Cheltenham Festival 2019 Top 5 and In Running Lows

Horses that run well at one Cheltenham Festival generally run well at subsequent Cheltenham Festivals either due to the way the races are run or because connections target a return and here we look at those who finished in the Top 5 of each race, the in-running low and where they are now and what the targets could be this season.

Supreme Novices Hurdle 

Klassical Dream  – subsequently won at Punchestown in April. Has since been beaten at Punchestown and at Leopardstown.

14/1 for Champion Hurdle & 33/1 for Arkle

Thomas Darby – (in running low of 5.00) – placed once over fences since at Warwick and 3rd of 7 Kempton

33/1 for Arkle & 50/1 for Marsh Novices

Itchy Feet – (in running low of 6.00) – 4th in subsequent hurdle races at Aintree and Kempton. Won Chase debut in a 3 runner race at Leicester

33/1 for Arkle , 25/1 for Marsh Novices & 33/1 for RSA Chase

Fakir D’oudairies – (in running low of 4.00) – 2nd at Aintree and Punchestown afterwards over hurdles. Won first 2 chases before 2nd to Notebook at Leopardstown

6/1 for Arkle, 14/1 for Marsh Novices,

Felix Desjy – (in running low of 2.50) – won at Aintree before finishing 2nd at Punchestown. Yet to race this season.

20/1 for Champion Hurdle & 16/1 for Arkle,

Thomas Darby at 33/1 for the Arkle looks overpriced. He doesn’t like Kempton (beaten twice there) and his 2nd to a race fit Maire Banrigh who is going to be rated 146+ now wasn’t a bad effort giving her 2lb. Considering how the race was run and that Klassical Dream made all, to come from so far back to finish was arguably a very good performance. One slight concern would be if he runs in another Grade 1 where he’s not put in the race with the aim off dropping 3lb to get into the Close Brothers. EDIT: Thomas Darby looks to be reverting to hurdles.

Arkle Chase

Duc Des Genievres – well beaten in 3 Graded chases before a better run at Kempton when 2nd to Bun Doran.

25/1 for Champion Chase & 16/1 for Ryanair

Us And Them – (in running low of 16.5) – beaten on next 5 starts including 87 lengths last time. Down to 149. Handicap next start.

33/1 for Champion Chase , 50/1 for Ryanair , 150/1 for Gold Cup

Articulum – (in running low of 18.0) – beaten on next 4 starts although went close in 2 handicaps. 148 handicap mark.

No prices yet.

Clondaw Castle – (in running low of 5.3) – disappointed twice split by a 1/2 length 2nd at Ascot. Rated 143

33/1 for Stable Plate, 50/1 for Grand Annual

Knocknanuss – (in running low of 9.4) – sadly passed away now.

No prices yet.

Clondaw Castle at 50/1 for a Grand Annual looks a big price. He tried running in a Grade 1 afterwards where he was well beaten before returning this season in a handicap at Ascot. He finished a close 2nd to Diego Du Charmil (who was nearly stopped but got going again but has finished 2nd since off a higher mark). Last time Clondaw Castle was tried over 2 1/2 mile and that didn’t work and he was well beaten. A drop back in distance and off a 1lb lower mark than when sent off just 4/1 and 7/1 for decent handicaps this year makes his current 50/1 price look big.

Ultima Handicap Chase (Last year 140 – 155)

Beware The Bear – disappointed at Sandown, 4th in Ladbrokes before reverting to hurdles. 7lb higher than when winning.

25/1 for Ultima Handicap Chase

Vintage Clouds – (in running low of 1.51) – not got involved in next 5 starts including Grand National when falling at first. 1lb lower than when 2nd.

50/1 for Ultima Handicap Chase

Lake View Lad – (in running low of 10.50) – struggled since before a good run at Wetherby latest. 1lb lower than when 3rd.

33/1 for Ultima Handicap Chase

Big River – (in running low of 42.0) – 5th in Scottish National, Pulled up twice this season so far. 3lb lower but wouldn’t get in based on last year.

No prices.

Flying Angel –  (in running low of 10.0) – moderate runs at Aintree twice since before winning at Ascot. Poor again at Aintree. 4lb higher than when 5th

No prices.

Vintage Clouds has finished 3rd and 2nd in the last 2 runnings of this race and is a 1lb lower than when 2nd. He was being aimed at the Grand National but has fallen at the first in the National and then jumped poorly in the Becher. I think he’ll be geared around this race now. He traded at 1/2 in running last year and can definitely go close again. Lake View Lad is another Trevor Hemmings horse and I think his aim this season will have been a return to this race. He showed some of his ability last time out at Wetherby (a race he won last year before Cheltenham) and I think will not run again until the festival. He should go well again. The pair at 50/1 and 33/1 were just 16/1 and 25/1 on the day last year and I think will be closer to these prices come the day.

Champion Hurdle

Espoir D’Allen – sadly no longer with us.

Melon (in running low of 5.00) – disappointed over hurdles 3 times since before going chasing. 2nd to Fakir D’oudairies before winning at Leopardstown

14/1 for Arkle & 16/1 for Marsh Novices

Silver Streak (in running low of 10.0) – disappointed at Aintree, won Listed event at Kempton, beaten twice since including recently at Kempton

33/1 for Champion Hurdle

Laurina – (in running low of 1.32) – won a Beginners Chase before atrocious run at Leopardstown.

14/1 for Marsh Novices, 14/1 for Stayers Hurdle, 10/1 for Mares Hurdle, 33/1 for Champion Hurdle & 25/1 for Arkle

Verdana Blue – (in running low of 12.5) – won Scottish Champion Hurdle before good runs on flat at Ascot and at Kempton on soft ground.

33/1 for Champion Hurdle

Laurina’s disappointing run last time out throws doubt into which race she will be aimed at now for the Festival. As such it’s not worth backing her for any races yet in my opinion. Of the others, I don’t think they will get their conditions and as such nothing interests me here.

Mares Hurdle

Roksana – 2nd at Aintree and Aintree twice in good races. Disappointed at Ascot before bouncing back when 2nd at Cheltenham in Relkeel.

10/1 for Mares Hurdle, 33/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Stormy Ireland – (in running low of 2.08) – beaten in Grade 1 at Punchestown and Grade 2 at Auteuil. Back to form last twice in lower grade hurdles.

12/1 for Mares Hurdle, 33/1 for Arkle

Good Thyne Tara – (in running low of 7.00) – 3rd in Grade 1 well beaten, 2nd over fences on chase debut.

33/1 for Mares Hurdle, 50/1 for Marsh Novices,

Lady Buttons – (in running low of 15.00) – mixed hurdles and fences since. Better over fences. Won good Mares event at Doncaster

20/1 for Mares Hurdle, 33/1 for Champion Chase, 25/1 for Ryanair & 100/1 for Gold Cup

Slowmotion – (in running low of 55.00) – disappointed twice over fences since.

No prices yet

Roksana was in the process of running a big race here before being gifted the win after the fall of Benie Des Dieux. She was running on strongly into the last and I think may have pushed Benie Des Dieux and proved her stamina next time at Aintree. With question marks about some of these including where Honeysuckle runs, at 10/1 Roksana isn’t the worst e/w bet you’ll see.

Close Brothers Novice Handicap Chase (Last Year 137 – 145)

A Plus Tard – 3rd in Grade 1 over 3m, 2nd in Grade 2 and won Grade 1 over 2m1f.

10/1 for Champion Chase & 7/1 for Ryanair Chase

Tower Bridge – (in running low of 5.00) – 4th in Beginners Chase. Pulled up last twice over 3m.

No prices yet

Ben Dundee – (in running low of 4.8) – 4th at Punchestown, 2nd at Navan before 7th back over 2m at Leopardstown over hurdles. 1lb higher than last year

No prices yet

The Russian Doyen – (in running low of 4.0) – pulled up on return at Aintree. 2lb lower than last year.

No prices yet

Springtown Lake (in running low of 9.6) – well beaten at Aintree, Ascot and Cheltenham before a good 2nd at Chepstow. Still 6lb lower than last year. Unlikely to get in anything.

33/1 for Stable Plate

A Plus Tard has since won a Grade 1 over 2m and finished 3rd in a Grade 1 over 3m suggesting he is very very good. Tower Bridge was never put in the race before running on for 2nd 16 lengths behind the winner. A 4th on his next start over the correct distance was an ok effort before pulling up over 3m. Dropping back to 2 1/2 mile will really suit this horse who’s finished 2nd and 5th in the last 2 Cheltenham Festivals. I have requested a price for him.

National Hunt Challenge Chase

National Hunt Chase

Le Breuil – pulled up at Wetherby before 7th over National Fences in Becher. National bound.

50/1 for Gold Cup

Discorama – (in running low of 1.15) –  2nd in Grade 1 and Listed events. Disappointed since. Would run off 148 currently.

No prices yet.

Jerrysback – (in running low of 3.35) – Disappointed at Newbury before much better when 3rd at Ascot.

No prices yet

Clondaw Cian – (in running low of 16.5) – races in France now.

Le Breuil ran a great race in the Becher Chase and is now being lined up for a tilt at the Grand National. Discorama would interest me if he were to run in the Ultima Handicap Chase off his mark of 148. He wouldn’t be right at the top of the handicap and we know he runs well at the Festival with his 2 2nd’s to his name in the Martin Pipe and the National Hunt Challenge.

Ballymore Novices Hurdle

Ballymore Novices Hurdle

City Island – 6th in Grade 1 at Punchestown. Pulled up over fences 

16/1 for Stayers Hurdle, 33/1 for Arkle & 33/1 for Champion Hurdle

Champ – (in running low of 2.02) – won Grade 1 Hurdle at Aintree, was on course for 3/3 over fences when falling recently.

16/1 for Stayers Hurdle, 14/1 for Marsh Novices & 4/1 for RSA Chase

Bright Forecast – (in running low of 7.0) – not seen since due to Fibrillating heart.

33/1 for Stayers Hurdle, 40/1 for Marsh Novices & 25/1 for RSA Chase

Brewin’upastorm – (in running low of 4.3) – 2nd at Aintree in Grade 1. 2 from 2 over fences over 2m and 2 1/2 miles.

16/1 for Arkle, 20/1 for Marsh Novices

Sams Profile – (in running low of 5.00) – 2nd in Grade 1 since over hurdles.

33/1 for Stayers Hurdle, 40/1 for Marsh Novice, 40/1 for RSA Chase.

City Island has disappointed since whilst Champ I think will be a Gold Cup horse of the future once he jumps better. Bright Forecast is smart but hasn’t run this season. Brewin’Upastorm travelled wide and came into this race looking like he was going to play a big part in the finish but looked to get tired late on similar to his performance at Aintree afterwards. Olly has suggested the Arkle is the plan and 16/1 looks a good bet.

RSA Chase

Topofthegame – sadly out for the season

Santini – (in running low of 1.56) – won at Sandown when 1/3.

10/1 for Gold Cup

Delta Work – (in running low of 1.70) – Dual Grade 1 winner since. Disappointed at Down Royal in between these.

10/1 for Gold Cup

Mister Malarky – (in running low of 15.50) – 2nd at Aintree, disappointed at Ascot before a good 6th in Ladbroke. Disappointed back at Ascot.

33/1 for Ultima Handicap

Mortal – (in running low of 5.00) – beaten just 1 home from 28 rivals in next 2 races.

33/1 for Ultima Handicap

Santini had an interrupted season last season before his 2nd in the RSA Chase when he hit the front at the last and traded 1.56 in the run. Whilst he only just scrambled home at Sandown the horse looks better left handed and in better races. His runs at Cheltenham, Newbury and Aintree have been much better than the couple at Kempton and Sandown. With Delta Work winning 2 Grade 1 races since, the form is clearly strong and hopefully he wins the Cotswold Chase later this month. 10/1 looks a fair price for a horse who should appreciate everything about a Gold Cup.

Coral Cup (Last Year 133 – 153)

Coral Cup

William Henry – 4th in Grade 1 and 3rd in Grade 2 since.

40/1 for Stayers Hurdle,

Wicklow Brave – (in running low of 1.21) – sadly has passed away.

Ballyandy – (in running low of 3.30) – competing in Grade races since including back over 2m. 2nd at Cheltenham, 3rd at Kempton. 7lb higher now.

33/1 for Coral Cup, 40/1 for Champion Hurdle & 40/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Brio Conti – (in running low of 2.22) – sadly passed away.

No prices yet.

Canardier – (in running low of 8.00) – 3rd and 7th in good handicaps since at Aintree and Punchestown. Moderate over fences since.

66/1 for Marsh Novices

Brio Conti was the only one who interested me here with either this race or potentially dropping back to 2m for the County. Unfortunately the horse has passed away since his last run in a training accident.

Champion Chase

Champion Chase

Altior – won Celebration chase before 2nd over 2m5f at Ascot. Being dropped back to 2m.

7/2 for Champion Chase, 14/1 for Ryanair & 40/1 for Gold Cup,

Politologue – (in running low of 3.15) – 2nd at Aintree and Cheltenham since before disappointing at Sandown.

33/1 for Champion Chase, 25/1 for Ryanair

Sceau Royal – (in running low of 1.60) – 2nd at Sandown, disappointing this season including when 3rd at Kempton recently.

33/1 for Champion Chase

Hell’s Kitchen – (in running low of 22.0) – moderate runs at Aintree and Punchestown. Won when back into Graduation Chase.

50/1 for Champion Chase

Min – (in running low of 5.90) – Dual Grade 1 winner since and 2nd to Un De Sceaux at Punchestown.

16/1 for Champion Chase & 7/1 for Ryanair Chase

Having trained Altior with further in mind it’s very possible that some of his speed required to keep himself in the race (before his strength at the finish kicks in) could have been lost and he could now be vulnerable here. Politologue had previously been well beaten in this race by Altior whilst Sceau Royal hasn’t franked the form this year. I’m now looking to take this form line on at the festival.

Cross Country Chase

Cross Country Chase

Tiger Roll – won a Grand National again!

7/4 for Cross Country Chase

Josies Orders – (in running low of 8.60) – on the decline and pulled up last time out over CD.

33/1 for Cross Country Chase

Urgent De Gregaine – (in running low of 4.50) – 2nd recently to stablemate over CD

14/1 for Cross Country Chase

Ballycasey – (in running low of 11.50) – well beaten since at Punchestown.

33/1 for Cross Country Chase

Jarob – (in running low of 95.0) – pulled up in La Touche Cup since.

No prices yet.

Urgent De Gregaine looked like he was going to play a big part in the finish but was readily beaten by Tiger Roll and ended up losing 2nd to Josies Orders late on. This year the French really look to be making an effort here with Easysland, Urgent De Gregaine, Diesel D’Allier and Amazing Comedy all running well here. None from last year really appeal to me here.

Fred Winter (Last year 129 – 141)

Band Of Outlaws – 5th in Grade 1 at Aintree, 2nd in Grade 2 at Tipperary and 3rd in handicap at Galway. 10lb higher than last year.

28/1 for County Hurdle , 50/1 for Champion Hurdle

Coko Beach – (in running low of 3.40) – disappointed in Grade 1, won a moderate hurdle before 2nd in Grade 2. Fell latest in a handicap. 8lb higher than last year.

33/1 for Coral Cup , 200/1 for Champion Hurdle

Ciel De Neige – (in running low of 2.12) – 4th in good handicap at Fairyhouse, beaten at 1/4 in Maiden hurdle. Still a novice. 3lb higher than last year.

33/1 for County Hurdle & 33/1 for Coral Cup

King D’Argent – (in running low of 5.00) – well beaten in 4 handicaps since. Dropped 12lb to 117. Won’t get in anything.

No prices yet.

Fanfan Du Seuil – (in running low 9.60) – moderate efforts since in 3 races including Grade 1 event at Aintree. 6lb lower. Won’t get in anything.

Ciel De Neige was having his first run for Willie Mullins this day and was Ruby’s choice of ride over La Sorelita who had finished 4th in a Listed race before. Ciel De Neige didn’t get the clearest of runs from the 2nd last and was forced to go wide but still ran a very big race for 3rd. JP purchased the horse after this race and he finished a good 4th in a Grade A handicap at Fairyhouse as a 4 year old. He’s since narrowly been beaten at Limerick by Argumental but was hampered and would have won that with a clear run. His handicap mark of just 135 (3lb higher than last year) makes him look good at 33/1 for a County Hurdle.

Champion Bumper

Champion Bumper

Envoi Allen – 2 from 2 over hurdles including in Royal Bond

6/1 for Supreme Novices Hurdle , 15/8 for Ballymore Novices Hurdle & 33/1 for Albert Bartlett

Blue Sari – (in running low of 1.17) – won maiden hurdle before well beaten 4th behind Abacadabras at Leopardstown

25/1 for Supreme Novices Hurdles , 50/1 for Ballymore Novices Hurdle & 50/1 for Albert Bartlett

Thyme Hill – (in running low of 7.00) – 3 from 3 since including 2 Grade 2’s and 1 Grade 1.

14/1 for Ballymore Novices Hurdle, 6/1 for Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle

Abacadabras – (in running low of 4.00) – 2nd in Irish Champion Bumper before winning 3 out 4 over hurdles. Only beaten by Envoi Allen.

4/1 for Supreme Novices Hurdle, 18/1 for Ballymore Novices Hurdle

The Glancing Queen – (in running low of 12.0) – won a Mares Bumper at Aintree, not seen since.

12/1 for Mares Novice Hurdle, 40/1 for Ballymore Novices Hurdle

The winner (Envoi Allen) , 3rd (Thyme Hill) and 5th (Abacadabras) all look very smart and are favourite for the Ballymore, Albert Bartlett and Supreme Novices respectively. Blue Sari who finished 2nd had won a Maiden hurdle since at Punchestown before flopping at Leopardstown. He’s only just turned 5 and be behind in terms of growing into himself. Back in 5th was The Glancing Queen for Alan King who is likely to be out for the season. I don’t think there are any angles here except Envoi Allen takes all the beating whatever he runs in.

JLT Novices Chase (now the Marsh Novices)

JLT Novices Chase

Defi Du Seuil – 2nd at Punchestown behind Chacun Pour Soi, won both this season including the Tingle Creek

4/1 for Champion Chase & 6/1 for Ryanair Chase

Lostintranslation – (in running low of 1.20) – won 3 from next 4 including 2 Grade 1’s. Didn’t go well at Kempton. Pulled Up. Ignore.

20/1 for Ryanair Chase & 9/1 for Gold Cup

Mengli Khan –  (in running low of 2.50) – 7 runs without winning since. Still 152 over fences.

50/1 for Ryanair Chase, 100/1 for Gold Cup

Kildisart – (in running low of 6.00) – won Grade 3 handicap at Ascot in April. Disappointed the last twice. 5lb higher than when winning Hcap at Aintree.

33/1 for Ryanair Chase, 50/1 for Gold Cup

Vinndication – (in running low of 6.20) – won at Ascot since in feature handicap.

40/1 for Gold Cup

I really like this race. Defi Du Seuil has since dropped in trip and won the Shloer Chase and Tingle Creek. He has that proven stamina over further and clearly has the speed as well. I think he has the turn of foot required to sprint past Altior and not allow him time to respond. He’s the one I’ll take in the Champion Chase at 4/1. I’m also keen on Lostintranslation for the Gold Cup despite his effort at Kempton. He only ran at Kempton in my opinion because the bonus was on the table. The track and trip at that track were never going to suit but the bonus was too appealing. He comfortably beat the RSA winner at Aintree and on that should beat Santini so I can’t ignore him here at 9/1 for the Gold Cup. With this in mind, Mengli Khan who looks very tricky to win with could be worth a small investment. He’s now finished 3rd at 2 Cheltenham Festival’s behind Summerville Boy & Kalashnikov in the Supreme and the aforementioned pair in the JLT Novices Chase where he traded at just 6/4! Whilst he’s disappointed since he really looks to be a horse that only acts at certain courses. His form at Punchestown and Cheltenham reads: 23313 whilst elsewhere he really struggles. I would be willing to give him a chance in the Ryanair at a massive 50/1.

Pertemps Final (Last Year 134 – 148)

Sire Du Berlais – struggled in handicaps off new marks. Back down to just 4lb higher. Needs to get qualified.

40/1 for RSA Chase, 12/1 for Pertemps Final

Tobefair – (in running low of 1.55) – won twice and finished 3rd in races over CD since. 18lb higher this year.

25/1 for Pertemps Final

Not Many Left – (in running low of 1.59) – 2nd in Grade 2 and Fell in Grade 1 since. 7lb higher than last year.

33/1 for Stayers Hurdle

Cuneo – (in running low of 1.40) – disappointing since. Dropped to 134 which is 4lb lower than last year. Needs to get qualified.

33/1 for Pertemps Final

A Toi Phil – (in running low of 10.0) – highly tried over fences since including Irish and English National’s.

No prices yet.

Cuneo interested me here but I do think he just didn’t get up the hill at Cheltenham having traded at 1.40 (2/5) in running. He hasn’t yet qualified and on his effort last time when blinkers were fitted, he won’t be doing that any time soon.

Ryanair Chase

Ryanair Chase

Frodon – well beaten last twice. Likely geared this year for defence of Ryanair

14/1 for Ryanair Chase

Aso – (in running low of 1.56) – well beaten last 3 races since.

33/1 for Ryanair Chase

Road To Respect – (in running low of 2.74) – Grade 1 winner over 3m beating Clan Des Obeaux and Delta Work.

16/1 for Ryanair Chase, 25/1 for Gold Cup

Monalee – (in running low of 5.30) – Pulled up and well beaten on next 2 starts. Much better narrowly denied last time by Delta Work at Leopardstown.

33/1 for Ryanair Chase & 25/1 for Gold Cup

Un De Sceaux – (in running low of 4.20) – 1st and 2nd in Grade 1’s since back over 2m.

20/1 for Ryanair Chase & 20/1 for Champion Chase

Road To Respect was sent off just 9/2 for this race last year and ran well for 3rd when blundering at the 3rd last and meeting the 2nd last on a poor stride and jumping it slowly (compared to when he pinged it 2 years before in the Stable Plate). He disappointed at Aintree on his next start before winning at Down Royal in November beating Clan Des Obeaux. 3rd last time at Leopardstown was a good run for a horse who arguably wants better going. From 7/2 for a deep Ryanair to being available at 16/1 for this Ryanair looks crazy.

Stayers Hurdle

Stayers Hurdle

Paisley Park – won on return back at Newbury running down Thistlecrack

6/4 for Stayers Hurdle

Sam Spinner – (in running low of 3.00) 8th at Aintree when not forcing pace enough. Out for the Season after 3 from 3 over fences

Faugheen – (in running low of 2.48) – Pulled up at Aintree but 2 from 2 since over fences in impressive fashion.

9/1 for Marsh Novices, 50/1 for Arkle Chase, 20/1 for RSA Chase

Bapaume – (in running low of 14.0) – 4th in Grade 1 in France, 2nd in Grade 2 in France, poor on 1st start over fences. Won on 2nd start.

20/1 for Marsh Novices, 25/1 for RSA Chase

Wholestone – (in running low of 21.0) – well beaten at Aintree. Novice chasing since. 2/3 with a neck defeat to Mulcahys Hill.

33/1 for RSA Chase

Paisley Park really is the one to beat again here. Beating Sam Spinner really was a very smart performance last season and I can’t find anything to beat him. At 6/4 he could be the banker of the meeting.

Stable Plate Handicap Chase (Last Year 135 – 156)

Siruh Du Lac – pulled up on only start this season on very soft ground. 9lb higher for winning this race.

50/1 for Ryanair Chase, 33/1 for Stable Plate

Janika – (in running low of 2.22) – 4th in Topham , won Haldon Gold Cup. Struggled in Graded company. 10lb higher than last year.

Spiritofthegames – (in running low of 3.80) – well beaten on next 3 starts, much better in Caspian Caviar when head 2nd. 2lb higher than last year.

33/1 for Stable Plate

Eamon An Cnoic – (in running low of 2.22) – in and out of form since, best came when 2nd over 2m at Cheltenham. Off same mark as last year.

33/1 for Stable Plate

Didero Vallis – (in running low of 12.0) – disappointed since before good 2nd in Rowland Meyrick. Currently wouldn’t get in Stable Plate this year.

No prices yet.

Spiritofthegames is only 2lb higher than when he was 3rd last year possibly beaten by 2 horses that are better than handicappers. The winner came into the race having won 5 of last 6 runs an was an improving 6 year old whilst the runner up has since won a Haldon Gold Cup and since contested Graded races. He was sent off just 6/1 for this race last year and after bouncing back to form last time out in the Caspian Caviar when Warthog rallied to deny him his price of 33/1 looks massive at this stage particularly as this is surely his target. 3rd and 5th in 2 Festivals he looks a good bet.

Mares Novice Hurdle

Eglantine De Seuil – run reasonably well in Graded and Listed events since.

40/1 for Mares Hurdle

Concertista – (in running low of 1.21) – still a maiden after 2 defeats this season!

50/1 for Mares Hurdle, 33/1 for Mares Novice Hurdle

Tintangle – (in running low of 12.50) – 4th in Grade 1 since, 2/4 over fences. Struggled in Graded events. 135 over hurdles. No mark over fences yet.

No prices yet.

Black Tears – (in running low of 2.14) – Graded and Listed races since. Rated 133 , will need to be higher to get in at Cheltenham.

No prices yet.

Indefatigable – (in running low of 30.0) – won Listed event afterwards and has run well a few times including when 2nd to handicap good thing Dame De Compagnie. Rated 139.

33/1 for Mares Hurdle & 33/1 for Coral Cup.

Concertista traded at just 1.21 (1/5) in the run at Cheltenham having come there travelling really well. She got caught close home by stablemate and didn’t run again that season to retain her novice status. This run came off a break of 650 days and you would have thought she should improve on that. She returned this season over 2 1/2 mile on soft/heavy going but failed to get home having come there travelling the best before finishing 3rd at Leopardstown behind Top Rated and RTR 2. The big field and Cheltenham course really suited her and back as a 2nd season Novice with more experience under her belt she could go well here at 33/1.

Kim Muir Handicap Chase (Last Year 133 – 144)

Kim Muir Handicap Chase

Any Second Now – disappointed since despite a 2nd place in a Grade 2. Still rated 150 which is 7lb higher than last year.

25/1 for Ultima Handicap Chase

Kilfilum Cross – (in running low of 1.54) – twice well beaten, once ran ok at Stratford in weaker race. Just 2lb higher than last year.

33/1 for Kim Muir Handicap Chase

The Young Master – (in running low of 18.50) – 2nd in Bet365 Gold Cup since. Disappointed on flat at Kempton at at Wincanton. 2lb higher than last year.

33/1 for Kim Muir Handicap Chase & 40/1 for Ultima Handicap Chase

Crievehill – (in running low of 18.00) – won next 2 races at Wetherby and Haydock before disappointing at Ascot on heavy going.

No prices yet.

No Comment – (in running low of 15.50) – trainer clearly doesn’t know his trip. 3 over 2 1/2, 5th over 2, Fell over 3.

25/1 for Kim Muir Handicap Chase

Kilfilum Cross arrived at this race having won at Ludlow before when being ridden by Derek O’Connor. To then see Derek choose Any Second Now over Kilfilum Cross was very eyecatching and having been supported into 6/1 he just got the better of Kilfilum Cross. This had looked like a season long plan for the JP horse having gone off just 5/1 for the Close Brothers the year before and as such for Kilfilum Cross to have run as well as he did suggests he was almost unlucky to bump into one here. Kilfilum Cross was last seen oulling up in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on heavy going and will be much better on better ground. At 33/1 for a horse who went off just 7/1 last year he looks overpriced. Similarly No Comment at 25/1 looks a big price for a horse who’s been sent off 4/1, 4/1 and 15/2 since in good races. He’s been tried over different trips and wasn’t ever in with a chance at Cheltenham having been given far too much to do. A better ride and he can certainly go close at 25/1.

Triumph Hurdle

Triumph Hurdle

Pentland Hills – won the Grade 1 at Aintree proving Cheltenham was no fluke. Disappointed on return this season at Cheltenham.

9/1 for Champion Hurdle

Coeur Sublime – (in running low of 2.0) – 3rd at Fairyhouse in Grade 2, won a Grade 2 and 3rd in Grade 1.

25/1 for Champion Hurdle

Gardens Of Babylon – (in running low of 8.40) – 2nd at Fairyhouse. Better recently after disappointing over summer. Clearly wants further.

33/1 for Coral Cup, 33/1 for County Hurdle

Nelson River – (in running low of 20.0) – disappointed since but highly tried. 142 Handicap mark.

No prices yet.

Quel Destin – (in running low of 2.10) – 3rd on flat, won in October over hurdles. Struggled since in deeper races.

66/1 for Champion Hurdle

Gardens Of Babylon was only 10th after the 2nd last and being pushed along by Barry Geraghty and was then squeezed out by Pentland Hills on the turn in before running on well for 3rd up the hill. He clearly looks like he needs further as he finished really strongly up the hill. He’s continued to race over 2m but his handicap mark has dropped from his 145 coming into Cheltenham last year down to 139 which would see him comfortably in the Coral Cup. He’s a similar type to Apples Shakira who finished 6th last year and I think Gardens Of Babylon can be even closer at 33/1.

County Hurdle (Last Year 123 – 153)

Ch’Tibello – 3rd in Grade 1 and Grade 2 since, 5th in most recent Grade 1. 9lb higher than last year.

50/1 for Champion Hurdle

We Have A Dream – (in running low of 2.16) – sadly passed away.

Countister – (in running low of 3.20) – well beaten in 3 runs since. Just 2lb higher now than last season.

40/1 for County Hurdle

Whiskey Sour – (in running low of 3.90) – 2nd in a Novice hurdle after, 1 run on flat in Chester Cup. Saved for this race off same mark?

No prices

Lisp – (in running low of 12.0) – 4th in a Greatwood since before a 3rd and 1st over fences.

50/1 for Arkle

Whiskey Sour finished a never nearer 4th in this race last year when sent off the 5/1 favourite having finished 3rd the year before when sent off 7/1. He could run here again off the same 144 mark as when sent off the 5/1 favourite and William Hill have just priced him up at 25/1! That looks far too big!

Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle

Minella Indo – won at Punchestown before 2nd to Laurina in November over fences.

33/1 for Marsh Novices Chase, 8/1 for RSA Chase.

Commander Of Fleet – (in running low of 2.00) – pulled up only start since at Punchestown

33/1 for RSA Chase & 25/1 for National Hunt Chase

Allaho – (in running low of 2.30) – 2nd at Punchestown again behind Minella Indo, 2nd on Chasing debut behind Easy Game at Leopardstown.

20/1 for RSA Chase & 25/1 for National Hunt Chase

Dickie Diver – (in running low of 10.50) – not raced since.

25/1 for RSA Chase & 33/1 for National Hunt Chase

Lisnagar Oscar – (in running low of 4.0) – 3rd at Aintree before narrow 2nd at Chepstow. Disappointed this season over fences and then reverted to hurdles.

40/1 for National Hunt Chase

Allaho was only 5 when he ran here and looked to be travelling really strongly coming into the final straight before the front pair quickened away and then Allaho ran on again up the hill. Similarly at Punchestown he travelled best of all before being beaten by Minella Indo. He returned over fences over 2 1/2 mile where he was again picked off late by stablemate Easy Game. I thought he looked huge and that he looks like he could run forever at the same pace. The National Hunt Challenge Chase looks ideal at 25/1.

Gold Cup

Al Boum Photo – 2nd to Kemboy at Punchestown before winning on return this season in easy fashion.

5/1 for Gold Cup

Anibale Fly – (in running low of 4.10) – 5th in Grand National off 164, disappointed since. Back down to 158. National Bound.

33/1 for Grand National

Bristol De Mai – (in running low of 2.94) – 4th at Aintree and 2nd at Haydock since.

50/1 for Gold Cup

Native River – (in running low of 5.0) – won at Aintree since in December.

20/1 for Gold Cup

Clan Des Obeaux – (in running low of 3.65) – since finished 2nd to Kemboy and Road To Respect before winning another King George (more impressive this year)

8/1 for Gold Cup

Anibale Fly at 33/1 for the Grand National looks the only angle here. I’m happy to take on last years Gold Cup with the 2 Novices from earlier in the blog.

Grand Annual (Last Year 134 – 153)

Croco Bay – disappointed since at Punchestown and Cheltenham. Back down to 2lb higher than when winning.

50/1 for Grand Annual

Bun Doran – (in running low of 1.56) – 5th at Punchestown, 2nd at Newbury before winning Desert Orchid at Kempton. Now 12lb higher than last year.

No prices yet

Brelan D’As – (in running low of 2.50) – disappointed at Aintree, unseated early this season before good 2nd over 2m. Dropped away over 2 1/2 last time. 7lb higher this year.

33/1 for Grand Annual

Forest Bihan – (in running low of 3.10) – disappointed since at Ayr and Kelso before winning at Aintree in Monets Garden Old Roan Chase. Same mark as last year.

No prices yet.

Not Another Muddle – (in running low of 4.20) – 1 run in April since, finished 2nd. Not seen since then. 2lb higher than last year.

No prices yet.

Both Bun Doran and Brelan D’As have won and gone close in good races this season and so I’m looking at the 4th and 5th here. 4th Forest Bihan has won a Monets Garden at Aintree and yet would still run currently off the same handicap mark. He lugged around Top weight that day and I think Brian may be tempted to put a conditional jockey on board here to take some of that off. We don’t know if they want to try him over further and I think a safer bet would be Not Another Muddle who I think will drop back in trip for this. I’ve requested a price.

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Hurdle (Last Year 126 – 145)

Martin Pipe Conditionals Hurdle

Early Doors – 2nd on both starts over fences since. Looks a stayer.

50/1 for RSA Chase & 33/1 for National Hunt Chase

Dallas Des Pictons (in running low of 1.50) – disappointed over 3m. Won a 2m2f chase on return before moderate run in Grade 3.

33/1 for Close Brothers, 33/1 for Marsh Novices Chase & 40/1 for RSA Chase.

Defi Bleu – (in running low of 6.60) – pulled up in Grade 1 since.

50/1 for RSA Chase

Champagne Court – (in running low of 18.0) – 3rd and 2nd at Sandown and Chepstow before winning at Sandown and Plumpton over fences.

50/1 for the Marsh Novices

Coolanly – (in running low of 5.0) – disappointed over hurdles since but shown more over fences with a 2nd and 3rd. Chase mark 5lb lower than fences.

No prices.

Martin Pipe Conditionals Hurdle

Early Doors – 2nd on both starts over fences since. Looks a stayer.

50/1 for RSA Chase & 33/1 for National Hunt Chase

Dallas Des Pictons 1.50 – disappointed over 3m. Won a 2m2f chase on return before moderate run in Grade 3.

33/1 for Close Brothers, 33/1 for Marsh Novices Chase & 40/1 for RSA Chase.

Defi Bleu – 6.60 – pulled up in Grade 1 since.

50/1 for RSA Chase

Champagne Court – 18.0 – 3rd and 2nd at Sandown and Chepstow before winning at Sandown and Plumpton over fences.

50/1 for the Marsh Novices

Coolanly – 5.0 – disappointed over hurdles since but shown more over fences with a 2nd and 3rd. Chase mark 5lb lower than fences.

No prices.

Early Doors won this race last year when sent off 5/1 for the race when running down Dallas Des Pictons who was the 7/2 favourite. I think both of these could play big parts in races this year. Dallas Des Pictons I think got outstayed rather than didn’t find much at Cheltenham and the 2 1/2 mile Close Brothers looks ideal. He was tried over 3m on his next start but didn’t run very well whilst has been dropped back in trip to 2m2f (won) and 2 1/2 mile in Grade 3 where he was well beaten. I think he’ll now be aimed at the handicap rather than the RSA Chase or Marsh Novices. Early Doors looked strong in the finish at Cheltenham and has returned over 2m6f and 3m1f over fences. He’s finished 2nd in both and both times looked like he be better over further and the National Hunt Challenge Chase looks ideal at 33/1.

Summary of possible bets.

Arkle

Thomas Darby @ 33/1 – looks to be going back over hurdles. Thanks to @Frankroberts123 for this.

Brewin’Upastorm @ 16/1

Grand Annual

Clondaw Castle @ 50/1

Not Another Muddle @ No price yet

Ultima Handicap Chase

Vintage Clouds @ 50/1

Lake View Lad @ 33/1

Discorama @ 33/1

Mares Hurdle

Roksana @ 10/1

Close Brothers Handicap Chase

Tower Bridge @ 25/1

Dallas Des Pictons @ 33/1

Gold Cup

Santini @ 10/1

Lostintranslation @ 9/1

County Hurdle 

Ciel De Neige @ 33/1

Whiskey Sour @ 25/1

Champion Chase

Defi Du Seuil @ 4/1

Ryanair Chase

Mengli Khan @ 50/1

Road To Respect @ 16/1

Stable Plate

Spiritofthegames @ 33/1

Mares Novice Hurdle

Concertista @ 33/1

Kim Muir

Kilfilum Cross @ 33/1

No Comment @ 25/1

Coral Cup

Gardens Of Babylon @ 33/1

National Hunt Challenge Chase

Allaho @ 25/1

Early Doors @ 33/1