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How did we do one day 1…
Charlie – Appreciate It (Won) Epatante (3rd)
Chris – Happygolucky (2nd) Honeysuckle (Won)
Jamie – Roksana (3rd) Remastered (Unplaced)
Rich – For Pleasure (3rd) Vintage Clouds (Won)
Right then folks…. Where do we start?? What performances from Appreciate It, Shishkin & Honeysuckle and how impressive was Vintage Clouds, at 11yo & Galvin today….
We are changing it up everyday & Rich takes the lead on Day Two…..
2.30 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle – 4yo Plus – Grade 3 – 2m 5f…..
Thomas Darby – Beneficial X Silaoce 8yo gelding.
Missed the festival last year having finished runner up to Klassical Dream in the 2019 Supreme Hurdle. He ran twice over fences before reverting back to hurdles. He has won once in his last 4 runs & that was at Ascot in January 2020 in a Grade 3 Handicap Hurdle. His last 3 starts have all finished with 3rd place finishes including in the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle, finishing 2 & 1/2 lengths behind winner, McFabulous.
Top Rated 155 & Top Weight 11s 12lb… Also wears first time Cheek Pieces..
Has an Each Way chance, with some bookies paying 7 places!
4.15 Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase – 5yo Plus – Grade 3 – 1m 8f…
Not That Fuisse – Fuisse X Edelmira 8yo gelding.
Has not run over fences since finishing 4th of 10 in the Haldon Gold Cup 2m 1f at Exeter in November. Had a wind operation & returned on January 18th at Lingfield on the All Weather in a 2m ‘ Jumpers Bumper’ Class 4 & finished in the places before winning a similar event at Newcastle over 2m 56yds from Onthefrontfoot by 3 & 1/4 lengths. Has run over this distance 10 times with 3 wins & 3 places from those 10 starts.
Each Way with some bookies paying 6 places.
1:20 – Ballymore Novices Hurdle (G1) – Selection: Bob Olinger (NAP)
Another small field of runners go to post for the opener on day 2. A small field won’t pose any problems for my selection Bob Olinger here. He was impressive in the way he dispatched Blue Lord in the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle back in January. Blue Lord would have been runner up in the Supreme had he not fallen at the last. Bob Olinger is held in high regard by the team at the Henry De Bromhead stable and is in with a great shout here. There is a couple of questions mark to answer with this being his first trip over to England and the quicker ground conditions but neither worry me too much. The big dangers are Gaillard Du Mesnil & Bravemansgame who are both recent top level winners. Bob Olinger will need to have improved from Naas to win this Ballymore but the vibes from the stable are very positive and he is my nap of the entire Festival.
4:50 – Champion Bumper (G1) – Selection: Kilcruit
Willie Mullins goes in search of an incredible 11th win in this race and he holds strong claims with Kilcruit leading his team. This race looks like it could well be a dust up between the two Closutton trained beasts Kilcruit & Sir Gerhard, formerly trained by Gordon Elliott. The betting suggests so and I am siding with Kilcruit. He was the easiest winner of a graded bumper you’ll ever see at Leopardstown last time out. Patrick Mullins didn’t have to even move his hands. Yes, to a degree the race fell apart and into his lap but the manner of the victory was searingly impressive and I am a little surprised he isn’t a shorter price but that is good for myself and fellow punters. He has the form in the book and will have to be in top form if he is to beat Sir Gerhard. I think the quicker ground conditions will suit him well. He looks a stayer with pace which is what you need to win this race. Big chance.
1.20pm Ballymore Novices Hurdle
Gaillard Du Mesnil was a game winner at the Dublin Racing Festival last month, keeping on strongly over 2m 6f. He drops back slightly on trip here, but he has already proved he isn’t short of pace when travelling powerfully over 2m 4f at Christmas. The Ballymore has usually been a race to focus on those at the head of the betting, while previous Graded hurdle winners have won 8 of the past 10 renewals. I’m hoping Gaillard Du Mesnil can be full of running up the famous hill , when others have cried enough.
2.30 Coral Cup Handicap
Nicky Henderson runners in this wide-open handicap are usually worth respecting, and he arrives here with some very live chances. Monte Cristo arrives at Prestbury Park having destroyed a fairly competitive boxing day handicap at Kempton over this trip. Raised 12lb for that it’s no surprise he hasn’t been seen since. Runners who have had a break of 35+ days and had less than 10 hurdle starts come out very strong on trends here, with Monte Cristo also right in the middle of the correct rating range. Currently a fair double-figure price, he makes plenty of appeal. At huge odd’s its worth a little look at Janika for the same connections, who is well-in on his chase rating and isn’t fully exposed over hurdles.
4.15 Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
Selection – Zanza – Out of Arcadio and What a Bleu, has some decent handicap form when he was hurdling, made step up to chases on the 11th October 2020 when finishing 4th behind Eldorado Allen over 2m 75y at Newton Abbot. Was sent to Warwick on the 6th November and was beaten 13 lengths by Allmankind with Stolen Silver a further 8 and 1/2 lengths behind in 3rd. Was then sent to Newbury on the 28th November to race over 2m 92y and Zanza won beating The King Of May by 5 and 1/2 lengths with Marracudja a further 2 and 1/4 lengths behind in 3rd. Was sent to Cheltenham for latest run on the 12th December last year and fell 3 out after travelling well.
Verdict – If Zanza gets a clear round of jumping he can get a bit of compensation here in a very open looking race, biggest threat comes in the shape of Ibleo who has a decent strike rate over fences although is considerably higher in the weights.
4:50 – Champion Bumper (Group 1)
Selection – Elle Est Belle – Out of Fame And Glory and Katalina, this 5yr old Mare has only had two races and won both. The first of those wins came at Aintree on the 25th October last year when beating Windswept Girl by 5 and 1/2 lengths over 2m 209y. Was then sent here for latest run on the 14th November and dead heated with Ishkhara Lady with Jersey Lady a further 4 and 3/4 lengths behind in 3rd.
Verdict – Elle Est Belle, although has the little experience in this field, that doesn’t mean that she’s just making up numbers, she has course form and low mileage on the clock and at a nice Eachway price.
That is everything for you today folks….. Thanks for your support…. STAY SAFE.
All the Best – The Arseonlineracing Team