Updated: Jan 29, 2022
This weekend we have another returning favourite of ours, TAK Racing Advice and this weekends they have all eye on Cheltenham.
Lets see their thoughts for CHELTENHAM TRIALS DAY, Saturday 29th January
12.15… a pretty open Class 2 handicap hurdle to kick off the day and immediately my eye is drawn to the 3/1 fav LIVELY CITIZEN who I put up last time when winning nicely here. Handicapper has put him up 5lb for that win to a mark of 117 but he loves it here and the better ground will aid his cause. Archie Bellamy takes off 7lb again for his claim and he gave him such a confident ride last time that I’m not going to desert him here. Form figures of 121 will tell you that he will be trying again here. I’ve noticed a fair bit of of support for Brian Ellisons Cormier into 2nd fav which could be the danger.
12.45… Gordon Elliott sends one over here in the fav Pied Piper who is prominent in the market for the Triumph hurdle. He beat a Mullins hot pot recently at Punchestown but that was on heavy ground, so todays good ground is a bit of an unknown but I’d still be surprised if he got beat. I’m going to have a small each way play on SILVER SHADE for the inform trainer Milton Harris. He won on hurdles debut at Kempton in eye catching fashion and with some improvement in his hurdling I would be hopeful of a good run at around 16/1.
1.20… I’m prepared to give OSCAR ELITE another chance here. He was travelling well and looking the likely winner when falling 3 fences from home over course and distance on good ground which he gets again today. He’s put in a couple of tired performances since that but I’m hoping he’s freshened up and ready to go here. Trainer Colin Tizzard is having a few winners just lately as is jockey Brendan Powell. 5/1 isn’t everyone’s each way price but I think that’s how I’m going to bet him in this.
1.55… a Grade 3 handicap chase and you could make a case for a few of these. I’m going to go for one that hasn’t run for over a year in WHATMORE for the Henry Daly yard. He’s gone close a few times in big handicaps and this good ground is in his favour. The long lay off doesn’t worry me too much as he’s run well after breaks previously.
2.30… could be difficult to take on CHANTRY HOUSE in this and I won’t be betting the race as a single, but will be doubling it with CHAMP in the 3.05 for hopefully a JP McManus double.
3.05… CHAMP appears to have been rejuvenated back over hurdles at which he was very good at before his brief chasing career. His win in the Long Walk hurdle over Thyme Hill was extremely strong form and now makes him favourite for the Stayers hurdle in March. I’d fully expect him to win today and hopefully land the double as stated above.
3.40… this looks a hot novice hurdle race with Hillcrest topping the market after a couple of impressive wins including the Listed race here lto and will be very hard to beat here. But, I have a sneaky feeling Alan King has a good one in NORTH LODGE who had a couple of decent horses in behind him at Aintree on hurdles debut and certainly wasn’t stopping at the line. This step up in trip I’m sure is the plan and if the good ground is ok then I really wouldn’t be surprised if he’s involved with the favourite at the finish.
4.15… a mares bumper flat race to finish the 8 race card and Willie Mullins sends one over here in Nos Na Gaoithe. Nothing special with form so far and I’m taking her on with one that does have some solid form in the book in FLIRTATIOUS GIRL. She finished 2nd behind Rainyday Woman in a bumper just over a year ago, but then well and truly reversing that form in March 2021 when winning a mares bumper at Sandown with the 5 horses in behind all going on to win races of some kind after that. A 9 month break to overcome today but that shouldn’t be an issue and if you can get 5/1 then I’d be betting each way here (as I’m a careful gambler!!), but I do think she has a solid chance of winning.
12.15… LIVELY CITIZEN 7/2 win bet365/Coral
12.45… PIED PIPER 5/4 win Betfair/PP
SILVER SHADE 20/1 ew bet365
1.20… OSCAR ELITE 5/1 ew Hills/BV
1.55… WHATMORE 8/1 ew 4 places Betfair
2.30… CHANTRY HOUSE 10/11 double w CHAMP
3.05… CHAMP 1/2 double with CHANTRY HOUSE
3.40… NORTH LODGE 5/1 win Bet365/Betfair
4.15… FLIRTATIOUS GIRL 5/1 ew Bet365
Good luck if you follow my selections or use them to help pick your own. These meetings are never easy so I always find it important to try and have an angle/reason you are backing a horse.
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