We’re all set for another chilly December Saturday from Cheltenham, with the International Meeting, which means the Cheltenham Festival 2017 is not far away!
Its always an enjoyable and more relaxed day at Prestbury Park in December but that doesnt mean we’re not looking to bag a few winners!
The first race at Cheltenham today gets under starters orders at 12:05, which is a trial race for the Triumph Hurdle. Only five runners but it still looks a decent race.
Defi Du Seuil really made an impression when he won at this track over this distance last time out and travelled strongly throughout the race and won very easily. Don’t let the winning distance fool you, this horse hacked up and was eased down considerably in the final few furlongs.
This is a tougher race but I think he’ll have the improvement needed to win. Domperignon Du Lys and Coeur De Lion are sure to put up a fight but DEFI DU SEUIL should take this to get punters off to a great start – not a huge price but looks worthy.
The 2nd race on the card a novice chase, looks a match race between the Nicky Henderson trained Different Gravey and Whisper. The latter was a talented hurdler and was 5th in the World Hurdle two seasons back.
Whisper also won a graded race at the Aintree festival that same season but didn’t show anything in three runs last season though.
He now tries fences but I’m not sure it will suit this horse, it may well be just a last ditch effort to try and get improvement out of the horse but I’m staying clear.
Different Gravey really should prove to be different class in this race. This horse was also a decent hurdler who has really come on since going over the larger obstacles.
It’s 6 length win over Brother Tedd at Ascot last time out was a facile win and he should kick on from that now. DIFFERENT GRAVEY should land this prize en route to better things, the price is a little prohibitive at 8/13 but looks a banker.
The 1:15 is a 2 mile handicap chase run over the new course. Un Beau Roman won a nice race at the last Cheltenham meeting beating a Pairofbrowneyes. This is another step up in class though and he may well be found wanting today.
The top weight Vaniteux is the class horse in this field. He was 3rd off a big weight to Sire De Grugy last time out on seasonal reappearance.
He’ll be tough to beat in this today but the one I like is BALTIMORE ROCK at around 8/1.
I just think this horse could have more room for improvement and he’s also getting 10lb from Vaniteux which is a huge plus.
This horse was last seen when running 4th to Douvan at the Punchestown festival in April.
There’s a chance he’ll need this run but he has run well fresh in the past. This horse always promised to be good and I think he’s found his level now in handicaps.
Sizing Platinum is another who could go well but Baltimore Rock is the one I like.
The Caspian Caviar handicap chase at 1:50 is the feature handicap race of the day.
This hotly contested handicap is sure to be a great spectacle with six or seven of this have great chances.
The one’s I like are Aloomomo, Bouvreuil and Kylemore Lough.
Bouvreuil was a great 5th in the race formerly known as the Paddy Power Chase at this course in November behind Taquin Du Seuil. That was a really good run given that it was his seasonal reappearance.
He’ll come on an awful lot for that run.
He is also better off at the weights with Aso, Buywise and Village Vic who all finished in front of him. I think he’ll turn the form around with those today and he’ll take a fair bit of beating.
Kylemore Lough is a really talented horse though and he has his ground today as long as it stays good.
This horse put together a great novice campaign last season and topped it off with a win in a Grade 1 Novice Chase at Fairyhouse.
His recent 2nd at Ascot on seasonal debut was a great run given that he didn’t like ground. He has to give away a lot of weight today but he is the class horse in the field and I don’t think the weight will stop it from running a big race.
The other one I like is Aloomomo who is still unexposed.
He ran a nice race over hurdles last time out and it should have put him spot on for this.
It’s really hard to separate these three but as long as the ground stays good I’ll stay with KYLEMORE LOUGH at 8/1 from Bouvreuil.
The Grade 2 International Hurdle at 3:00 looks a great race and is full of top class hurdlers.
My Tent or Yours who was 2nd in a Supreme Novices Hurdle and a twice 2nd in the Champion Hurdle comes here with a lot to prove.
His last run was very disappointing and I’m starting to think his best days are behind him. I couldn’t back it at 4/1 nevermind 11/8 – I think he’s a terrible price!
The New One comes here after missing a novice chase engagement, not an ideal preparation to be honest.
This horse who has been 3rd and 4th in the Champion Hurdle in the past like My Tent or Yours is also vulnerable to younger rivals. He’ll run a decent race but I think he could be found wanting to younger legs in the finish.
Old Guard and Mister Miyagi are the ones we should be focusing on in this race. Old Guard won the Greatwood Hurdle at this course last season and also put in decent performances in graded company.
He’s on the rise but has to run much better than he did at Haydock last time out.
MISTER MIYAGI is the one I think they all have to beat and I think he’s good value at 4/1.
He was a talented novice hurdler last season and ran a cracker in the Supreme Novices at a huge price. He had a nice season reappearance when 2nd to Un Temps Pour Tout at Aintree.
He was always going to be out stayed by that rival and the drop in trip here will suit him better. I don’t think he’s good enough to win a Champion Hurdle but I think he has a great chance today.
I’d suggest doing a Super Yankee on my five selections today:
Defi Du Seuil 12:05 Cheltenham
Different Gravy 12:40 Cheltenham
Baltimore Rock 1:15 Cheltenham
Kylemore Lough 1:50 Cheltenham
Mister Miyagi 3:00 Cheltenham