Donald McCain Cheltenham Day One Preview

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Donald McCain
Donald McCain

It’s the first day of the Cheltenham festival and I’m very much looking forward to each and every day at Prestbury Park.

I’d obviously like to have more runners but that being said its going to be a great week. I have looked through the opening days races and have picked the horses I think can feature.

Supreme Hurdle – Al Dancer

When you think of the horses that have won this in the past, it looks like a below par Supreme for me. My view would be that Kalashnikov went very close to winning this last season having previously won the Betfair Hurdle.

Nigel Twiston-Davies horses have been in great from all season and I’ll stick with the handicapper going into a grade ace angle here with Al Dancer. He’s got lots of experience which will stand to him and he’d be my pick.

Arkle Chase – Us And Them

Again a race that might not take a lot of winning, I saw Us And Them running at Leopardstown where I thought they just had a little bit too much speed for him. This will be a greater test of stamina and he’s got to have a good each-way chance.

Ultima Chase – Singlefarmpayment

Ever since I saw him win his first novice hurdle I have been a huge Minella Rocco fan. He ran over hurdles the last time at Exeter, which may have been a prep race. He’s also in the National but he’s a horse I’ve always liked.

That being said with the National as his possible long term target, I’ll side with Tom George’s Singlefarmpayment, who’s got course form and always seems to run his race.

Champion Hurdle – Buveur D’Air

Buveur D’Air

This race is simple, it goes the way of Buveur D’Air again. He’s the only proper Champion Hurdle horse in the race and although others may have potential, he’s been there and done that.

Apples Jade was impressive the last day but I’m not sure how strong the race is going to work out and I just can’t look past Nicky’s horse.

Mares Hurdle – Lady Buttons

Willie’s mare is looking to land back to back renewals of the race and to be fair he’s an expert at it.

Phil Kirby’s, Lady Buttons has been running well all year and I’d be taking a chance on her. I remember her winning a 0-100 once upon a time which shows how much she has progressed and she could have her day in the sun here.

Close Brothers Chase – Red Indian

Red Indian was very impressive the first day at Ayr, where he bounced out and made all to beat a decent field which included my horse, Uppertown Prince. It looked like he didn’t stay at Kempton over 3 miles where he travelled very well to a point and he finished sixth in the Coral Cup last year. All of these things suggest he should run a big race at a nice price.

National Hunt Chase – Ok Corral

Ok Corral

It’s an amateur race so keep it simple and stick with Derek O’Connor. It helps that he’s riding the classiest horse in the race in Ok Corral who traveled supremely well to win the last day at Warwick.

I know people are questioning whether he’ll stay or not but if any man can settle him it’s Derek and he’s my selection.

Sedgefield Runners

I run three horses at Sedgefield on Tuesday where Cadellin who did show ability previously makes his return from a long layoff. I’d expect him to come on for the run. I also run Devito’sredrobin who’s taken some time to learn her job and might be better when stepped up in trip over fences. My best chance of the day comes in the bumper with Takingitallin who won a point to point and ran well on racecourse debut. She a nice straightforward mare and I like her.

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Donald McCain Cheltenham Day One Preview
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