am going for NICHOLS CANYON to put in a slick round of jumping and just have too much pace for Outlander. 1 pt win NICHOLS CANYON at 4/1 with PP.
2 05 RSA Chase.
Apache Jack : As much as I would love to see Dessie Hughes’ daughter win one in his memory I fear not in this race anyway.
Don Poli : Willie has bought this horse along steadily to win the Conditional event last year and has developed into the leading staying novice in Ireland this year. This fellow only just does enough so it is hard to gauge how good he really is but I feel he is out of the top drawer and think he could win next year’s Gold Cup.
If In Doubt : Going the right way again but I just cannot see it and I worry about his jumping.
Kings Palace : Leading home fancy and was the ante post favourite until displaced by Don Poli. Runs aggressively from the front but again I would worry about his jumping. Either way can he beat the Don ?
Southfield Theatre : Loves this course and was only beaten a nose in the Pertemps last year. Obvious chance if his jumping holds up but I would have preferred to see him come into this fresher.
The Ould Lad : Has it all to do.
The Young Master : On a massive roll and has course form and will have his supporters but I won’t be on.
Wounded Warrior : Strong staying type but looks a bit outclassed.
Adriana Des Mottes : I don’t think Willie can pull it off with her.
Verdict : DON POLI [nap] is now a silly price but I have to get stuck in as he is one of the bets of the meeting. 3 pts win at 7/4 with PP.
2 40 Coral Cup.
Volnay De Thaix is best fresh and very smart and can go well but I feel there are a few better handicapped. Blackmail ,as much as I like him he lacks enough experience. Activial is now handicapped highly and stamina could be an issue and he does rather flatter to deceive. Un Atout is back hurdling after injury and an unfortunate stint over the larger obstacles, he does lack handicapping experience but he is a big player and is ferociously well in at the weights. Dell ‘Arca should not be overlooked, blinkered for the first time he needs holding on to and cannot see any daylight till very late, he has been very badly placed by connections for sometime now but they have him in the right spot here and he is well weighted for a big run. Goodwood Mirage needs to get his act together and his trainer jockey combo must be feared. I know plenty about Aux Ptit Soins who has arrived from France and he is incredibly well handicapped but can he win lacking so much experience as he has only raced twice over hurdles?
Verdict : After much deliberation I am going to punt two horses UN ATOUT [Willie again] and DELL’ ARCA. 1 pt win on each at 14/1 PP.
3 20 Champion Chase.
I did an ante post preview on this and am already down 1 pt which was on Ballycasey but I also advised a 2 points win on CHAMPAGNE FEVER at 8/1 and he is now a non runner having got a kick from a stablemate en route to the course. A horse who I had given a small squeak to now becomes my bet and that is in the shape of SIMPLY NED. He will love the ground and is a hold up merchant who must be fresh, have a small field and have an undulating track . Circumstances have now come in his favour with the two non runners.
Verdict : 1 pt win SIMPLY NED at 14/1 with PP.
4 00 Glenfarclas Chase.
This is a horrendous puzzle but I have it between Toutancarmont [French trained] Duke Of Lucca and a host of Irish trained animals headed up by Quantitiveeasing.
Verdict : I will put half a point on DUKE OF LUCCA at 6/1.
4 40 Fred Winter Hurdle.
Another virtually impossible event but I am going to narrow it down to Box Office 16/1, Hostile Fire 9/1 and Souriyan 20/1 .
Verdict : I am having half a point on SOURIYAN at 20/1 with PP.
5 15 Bumper.
I am already down 2 pts on this race as the ”winner” Sea The World is a non runner !!!
Ireland will win this and what a contest as usual, full of high quality types. It’s a case of which one of Willie’s or Elliot’s. I don’t rate Moon Racer’s chance’s.
Verdict : Bordini, Au Quart De Tour, Bellshill, Livelovelaugh,Pylonthepressure, Stone Hard and General Principle look the ones to concentrate on.
Verdict : After much deliberation I will chance a 1 pt win on AU QUART DE TOUR at 16/1 in the hope that he might lead home General Principle and the others mentioned above.
Happy punting on a very difficult card.