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Cheltenham Preview Night

Cheltenham Preview Night : Kettles Hotel, Dublin, featuring Paul Nicholls & Davy Russell

When : Wed 2nd March 2016

Where : Kettles Hotel, Swords, Dublin

Panel: Paul Nicholls, leading jockey Davy Russell, jockey-turned-trainer Andrew McNamara, Gary O’Brien from At The Races, tipster Mark ‘The Couch’ Winstanley, Irish Daily Star Sports Editor Brian Flanagan and Betfair’s Barry Orr

Champion Hurdle:
Paul Nicholls on My Tent Or Yours: “Can a horse win after two years off? I’m not sure.” Davy Russell: The horse for me in the Champion Hurdle is Identity Thief.
Mark Winstanley: If Annie Power wins the Champion Hurdle I’ll go back to work  Gary O’Brien: I’ve liked Identity Thief since his win at Newcastle. Sempre Medici is overpriced.
The Couch, O’Brien and McNamara all like Sempre Medici in Champion Hurdle for each way value. All pretty hot on Identity Thief.

Neptune Novices:
Davy Russell: Vroum Vroum Mag is a certainty in the Mares Hurdle, Brian Flanagan: Shantou Village at 16/1 to chase home Yanworth in Neptune. Mark Winstanley: Yorkhill one of the bets of the Festival if he runs in Neptune Mark Winstanley: Yanworth shouldn’t be the price he is in the Neptune Davy Russell: It’ll be madness if Yorkhill doesn’t run in the Neptune. He’s the best of the lot Davy Russell: Yorkhill is the horse you have to back in the Neptune
Paul Nicholls: I think Yanworth will go very close to winning the Neptune. He’s best of British
Andrew McNamara likes Long Dog in the Neptune


RSA Chase
Brian Flanagan likes Monksland in RSA. Concerned with No More Heroes on better ground.  Mark Winstanley: No More Heroes ticks every box for me. I’m not convinced with More Of That.
Davy Russell: No More Heroes is such a calculated jumper of a fence. He’s a marvellous horse  Paul Nicholls: The RSA is the race for More Of That. If he turns up he’s got a big chance.

Champion Chase
Nicholls: I’ve had a nightmare with Dodging Bullets this season but he’s just beginning to come to himself . Un De Sceaux will take an awful lot of beating in CC.McNamara: I don’t think it’s a great Champion Chase. Douvan could turn up at win. Gary O’Brien: I think Felix Yonger could follow Un De Sceaux home and is good each-way bet.
O’Brien: Only concern for UDS is if something jumps off upsides him. Russell: Only worry with UDS is the pre-race parade which is not in his favour. I would wait until he gets to the start
Winstanley: Sizing Granite is the forgotten horse in Champion Chase at 33/1  Winstanley: Can’t have Felix Yonger (too old), can’t have Sprinter Sacre (won’t come back)

JLT Novices’ Chase
Winstanley: If Pont Alexandre wins the JLT I’ll jump off the Cheltenham roof. O’Brien: If More Of That runs in JLT then he’d be a standout McNamara: I like L’Ami Serge if he runs
Nicholls: Bristol De Mai needs soft ground in the JLT. As De Me a good e/w bet  Russell: It’ll be hard for Zabana to reverse form with Outlander in JLT

Ryanair Chase
Flanagan: Noel Meade will burst if Road To Riches runs in the Ryanair Flanagan likes Village Vic each-way in the Ryanair Chase  Winstanley: Vibrato Valtat is crying out for a trip and is a player in Ryanair. Josses Hill a dodgy jumper.  Russell: Gigginstown will have at least two runners in this. If Al Ferof wins then they should get rid of the race!
Russell: If Willie says Vautour will stay 3m2f then he will stay 3m2f. Majority of the panel like Village Vic each-way in the Ryanair.

World Hurdle
O’Brien: It’s impossible to look past Thistlecrack. Most confident favourite for the week. Whisper a dark horse each-way.
Nicholls: Aux Ptit Soins is a very good horse. He’s coming to himself and could be anything. He’s very smart, looked amazing this morning. Saphir Du Rheu has a big chance in the World Hurdle
Nicholls: Twiston-Davies chose Saphir Du Rheu because of his form over 3m. Aux Ptit Soins an unknown over trip
Russell: I hope Aux Ptit Soins wins the World Hurdle but Thistlecrack will be very hard to beat. Martello Tower e/w chance
Flanagan: 8/1 about Cole Harden in WH is a good price. Will relish the good ground
Winstanley: Vroum Vroum Mag is biggest certainty in the Mares’.Thistlecrack should be 1/2, Thistlecrack has absolutely everything and is a certainty
Nicholls: Barters Hill reminds me of Denman. Nicholls is very keen on All Yours in the County Hurdle

Gold Cup
McNamara: It’s a slight worry that Djakadam has fallen but still goes there with a great chance. Don Cossack is a superstar and would have won the King George. He’ll outstay them in the Gold Cup
O’Brien: Vautour is the best horse in the race based on talent. But he might find the trip stretching. Don Poli is shocking value. 9/2 on Don Poli is a shocking price. Winner is either Cue Card or Don Cossack. Don Cossack marginal preference .I think it will be Don Cossack’s day if he stays on his feet
Nicholls: I’d love to see Cue Card win. The key is whatever Ruby rides. I think Vautour will stay. Don Poli has it all to do. It’s between Cue Card, Vautour and Don Cossack
Barry Orr: Don Cossack for me. I thought he’d win the King George if he’d stay on his feet
Flanagan: In the last few days I’ve been coming around to Don Cossack’s form. But I wasn’t mad about him at Thurles
Cue Card is too old. Don Cossack’s Cheltenham form worries me. Don Poli at 6/1 is one of bets of meeting. Don Poli just keeps winning. Won the RSA last year which Don Cossack couldn’t do.
Don Poli just does enough. The best bit of form is Don Cossack winning at Punchestown but I concentrate on Cheltenham form. Don Poli is 2/2 at Cheltenham and nice at 6/1.
Russell: I don’t care who I ride. If Cooper rides Don Poli, I’m confident I’ll ride Don Cossack. Not sure the other-way round. t’s an exceptionally good Gold Cup. Don Cossack gave me a fantastic feel the other day. Don Cossack didn’t put a foot wrong when schooling last year. The most awesome specimen of a horse. You must remember that you really need to stay in the Gold Cup. No hiding place anywhere. Smad Place has a chance.

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