A solid day yesterday with 3 wins and a 2nd (forecast if you took it) from 8 bets, and a total profit of +5.75 and a total +13.4 from the festival so far. Let’s hope to build on that and keep the run going.
1.30 Sir Erec, win
Undoubtedly the one they all have to beat here. 3rd behind the very impressive Stradivarius on the flat he made a seemless switch to hurdles. He beat re-opposing Tiger Tap Tap on his first outing by a neck, and then confirmed the form when pulling right away from stablemate Gardens of Babylon with Tiger Tap Tap a fair way back in 4th. I don’t see anything troubling Sir Erec here.
2.10 Ch’tibello, each way
7/1 Sky & Ladbrokes paying 6 places
The skeltons won this in 2016 and again last year so it’s worth considering thei rrunners here. Mohaayed was last years winner but doesn’t appear to be very well handicapped. Ch’tibello came close to winning at Aintree where the handbrake was clearly off and looks a plot job to me. Mr Adjudicator was beaten 6 lengths by Tuesday Champions Hurdle winner Espoir Dallen and would be my pick of the Mullins lot.
2.50 Lisnagar Oscar, each way 7/1
Commander of Fleet, each way 7/1
Most bookies paying 4 places, Coral give 5
Held off Dickie Diver to win a decent Novice and the form took a boost when that one won well next time out. The selection then ran away with the Grade 2 trial of this race, winning by 10 lengths, and looks the one to beat here. Commander of Fleet would be my 2nd choice as he’s already won a point on (the equivalent of) good to soft over 3 miles, so trip and ground will be no problem and he seems to stay very well.
3.30 Native River, each way
11/2, 4 places
Ok so he does bid to do something everyone since Best Mate (2002-2004) has failed to do – retain a Gold Cup. He won this from the front with a very brave performance last year and will no doubt try to repeat that. Has been beaten in the Betfair and King George this season, but those are different to this and Cheltenham would appear to be his gig. Mullins has come close on several occasions but is yet to actually win a Gold Cup, Kemboy looks worthy of an each way bet at the price (11/1). Clan Des Obeaux has been beaten on 3 of his 4 starts around here so looks opposable once more.
4.10 Hazel Hill, each way
Holds a prolific record with 14 wins from 19 starts and has only been beaten once in his last 15. Did it well at Warwick winning by 11 lengths and should have enough spare to get up the hill. Would be surprised to see him out of the first 3 at the very least.
4.50 Whatswrongwithyou, each way
10/1, 5 places
Looks to hold a lot of potential having quickened away well after the last at Fontwell. He already looks far better over the larger obstacles. It was only a Class 3 and a small field but he won by 17 lengths and although raised 10lb for that, he’s well worth a crack at this level and shouldn’t be disgraced. Le Prezien has been lightly campaigned and gets in off just 1lb higher than when winnign this last year, he looks like he’s been plotted up for this and should be given respect.
5.30 Early Doors, win 9/2
Probably the most difficult contest to solve of the entire day. Dallas Des Pictons was all out to win when beating Calie Du Mensil last month and whilst he is open to lots of improvement, and his day will come, he may just struggle to see off some of those with graded form. Money has come for Early Doors and we all know JP loves a good gamble, so this could be the one to be on. He finished 3rd in this last year (off a 3lb lower mark) and went on to be well beaten at Punchestown. Finished 5th on his seasonal re-appearance to Apples Jade when stepping up to Grade 1 and then finished 2nd again to Apples Jade beaten 26 lengths. The stable obviously think he’s capable, he just appears to have come short of the very highest level, and could have improved enough to win this.
All bets are level stakes to 1 point, meaning an each way bet is 0.5 each way.