Another BIG day at Prestbury Park, with the Stayers’ Hurdle & Ryanair Chase top of the bill on another day of top class racing comes our way..
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On a sad note, it’s a nice touch to name a race after Jack de Bromhead, a race which is known as the Dawn Run Mares’ Hurdle & I am sure his Dad, will be desperate to win it!
Yesterday we saw X, Y & Z take the BIG races, so who will win the Graded races today or will there be a couple of shocks?
That’s why we love horse racing!
Rich, Jamie & Neil give you their thoughts on another days competitive racing
3.30 Stayers’ Hurdle – Grade 1 – 4yo+ – 2m 7f 213yds
Home By The Lee – Fame & Glory X Going For Home 8yo gelding
Winner of the 3m Leopardstown Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle on December 28th, when 3 lengths ahead of Ashdale Bob, with Flooring Porter in 4th. That was his 2nd run of the current season, having won on seasonal return at Navan in the 2m 4f Grade 2 Railway Bar Lismullen Hurdle by 2 lengths from Bob Olinger, with Ashdale Bob in 3rd & Flooring Porter back in 4th.
In the form of his life & has the beating of a few of these if running to form. He finished 6th in this race last year – EACH WAY
4.10 Plate Handicap Chase – Class 1 – 5yo+ – 2m 4f 127yds
Hereditary Rule – Imperial Monach X Miss Organ 8yo gelding.
His last run was at this course back in November, when finishing a 10 & 1/4 length 3rd behind Unanswered Prayers in a Class 3 2m 4f Novice Chase, having won on his previous start last September at Downpatrick when running over hurdles.
He has a solid record in Chases’ with 3 wins & 2 places from 7 chase runs. A winner at Carmel over 2m 5f in a Class 3 Novice Handicap Chase in August, beating Jetski by 8 & 1/2 lengths from a mark of 138 & today runs from a mark of 136 with a 5lb claimer on board – EACH WAY
One to look out for – 4.50 – Magical Zoe – for Henry de Bromhead, in the race named in his son’s memory….
3:30 – Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (G1)
This race has had an open feel to it since the days of Big Buck’s and this year is no exception with 11/4 the field at the time of writing. The one I really like here is Teahupoo who has taken his form to the next level since upped in trip this season after being campaigned as a 2m horse last campaign. Teahupoo’s first step up in trip came in the Hatton’s Grace at Fairyhouse where he stayed on strongly to get the better of Klassical Dream and the mighty mare Honeysuckle over 2m 4f, he was finding top gear right on top of the line. Next time out Teahupoo went off a hot 4/11 favourite for the Galmoy Hurdle and won in great style as expected, coping with the 3m distance no problem. Teahupoo’s chances today are aided by the fact he is at his best on soft going, is the highest rated horse in the field and is seemingly improving all the time. He has a big chance especially with that Fairyhouse form being boosted by Honeysuckle. Defending champion Flooring Porter is the main danger whilst I think Paisley Park could sneak into a place at a good price.
5:30 – Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase
Having looked through Thursday’s card for each way value I had a number of tempting options but I have settled on Rapper in the (hopefully!) lucky last. There is plenty going for Rapper coming into this 3m 2f handicap. I like horses with C&D form here at Cheltenham and my selection ticks that box courtesy of an impressive success on New Year’s Day on soft ground, the same conditions he will face today. He was not beaten too far in the Masters Handicap at Sandown last time out. Staying on well to finish 5th of 12. A first time visor being applied will hopefully improve his focus and at 20/1 I think he is a solid each way proposition in what will be a stamina sapping contest on this ground, which will be right up Rapper’s street. Most bookies will be playing six places. – Each way advised.
2.10, Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle, 3m.
A real head scratcher of a race as always as racing switches to the new course for days three and four of the Festival.
Plenty do stand out for me but I’ve decided on this occasion to stick with a yard that knows what it takes to land the final of this popular series and it would be quite odd too because the horse in particular is trained locally by a popular Irishman but it would also count as a British win in the Prestbury Cup if it were to happen.
The horse I like is the Jonjo O’Neill trained AN TAILLUR.
I was at Haydock last Easter Saturday when he won the Challenger Staying Hurdle final over this trip and began this season back at Cheltenham in October when he was third in the qualifier for this, not seen since then to preserve his handicap mark he can make his presence felt here and run a nice race.
2.50, Ryanair Chase, 2m5f, G1.
A very intriguing race on paper here with a field of very useful and very popular horses lining up for what is often referred to as the “Aeroplane Race”
All eyes and I’d expect quite a few wallets will be on the current favourite for the race, Sishkin from the Nicky Henderson stable, he comes here off the back of an impressive win in the Ascot Chase and saw the race out well but the field in that was not as strong as this and I’m happily going to go elsewhere.
One who catches my eye especially as a nice eachway bet is the Henry De Bromhead trained ENVOI ALLEN.
He’s a dual Cheltenham Festival winner and he’s slowly found his feet in the elite level of steeplechasing which included a switch of stables during his novice chase days.
He began the season with a very nice win in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal in November and while his King George run was a tame effort he will surely be a lot better at this venue and currently around a 12-1 chance he will be in with a shout of what could be a potentially nice 48 hours for the Henry De Bromhead, Rachael Blackmore and Cheveley Park Stud team.
Thanks for popping by, we really appreciate it & look forward to your company on Gold Cup Day!
Good Luck – The AOLR Team