In our opinion Sunday is an even better days racing at Cheltenham than Saturday. We have some quality hurdling over 2 miles and a long distance challenge at Fontwell for their National. It’s a real Sunday treat on Channel 4.
12:45 CHELTENHAM – Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices´ Hurdle (Registered As The Sharp Novices´ Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 2m87y
There is no doubting some special horses have won this race. Altior, Vyta Du Roc, Dodging Bullets and even Cue Card. So, whilst they make the grand claim of it being a Supreme Novice trial it certainly brings some good horses to the race. We saw Ballyandy and Moonracer take each other one at Perth in fine style with the latter finishing on top but the winner now has to give the former 4lbs for ¾ of a length and that might be enough to reverse those placing. Mirsaale put up a similar figure to both of them at Perth but had to give best at Chepstow in a Grade 2, he is on the upgrade. It was an improvement. Keep in Line was impressive at Bangor beating a decent horse. It’s one of these four who wins but which one? Let’s go with the 100 rated flat horse for the very in form Alan King yard who showed a real turn of foot at Bangor when winning.
1 unit e/w Keep in Line
1:00 – FONTWELL totepool Southern National Handicap Chase Cl3 3m3f45y
This is where Kerry Lee comes in to her own. Extreme trips and usually heavier ground than this but Russe Blanc wont mind. He does however often need a race to get right and so our confidence in one of the only horses described, as white on the racecard, is a bit lower than it might be. Carli King has proven stamina for Caroline Bailey but 575 days off is a lot to overcome. Fergal Mael Duin has a winning run under his belt for the massively in form Colin Tizzard, whose horses just seem to keep finding under pressure. Will he stay? Jenny’s Surprise might well have the stamina and ability but it’s a big ask for seven pound claimer Brodie Hampson to get round this without incidence. That leaves us with Cloudy Copper who finished the season on a big note relatively speaking and Jonjo who had a high profile winner at Cheltenham to show his horses are ok at this time of the year.
1 unit e/w Cloudy Copper | 1 unit e/w Fergal Mael Duin
1:20 CHELTENHAM – Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices´ Chase (Registered As The November Novices´ Chase) (Grade 2) Cl1 1m7f199y
Henry De Bromhead brings a quality horse with his stable in flying form, in Three Stars who just keeps performing and improving with his recent run and win at Punchestown as a stand out performance. As was the run of stable mate Some Plan again at the same track – will either be good enough? Le Prezien has an interesting profile with a good 2nd at Uttoxeter recently putting him spot on. Ignoring any Tizzard runner would be a mistake with recent recruit, Mick Thomic having claims. It’s not a vintage renewal but a competitive one. We don’t think the Arkle winner is in this field but they don’t have to be to make it a decent contest.
3 units win Le Prezien
1:55 CHELTENHAM – Shloer Chase (Registered As The Cheltenham Chase) (Grade 2) Cl1 1m7f199y
This is a bit of a nearly race. Special Tiara promised so much and had his moments. How we would love to see him blast off and attack these fences and give us a great performance. Sadly there might be too many scars these days. Simonsig was another of a similar profile but hampered by injuries. Module had his moments and Simply Ned has promised so much which leaves us with Fox Norton, who might be the only one on an upward curve and for that reason he is the selection.
2 units e/w Fox Norton
2:30 CHELTENHAM stanjames.com Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) Cl1 2m87y
It’s never an easy race with 17 runners at the early part of a season but some good horses have triumphed in a race that needs one who travels, stays and then quickens. That’s a lot of qualities for a handicapper. Phillip Hobbs has found the winner more often than most in the last ten years and Sternrubin, who only knows one way to run was impressive at Ascot and is so amdirablebut has to improve again – can he? Ch’Tibello was just in behind and could improve again of which the same could be said for Winter Escape who is yet to taste defeat but must show more and many believe he can. Modus was also impressive in the way that he travelled behind Strernubin and he might just be the one in this race although both Leoncavallo and Wolf of Windlesham will no doubt strip fitter for their recent runs. At the top of the card Hargam is no doubt the class act – can he carry top weight – maybe. It’s a cracker for a Sunday.
1 unit e/w Modus | 1 unit e/w Hargam