Good evening from the Major who writes to you on Cheltenham Eve, the most exciting night of the year, all good boys and girls should get to sleep, right after you have sorted out that lucky 15!
I have already posted my antepost tips for Cheltenham a week ago but I am planning to write short pieces advising of any notes and fancies in the next days runners.Enjoy, have fun and remember Tom Segals words last week in Sundays paper – It is not as important as we feel, have fun but keep perspective.
Tuesday Cheltenham Tips
Here we go, here are the Majors tips for the opening day of Cheltenham.
The Supreme Novices 1.30
The Supreme novices can be a very tricky race in which to find the winner, there are plenty of red-hot candidates.
Good ground means we can rule a few out but not many and Agent Archie, Darlan, Galileos Choice and Montbazon are all high on the Majors list.
Other options include Tetlami who has done nothing wrong and Prospect Wells who may improve for his wind op and goes for Paul Nicholls who has run two winners in the last 8 years.
The two I like best though are Steps to Freedom and Trifolium and it is with the former that I will stake my first claim on the enemies satchel. He is fine on the ground and has plenty of top class bumper form. It might worry many that he has been put away for this for so long but Harrington knows exactly what she is doing and she is a trainer I admire. 7/1 generally but I don’t mind waiting as I think it might drift.
The Major had a lovely 12/1 winner on this horse at last years National meeting and since I gave it to a betting syndicate of the finest Birmingham chaps, I was a popular man that day.
2.05 Cheltenham – The Arkle
Already Advised: Menorah 11/1
In my antepost piece, I was keen on Menorah as I think he is under rated and over priced. Too much is made of previous jumping errors which his trainer is well capable of sorting out. I am happy enough with the antepost ticket but have to say that Sprinter Sacre may make this field look like handicappers.
Not often that my head is turned by a jockey’s comment but Barry Geraghty at the weekend said that Sprinter Sacre is the best horse he has ever sat on! Consider he rode the mighty Moscow Flyer and well…..
3pts win Sprinter Sacre 10/11. Don’t forget Paddy Power are offering a refund if Sacre wins, refund on your bet.
Al Ferof wants a punch up according to Ruby, I think Sprinter Sacre will be too classy to mix it like that. Cue Card leading from the front sounds like a disaster to me, simply setting up some nice pace for the others to aim at.
2.40 JLT Handicap
Back in 1998, Unguided Missile took this race off eleven stone ten. It was one of three horses to win off more than eleven stone in the last fifteen years and the other two were off eleven stone two. Another interesting trend is that of six year olds which have not won in that time frame, which sort of puts a line through Our Mick and Mossley who has been a bit suspect over fences.
That is the Majors starting point – I want, ideally, sub eleven stone and I want a good ground horse.
Of interest are Hold on Julio who is a very good Alan King horse, on the upgrade and for a trainer that has won this handicap twice in the last ten years.
Baile Anrai is the other horse of interest, the Ian Williams chaser will appreciate the ground and 14/1 is fair.
I am going to take a slice of both at 13/2 and 14/1, I do not mind being double handed in this race.
Champion Hurdle Tips
Already Advised: Rock on Ruby 14/1
My antepost selection has come in to 10/1 and I am happy enough with my early selection. Zarkander may prove a better horse, particularly at two miles but I think this race may pan out for Rock on Ruby who will be staying on to best effect at the hill.
The only horse I have eyes for outside of the selection is Hurricane Fly who looks the likeliest winner.
The Cross Country
The Major is not a fan, take pin, close eyes, jab paper, walk to bookie, make deposit, immediately eat ticket.
The Mares Hurdle
Quevega will surely win this; 1/2 is prohibitive so no bet.
5.15 Novice Handicap Chase
The Major has often advertised the antics of Hunt Ball’s owner, Anthony Knott. He jumped on board Hunt Ball when entering the winners enclosure and when riding his first winner for 27 years of amateur riding, celebrating before the line with an unorthodox riding style to boot, genius. If he wins, there is one place I want to be, the winners enclosure because I am sure he is unable to hold himself back at Cheltenham and with the cameras on him!
Triolo D’alene is a classy looking import that is sure to go well, 7/1 is very fair.
Going Wrong is an oddly strong fancy at 11/1 though. Ferdy Murphy has won two runnings of this race and the selection has been very strong at Sedgefield. Russell is an interesting jockey booking, a rider rarely used by the shrewd trainer, all in, I think this is a very good bet.
We are through the eye of the needle brace warriors.