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Cheltenham Preview Night

Sean Graham Cheltenham Preview Night from Belfast, with Gordon Elliott, Neil Mulholland amongst others

Venue: Europa Hotel Belfast

Date: 7th March 2016

Panel: Gary O’Brien, David Casey, Gordon Elliott, Neil Mulholland, Richard Hoiles, Mark Winstanley

Supreme Novices
DC: Min a very good horse, better on better ground, form worked out well. He’s not as good as Douvan and Vautour who were bigger prices…
DC: Yorkhill the dryer ground will suit him and represents better value at 7/1. Altior also has a great chance.
Brian Graham doing the first half for us likes Altior “Ticks a lot of boxes regarding ground”. Does Min have a temperment problem?
BG: Can’t see Min starting 4 or 5/1 but he will start fav. Nicky Henderson great placed form in the race. Altior is the one for me
Couch: Min pulled like Rolf Harris at a scout camp the last time! Nicky had some good horses placed – Buveur D’air for me – taking on Min
NF: Buveur D’air is a very good horse. Improved a lot in his starts. Jumps superbly and has a very good chance. Min’s form has worked out
GE: Min is a deserving favourite but he could well be too keen. RH: Shop around to get better offers on Min on the day, entice people
NM: Yorkhill proven he can travel over, form has worked out well will like the better ground and is a great ew price
So good shouts for Buveur D’air and Yorkhill with panel keen to take on Min due to his temperament.

Min & Douvan at 14/1:


The Arkle
DC: It’s buying money [Douvan] He’ll win from here to the end of the room. If Faugheen got injured at start of season he’d of went Champion Hurdle
NM: Baltimore Rock and Fox Norton for me. Be hoping the race breaks up and we can give owners a good day out. Solid horses doing our best
BG: Be happy to lay a horse at Cheltenham in a grade one at 2/5 all day long!
BG: Give Gordon’s horse The Game Changer a chance at each way price. GE: Douvan is a certainty. Hopefully mine will get round take 2nd
RH: Sizing John 7/2 ew without Douvan. Same bet as the Couch. Good jumper. Small field


Champion Hurdle
Couch: Annie Power 7/4 doesn’t interest me. How can you have a horse who wasn’t prepared to run in the race. Backed Sempre Medici 33/1
DC: Agree with Couch it has a chance but not good enough to win. Lot of pace in the race. Annie P gets allowance but will tke lot of beating
RH: Weak race. Weakest in ages. Camping Ground for me. Will settle off strong pace. Nicholls Canyon has a poor action. Not suited
GE: Open race – My Tent helped by the pace in race. NF: Annie P hard to beat getting 7lb. Like Top Notch solid horse big price. Close 2015
NM: Tough and hardy horse in an open race and has an each way chance. BG: Lack of strength in depth. Annie P won 13 of 15.

Neptune Novices
NM: Shantou Village will go elsewhere. Yanworth very impressive. Would have to be him after he beat our fella
BG: Have to respect whatever Willie runs in the race. Yanworth looks a cert, improve for better ground. One they have to beat
DC: Would love to see Yorkhill go here but he won’t. A Toi Phil very good. Quirky but won good horse at Lep last time. Improving.
Couch: Not keen at the price. Hype horse, press falling over themselves. Yorkhill best form available. Should run here! Bets of Festival
GE: Evens is too short. A Toi Phil has had form franked. Bleu et Rouge goes 3 miler but he has good form too
A few fors and a few against for Yanworth then.

8/1 for Willie Mullins to train a Cheltenham winner:

Willie Mullins had eight winners at last year’s Festival and is 1/500 to train a winner this year so the 8/1 boost looks pretty tasty to be fair. Only £5 allowed but its £40 in your pocket!

Get it here:


RSA Chase
GE: 2 horse race. More Of That is very good. Better than mine over hurdles. Mine jumps better over fences. In good form and happy with him
RH: 2 very promising horses. Rather have the horse who hasn’t injury issues. NMH unlucky last year. Jumping is bombproof.
Couch: Jumps like Greg Rutherford. MOT doesn’t jump as well. Cooper dreadful on NMH last year. MOT only had two races, Gordon’s won 2 g1’s
NF: Top 2 market head and shoulders above. Love Gordon’s horse jumps well. Improve on better ground. Seeyouatmidnight best of English. E/W
DC: Roi Des Francs better than Black Hercules. Between top 2 tho. MOT fan, best hurdles form, jumps well enough. Ran well at Cheltenham
NM: MOT 4 from 4 round Cheltenham. Going to be hard to beat.

Champion Chase
DC: UDS race to lose. Free going type. Only fell cos he was too exuberant. Immacualte at Ascot. Stays well. Pace for 2 miles though
DC: Nobody can go with him in front. Has plenty of stamina and has the pace. Wouldn’t concern me if Special Tiara vies for lead
NF: UDS bit short at 4/6. Special Tiara good enough to be in the money. Sprinter schooled awesome the other day. Back to his best.
GE: Sprinter has no chance. UDS will win it. Felix Yonger can come 2nd.
RH: UDS up against horses who have seen better day. He went away again at the end at Ascot. Ruby has learned how to ride him
Couch: Think he’ll win but poor price. Sizing Granite waitin for better ground decent shout for an each way bet.

Champion Bumper
DC: We’ll run 5 or 6. Battleford nice horse. AUgust Kate does nothing at home, but turns up and is very good at track. Gets allowance too
Ronan has taken over from Brian for the 2nd half. “Still 7’s the field” – Castello Sforza good form, been off for a while though. Jp’s #1
RG: Race he won last year, had four or five winners come out of it. Gigginstown not keen to send bumper runners to this. Very Hard race
NM: Coeur Blimey in a race which is a bit of a minefield. Decent each way price.
Couch: Race so strongly. Crawl round in Ireland in heavy. Battleford won well the other day and will improve. Ballyandy best of English
RH: West End Story won a couple of races. Don’t know how it equates to Irish form.
GE: Avenir D’une Vie – Michael O’Leary is keen to run him which is a surprise. Has a good chance if goes

DC: Valseur and Road To Riches will run in this race. Both have good chances. If Vautour goes he wins. Outside chance to Village Vic.
Couch: Vautour this is the race should run in. Gold Cup is Gold Cup though. Jumps superbly. Valseur Lido needs a trip. Village Vic for me
RG: Vautour would be very short, money talks though and he’ll be going for Gold. Al Ferof has no chance but seen money for it.
RG: Dynaste has course form appreciate the ground. Not too many other options for the horse
NF: Vautour woudln’t come of the bridal. Vibrato Valtat has a small chance
Consensus is that Vautour should run here but that’s with punters hats on not owners hats!

World Hurdle
RH: Only hole for Thistlecrack has he beat horses at his best. Cole Harden can boss a race on fast ground. Saphir has a decent shout
Couch: Thistlecrack would be lot shorter trained by somebody else. Think he’s a cert. Horse can dominate this division. Aux Ptit Soin chance
GE: Thistlecrack bet of the week, Mullins trained him he be 1/2. Differnet horse to last year. Nap of the week.
DC: No runner for Mullins yard. Thistlecrack one to beat. Alpha Des Obeaux upsides in Aintree when fell. Cole Harden different on good grond
NM: Thistlecrack one of the bets of the week. Whisper had wind operation so could improve. Saphir had same wind op as Conti who won Ascot
RG: Snow Falcon a solid stayer but doesn’t go keep an eye out at Aintree. Thistlecrack should win, we’ll say a prayer

Triumph Hurdle.
RG: Ivanovich impressive the first day. Beat at odds on last day, nobody backing it that day compared to first day. Fully wound up?
RG: Sceau Royal most impressive of English hurdles. Best since Katchit says Alan King. Usually comes down to those at head of the market
NM: Zubayr impressive but Paul not in great rush with him. Sceau Royal worked well other day. Won the trial over C&D.
NF: Alan King has strong hand. Ride Clan Des Obeaux, good race at Cheltenham last time. 16/1 and has better chance than that.
Couch: Strange race. Irish beat each other. Won’t be having a bet
DC: 4 runs but not really any standout. Ivanovich was out to 8’s at one point. Hear connections are keen. The fillies could be best of ours.

Albert Bartlett
NM: SHantou is top of our list. Loved him from day one. Very hopeful, good run on ground he didn’t like last time. Hopeful of good show
NM: Schooled well on Sunday morning. 6/1 solid each way price. NF: Very good horse plenty soft last time, much better on better ground
NF: Barters shoulda beat BAllydine easier last time. Between the top 2 though. Might have to ride the Fry horse though
DC: Could run a load in this. Barters looks good, stays well. Will run pacy horses to try and do him up the hill. Bleu et Rouge or Gangster
DC: Gangster working well appreciate better ground, hasn’t been easiest to train. Bleu et Rouge will get trip ok, but keen last day
GE: Fagan runs for the sponsor. Barters tough as nails. Utmost respect for Neil’s horse. Blue et Rouge really like him if he settles
RH: worry about Barters, when you see one off there’s another that pops up. WOuldn’t be backing him. Nothing against him though
Couch: Barters just keeps winning 7 out of 7. Some horses just grind it out. Not everyone can be Kauto or the Fly. Follow till beaten
RG: Gangster will shorten up, been working well. Wish Neil all the best. Shantou has huge chance, great form behind Yanworth

Gold Cup
RG: First Gold Cup laid first 6 in the market for good money in antepost book. One of best Gold Cup’s in long long time.
RG: Don Poli for me personally. 2 for 2 at Cheltenham. Could drift on the day. Grinds it out. Vautour will go here.
DC: Vautour would be better in Ryanair. Not convinced stay. Don Poli course form. Very lazy. Anyone who backs him won’t be happy mid race
DC: Djakadam fan. Trained for one race and one race only. Unfortunate he fell in Cheltenham last time. Working well. Year strong & better
DC: Not overly concerned about his fall. Very good jumper. Generally brilliant. Just unfortunate
DC: Don Cossack main danger. Wins King George if he stands up. WOrry slightly about how he travels through race
GE: Mean world for Don to win it. He’s in good form. Better ground = better chance. Trip will suit. Horse i fear is Djakdam.
GE: Davy Russel will ride either Don Poli or Don Cossack says the owner
GE: Thought Bryan was brain dead on him in the Ryanair last year. Wouldn’t worry about the track.
RH: Against horses that have ran well in the race in the past. Djakadam has it to do. Between two Don’s for me. Poli keeps winning.
RH: Need Cooper to tide Poli as he’s complicated ride. But it’s between those two.
NF: Cue Card won’t be far away ran good races this year. Don Cossack though is very good and has huge chance.
NM: Fan of Gordon’s horse. Unlucky in the King George. Funny feeling it could be his year. Best of luck to Gordon
Couch: Cue Card is ten want to take him on. Kauto and Denman couldn’t do it at ten. Like backing horses who keep winning like Don Poli.

Thanks to Sean Graham @SPGBETTING for the live updates.

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