The 2022 Cheltenham Festival is finally here! Each day I’ll try my best to put up a short paragraph on 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 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) – 2m5f
I can keep this one nice and short- Sir Gerhard just wins this! The Ballymore was the race I was hoping connections would go for, and with the amount of talent that he has, he deserves to be a short-priced favourite to oblige.
Sir Gerhard (No Bet)
14:10 – Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) – 3m½f
With Galopin Des Champs running in the Turners, the Brown Advisory has been left wide open, and as such the Ante-Post position on L’Homme Presse is looking very tasty. Clearly it doesn’t help for those who have missed the price, but I am happy to take on Bravemansgame due to the concerns of what he can find off the bridle – especially with such a stiff up-hill finish. L’Homme Presse would still be my selection to take him on with albeit as a win only bet at the current price of 7/2, as I really do think that he’s a top notch Novice Chaser. This Venetia Williams charge has jumped fantastically this season, winning at Exeter and Ascot before then storming clear of his rivals to land the 2m4½f Grade 2 Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. He’s since again hacked up when landing the 2m4f Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novice Chase, and although he’s so far only raced over Intermediate trips, the way he hits the line suggests that he will very much appreciate the increase in distance here.
Of the remainder, Capodanno is respected for Willie Mullins but is a bit of an unknown quantity due to his early fall at the Dublin Racing Festival. Ahoy Senor is respected but looks vulnerable to my eye as he has plenty to find with Bravemansgame, whilst Threeunderthrufive isn’t good enough to win a Grade 1 like this in my opinion. The other Horse at the prices I’m going to play due to most bookmakers going 4 Places however is Fury Road, who won a 3m Grade 1 Novice Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas for the Gordon Elliott team. He’s certainly a Horse who needs to wake up on the right side of bed to perform, but that performance when thrashing Run Wild Fred and Vanillier is a very nice piece of form – so 16/1 looks a big price for him.
L’Homme Presse 1pt EW @ 10/1 (Ante-Post)
Fury Road 0.5pts EW (4 Places) @ 16/1
14:50 – Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) – 2m5f
I’m all over The Shunter here, and despite the fact that his price has almost halved since putting him up for this Ante-Post, I’d still recommend having a play at the 9/1 available.
The Shunter is a Horse with Cheltenham Festival form, as he went and won the Plate 12 months ago off a mark of 140. Having placed in the Grade 1 Manifesto and Grade A Galway Plate since however he is now rated 155 over fences in Britain, but over Hurdles he gets away with a 7lbs lower rating of just 148. Emmet Mullins was recently quoted as saying that The Shunter is a better Hurdler than Chaser, and those claims can be evidenced considering he’s won the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham off 128, the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso off 135, and he even placed in a 2m4f Grade B Handicap Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival off 143. The Shunter has a big chance in the Coral Cup, and they may also opt to claim off him which would increase my confidence even further.
The Shunter 1pt EW @ 16/1 (Ante-Post)
15:30 – Champion Chase (Grade 1) – 2m
Due to the price desparity between Shishkin and Energumene I’m going to have a small bet on the WIllie Mullins charge here, but it’s going to be a fascinating race which personally I’m more looking forward to watching than having a bet on. With Chacun Pour Soi thrown in for good measure, let’s hope the Champion Chase in an absolute belter!
Engergumene 1pt Win @ 7/2
16:10 – Cross Country Chase (Class 2) – 3m6f
It’s madness that Gigginstown have put a Horse as good as Delta Work up against Tiger Roll for his swan-song race, but at the prices he has to be the bet. Delta Work is currently rated 160 so he’s obviously a talented animal, and as a three-times Grade 1 winner over fences he’s probably the best Horse to be switched to the Cross Country since Tiger Roll himself. Reported to be schooling over the unique obstacles extremely well, if you’re looking for a bet then you just have to back Delta Work here with Tiger Roll being so short.
Delta Work 1pt Win @ 6/1
16:50 – Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3) – 2m
I’ve been all over Buddy Rich in this race for ages, and whilst he’s enjoyed a nice Winter break his form has just been getting better and better. Although much shorter than his Ante-Post price now, the 7/1 6 Places available is still worth playing in my opinion.
The other Horse who I have warmed to for this is Before Midnight, as he devastated a 2m Cheltenham Handicap Chase back in October off a mark of 136, before then winning again off 144 at Ascot. He’s up to a mark of 148 now, but on his latest start he ran off that rating and was only a length behind Funambule Sivola (159), so he still looks very feasibly handicapped.
Buddy Rich 1pt EW @ 12/1 (Ante-Post)
Before Midnight 0.5pts EW (6 Places) @ 16/1
17:30 – Champion Bumper (Grade 1) – 2m½f
At the prices I have to take on Facile Vega, and American Mike is the one for me. You can find my full reasoning here.
American Mike 2pts Win @ 5/2
Viva Devito 0.5pts EW (4 Places) @ 33/1