Good evening from the Major who writes with a head cold brewing, the system is slowing down, the heartbeat is louder and forced, things are aching.
The good living seems to be catching up on me yet the real heavy nights are still ahead of me, this weekend. A combination of rigorous drinking, single-mindedness and hardcore N-(4-hydroxyphenyl) ethanamide will see me through.
Tomorrow there is racing at Cheltenham. I was thinking of an early night but was persuaded to write-up some Cheltenham tips by a foxy piece earlier.
There I was earlier, a gentlemen mingling among acquaintances, glass of champagne in hand… when over she strolls, wanton look in her eye, not the most glamorous sort but a certain curl of the lip lets you know where her mind is running… ‘you have something I want….‘ Well well thinks I…. ‘I am racing at Cheltenham tomorrow, give us your tips’
In hindsight perhaps anything else was unlikely.
So to Cheltenham and lets daub the war paint and do battle once more….. Ms N, good luck.
In the opener Rebel Rebellion for the champion trainer could be interesting stepped down in class from a daunting assignment trying to tackle the hugely exciting Captain Conan. I think he might be bumping into more useful sorts here though and would need to show a lot of improvement for the step up in trip.
Henderson, Longsden and McCain have their strings in fine order and I think it is wise to concentrate on their runners. Hilldisvini is small but progressing nicely, might just have run into a decent field here though. Super Duty looks decent, particularly the line through Simonsig.
Yet, boring as it seems, the Major is tipping Broadbackbob for the opener at 5/4. The yard, ground and trip look fine and this horse was very reasonable over the smaller obstacles.
The second race is a conditional jockeys affair and in these contests, the quality of the jockey plays a bigger role than normal. Mr Nolan has a 17% strike rate, Mr Derham, Lineham and Bellamy between 12-13% and Lucy Alexander is a top notch rider too (11%).
I do not want to look any further than Simply Wings (Nolans ride) at 7/1 – A bloodless winner of a beginners chase last time, my tip should go well for 7/1.
The 1.20 handicap is an open affair (9/2 the field) – Tom Du Lys is an easy selection at 8/1 – It looks like the horse is being backed so may go off shorter. The reasoning is the same that everyone else will see – Henderson, Geraghty, French Import, Handicap debut slightly disappointing, put away until this season!
The Grade 3 handicap at 1.55 is the graded race of the day. Bradley has run well at Cheltenham before and given that he handles the track, he will be a warm order. Quartz de Thaix is a horse seemingly on the upgrade and while upped in class, might be a better horse yet.
Midnight Chase has excellent course form and is surely booked to be in the places and can take the race.
Not a race I want to be heavily involved in but I am opting for Becauseicouldntsee – If the Thurles run was a warm up then the horse will be well for this and the yard are hardly one to tilt at anything.
The cross country will hopefully get the go ahead and if so I don’t think it is worth looking beyond 3/1 Uncle Junior and 5/1 Bostons Angel. I would back the former, despite the top weight, who has experience of this game.
The penultimate race a class 2 handicap is a quality race and again is a fairly open affair – I could make cases for quite a few.
The most appealing of a long list are Inish Island who seems unlikely on profile but won a hurdle race last time at Downpatrick nicely. In excellent hands to try to cope with the step up in distance and the assistance of the Walsh ride.
At Fishers Cross won readily last time and while seemingly moving left across the track for pressure, still had plenty in hand. The jumping was a bit of a concern and let’s face it, Cheltenham is going to examine that closely.
Saint Roque is interesting, bought down when getting competitive latest, but it is a worry that Ruby has gone for Inish Island. The course experience could be important but Nicholls string seem to be going a little of the boil after an awesome run 3/4 weeks ago.
Sivola de Sivola has a big race in him but often needs a lot of encouragement and if something arrives on the hill travelling more smartly, I am not sure I would want to be on the Tom George inmate in a crisis.
Tight call between some interesting sorts. On each you make a compromise The compromise I am happiest with is that At Fishers Cross, can step up and make quality count. I am hoping the slower pace of this race will enable a cleaner round of jumping. 9/2.
Eduard is the bumper tip at 9/2 after ifandbutwhynot franked the Newcastle race they competed in.