Shabash! Thanks to a recent rich vein of form, the Major is having the best month of the year so far.
Cheltenham has a card tomorrow that includes a graded race, there must be a couple of money making opportunities….
Good ground is a consideration, the track is likely to ride fast.
3.55 Cheltenham Grade 2 Silver Trophy sponsored by Matersons
Poquelin is an odds on favourite for the big race of the day and it is clear to see why. Based on his festival run, he has the form in the book and going for the champion trainer with Ruby over to ride, Pokey will be all the rage. Cleanish jumper, fairly reliable, course and distance winner in December in a better race. His handicap mark of 170 means he is the only horse to race off his proper mark.
What is not to like. All of this is accounted for in a 4/6 on price.
The Major seeks a bit of value elsewhere though.
Regular followers know that the Major has a soft spot for horses with good form in the books where I can make a case for some sort of recovery.
The way this race shapes I simply do not think Holmwood Legend or De Boitron who both showed decent Cheltenham festival form are classy enough to trouble Pokey.
One that fits a profile I like is Copper Bleu. Let us not forget that this is a Jewson winner. In receipt of a stone and a half on ground he will like and with the admirable Richard Johnson on board…. 10/1 is a fair price. Take a slice and put it in the reverse forecast with Pokey if you feel brave. You know what to do.
Lets leave Cheltenham and have a look at the big race at HQ.
4.10 Newmarket – The Nell Gwyn Stakes
HQ kicks off the Craven meeting with a lovely card including the group rated Nell Gwyn Stakes.
I am a fan of selecting flat horses at this stage of the season who have had a prep run. Fitness both physical and mental is more assured. That said to win a Nell Gwyn you need a touch of class. Those that have the suitable class are Sing Softly, Maqaasid and Sweet Cecily.
The favourite is Sing Softly, an O’Brien trained horse who boasts the best form having won a listed race in April at the Curragh on heavy ground. Here lies the problem. Sing Softly has never run on ground with the word good in it, let alone firm. The stallion record does not fill you with confidence either.
I am not saying the 11/4 shot cannot win but I prefer to look elsewhere.
A few trainers have been sending out early winners but surely the early season form of the Bailey yard needs noting. They have had 5 winners from 9 runners in the last two weeks. He sends out Strictly Pink with Cathy Gannon on board who seems to be a go to jockey (35% strike rate in last two years). Interesting thrown in at this far superior level but surely going to be outgunned.
The one the Major settles on is Ladies are Forever. 8/1 is a good price for a horse with sharp sprinting form in the book from a decent 2yo cv. It will not mind the ground.
Sweet Cecily could be an improver at 3. Elshabakiya looks short of the required form.
5.05 Cheltenham Novice Chase
The third midweek horseracing tip sees the Major return to Prestbury Park. There is a half decent novice chase in the penultimate event.
It really looks like it is between Adams Island and Balthazars Gift.
Of the two, the Major is going to side with Adams Island. I cannot help but feel that the Captain Chris form is stronger than anything Balthazars Gift offers. Tipping up Adams Island is also partly due to the return to the saddle of A P McCoy. He is 29% for this trainer, it looks like a serious run is planned.
Magical Legend is not without chance.
May your bets be blessed by the good lord of gambling.