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So after months of breaking news stories and guessing who runs where, the Cheltenham Festival has finally arrived. The ground this year is definitely going to cause it’s upsets, with soft to heavy ground being reported and with more rain forecast, our only advice at this stage is to have a list of horse’s who act on almost any ground and keep a close eye on the weather as some won’t run if going becomes too testing.

Our selections for Cheltenham won’t be counted towards profit/loss figures but will be doing daily results so the winner can have bragging rights. So on that note please find our Cheltenham selections listed below.

Charlie’s Selections

1.30 – Supreme Novice Hurdle – Grade 1 Class 1 – 2m 87y

Kalashnikov -Iv been keeping an eye on Kalashnikov since he won at Wetherby back in November, he has grown in stature since then winning twice and placing 2nd in the Tolworth at Sandown, and that looks the best form in this race and another bold display looks likely.

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2.50 Ultima Handicap Chase – Grade 3 – 3m 1f

Gold Present -Was 2nd here back in March last year in the Close Brothers Novice Handicap Chase beat 1 and 1/4 length by Tully East. Was then sent to Aintree to contest The Topham Handicap in April and fell at the canal turn. Was rested until December when sent to Newbury to take part in the Sir Peter Sullivan Memorial Handicap Chase over 2m 6f 93y and beat the Paul Nichols trained Warriors Tale by a neck. Was then sent to Ascot to take part in the Silver Cup beating Frodon by 3 length. That form looks really good in the context of this race and if getting a clear round should be in the thick of it at the business end of this race.

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5.30 – Close Brothers Novices’ Chase – Class 1 Listed – 2m 4f 78y

Rather Be – Won at Towcester in December beating War Sound by 19 length over 2m 20y. Was then sent to Plumpton and unseated Jeremiah McGrath after blundering at the 3rd found to have burst a blood vessel after the race. Was then sent to Fakenham and won over 2m 59y beating Positively Dylan by 17 length. Has been a bit up and down form wise but when on song has to be respected and another bold display can’t be ruled out here.

Well that’s my thoughts on Day 1 of Cheltenham, hopefully we get a winner or two to kick things off.

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Rich’s Selections

1.30 – Supreme Novice Hurdle – Grade 1 Class 1 – 2m 87y

Kalashnikov – The Newbury Grade 3 winner last month now steps back up in to Grade 1 Company, having finished a 4 length runner up to Summerville Boy but will have learned from that run as it was only his 3rd career run over Hurdles. Getabird is a Grade 2 winner from Ireland who is unbeaten, but for me Kalashnikov got the better of the field of 24 when winning at Newbury by 4 & 1/2 lengths and some 12 lengths clear of 3rd.

2.50 – Ultima Handicap Chase – Grade 3 Class 1 – 3m 1f

Vintage Clouds – Runner up last time out in a Wetherby Grade 2 over 3m, beaten 2 & 3/4 lengths and some 7 lengths clear of 3rd. The Heavy ground will be no issue for this Clouding and with Captain Chaos, who was 4th at Wetherby winning next time out. Vintage also has a stone in hand from Gold Present and represents a decent Each way chance.

4.50 – Amateur Riders’ Novice Chase – Grade 2 Class 1 – 3m 7f 190y

Jury Duty – A Runner up on the last two runs back in Ireland, running in Grade 3 & Grade 1 Company respectively but is a Grade 2 winner, 3 runs back when beating Shattered Love over 2m 6f. Both runner up places were over 3m. Now steps up in trip, with top Amateur Jamie Codd on board, who has won two of the 8 Cheltenham races competed in and is also aided with first time tongue tie.

5.30 – Close Brothers Novices’ Chase – Class 1 Listed – 2m 4f 78y

Testify – Heavy ground no issue for Testify, having won the last two runs at Haydock, on what can only be described as bottomless when landing a Grade 2 Chase over 2m 4f by 7 lengths, albeit a 3 horse race on January 20th, but has the burden of top weight….

I am also very fond of Apples Jade.….

That’s everything folks, thanks for popping by and fingers crossed for a cracking day, with everyone coming home safely….

All the Best – Charlie & Rich 

 

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