The 2022 Cheltenham Festival is finally here! Each day I’ll try my best to put up a short paragraph for each selection here on my website, as it will just make it easier than trying to put together multiple graphics every day. I will aim to be short but sweet!
As I have been playing the Ante-Post markets for a while you will notice that I have a few selections tagged (Ante-Post). For these selections, if you are part of the Telegram page and have already backed the selection Ante-Post then I am not recommending going in again unless stated otherwise. If you didn’t back the selection Ante-Post, then I will also leave a note as to whether I am still recommending the selection or not. Hopefully this clears everything up.
13:30 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) – 2m½f
This is a brilliant renewal of the Supreme and as such that does decrease my betting interest in it – as you must have major respect for the first five in the betting. I’ve gone on record plenty of times in saying that I find it easiest to take on Jonbon, and I’m not swaying from that opinion now. Kilcruit is another I’m happy enough to dismiss based upon the fact that whilst he’s clearly a Horse with plenty of talent, he’s not got anywhere near the same level of form over Hurdles as the others due to flopping earlier in the season. Constitution Hill is the Horse I founded hardest to oppose and is feared most, but looking through his form I have come down on the fact that whilst he could be the best of these, I’d rather be with Willie Mullins’ Dysart Dynamo.
Dysart Dynamo has looked absolutely mustard this season, winning at a hack canter on debut at Cork in December by 19 lengths from a field which included subsequent Grade 2 winner Flame Bearer, before then again bolting up in the Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown in January – a race which has been used by Vautor and Douvan en-route to Supreme success in recent times. Clearly in those two performances we’re not going to know what he achieved relative to Constitution Hill’s similar profile, but the British Handicapper has had a stab at it, and he has rated Dysart Dynamo 4lbs superior on a mark of 152. I’m hoping Dysart Dyanmo can go from the front here and burn them all off to get team Mullins off to a flyer.
Mighty Potter is a Horse who appealed at the early prices, but I don’t think the race is worth attacking from an each/way perspective in combination with the win bet on Dysart Dynamo – especially as he’s now into 6/1. The Gordon Elliott charge is very much respected however, and if you do fancy him then I wouldn’t put you off. He’s one I’d put forward for the ‘£10 money back as cash if you lose’ offer with SkyBet (not an affiliate, just use the promotion if you can!).
Dysart Dynamo 1pt Win @ 5/2
14:10 – Arkle Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) – 2m
One of my strongest bets of the day will be Blue Lord, who has a great chance in the Arkle.
I’m of the opinion that many are sleeping on Blue Lord here, as he comes into the race as a Grade 1 winner, trained by Willie Mullins, and unbeaten over fences. This 7yo would’ve finished 2nd behind Appreciate It in last year’s Supreme but for a last flight fall, but this season he has improved again over the larger obstacles. Making his debut at Fairyhouse in December, Blue Lord easily beat stablemate El Barra (143) by 5.5 lengths, jumping his fences with real enthusiasm. Lining up in a 2m Novice Chase at Naas in January, Blue Lord then absolutely spanked a pair of decent Horses by 20 lengths, which again saw his quick and slick jumping come to the fore despite fences being taken out of the home straight.
Blue Lord stepped up drastically in class for the Grade 1 Irish Arkle at the Dublin Racing Festival last month following the injury of Ferny Hollow, but I don’t think he’s received the credit he deserves for winning it. Giving 9lbs to the talented Riviere D’etel, Blue Lord clearly took advantage of that Mares mistake at the last, but he went on to lead by about 2.5 lengths before just tying up in the closing stages and holding on to win by half-a-length. 2lbs better off with that Mare at Cheltenham where he should be able to be waited with for even longer, I’m more than happy to take on Edwardstone with Blue Lord – especially at the prices.
Blue Lord 2pts Win @ 9/2
14:50 – Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) – 3m1f
I’ve had two Ante-Post plays in the Ultima, with Fantastikas joining earlier bet Corach Rambler. Off marks of 144 and 140 respectively I still think they have great chances, so if you’re yet to get involved with either then I’d recommend playing them with 7 Places on offer with various firms.a14040I’ve had two Ante-Post plays in the Ultima, with Fantastikas joining earlier bet Corach Rambler. Off marks of 144 and 140 respectively I still think they have great chances, so if you’re yet to get involved with either then I’d recommend playing them with 7 Places on offer with various firms.
Away from the selections, I wouldn’t put anyone off Floueur who looks to have a great chance under 3lbs claimer Jordan Gainford considering his Frontal Assault form, and Gericault Roque shouldn’t be far away despite having to race 5lbs out of the Handicap.
Fantastikas 1pt EW @ 16/1 (Ante-Post)
Corach Rambler 1pt EW @ 25/1 (Ante-Post)
15:30 – Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) – 2m½f
Honeysuckle just wins – I’m not going to waste your time here or try find another angle into the race.
16:10 – Mares Hurdle (Grade 1) – 2m4f
Queens Brook made a very nice return to the track in the Quevega Mares Hurdle at Punchestown last month, and that preparation should leave her primed to run a big race in the Mares Hurdle. Having stuck her head down and battled to beat Ciel De Neige by 4 lengths back in early November, this Mare was found lame in behind and Gordon Elliott faced a battle to get her back in time for Cheltenham. The Quevega Mares Hurdle had always been the target they were aiming for, and thankfully she was ready in time to run a big race there. Taking a big blow on the turn for home, Queens Brook stayed on strongly up the Punchestown straight to only be beaten 1.5 lengths by Burning Victory at the finish. Gordon has stated that she will come on massively for that run, and being 3lbs better off with that Mullins Mare you’d have to think she will be able to reverse those places. With Cheltenham Festival form behind Ferny Hollow and Appreciate It in the 2020 Champion Bumper under her belt, Queens Brook has a massive chance in the Mares Hurdle.
If you’ve missed the Ante-Post price, then I’d recommend playing her Win only at the current odds of 4/1.
Queens Brook 1pt EW @ 12/1 (Ante-Post)
16:50 – Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) – 2m½f
The Boodles is another race where I have put up two Horses Ante-Post, and I am very happy with The Tide Turns, who should have a very strong chance here considering his brilliant 4th in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle behind Vauban. A mark of 137 looks more than fair, and he’s actually drifted back out to 7/1 with 6 Places – so I’d definitely recommend backing this one now if you are not on Ante-Post.
The other Horse who I recommended at an early stage was Britzka, and whilst you can make excuses for his last run being his 3rd within a month, he’s certainly up against it. Having had a nice break and a wind-operation to boot he wouldn’t be a forlorn hope off a mark of 130, but he’s drifted back out to his Ante-Post price now, so I wouldn’t be recommending going in again.
We’ve all been told that Gaelic Warrior is absolutely thrown in and that may well end up being the case, but the Horse who has emerged into my thoughts as a potential bet at this stage is HMS Seahorse, who has form linking with The Tide Turns yet is rated 9lbs lower. He must have a strong chance for the Paul Nolan yard, and you can back him at 12/1 6 Places which seems very fair.
The Tide Turns 1pt EW @ 8/1 (Ante-Post)
HMS Seahorse 0.5pts EW (6 Places) @ 12/1
Britzka 1pt EW @ 20/1 (Ante-Post) – not recommended now.
17:30 – National Hunt Chase (Grade 2) – 3m6f
I was planning on finishing Day 1 with two selections in the National Hunt Chase, but sadly Ontheropes is a Non-Runner. That being said, I think it does make the task even easier for the favourite trained by Gordon Elliott. Unfortunately this won’t be an original selection, but Run Wild Fred looks like he is going to take all the beating here. A Horse who has a cracking profile for the race with 10 Chase starts under his belt, Run Wild Fred is already rated 158 over the larger obstacles. With the fantastic Jamie Codd booked to ride, he must have a brilliant chance for Gordon Elliott.
Run Wild Fred 2pts Win @ 15/8