Donald McCain Cheltenham Thoughts – Thursday

Donald McCain
Donald McCain with his string

I’ve really enjoyed watching the Cheltenham Festival this week and I have my first runner on Thursday, with Testify in the Brown Advisory Plate. I have gone through all the races this Thursday and below are my toughts:

JLT Novices’ Chase – Defi Du Seuil

Defi Du Seuil

I think he’s the classiest horse in the race and would seem to have the beating of Colin Tizzard’s horse on their last meeting. It would appear that the English novices have the upper hand over their Irish counterparts and I’ll stick with Defi Du Seuil.

Pertemps Handicap Hurdle – First Assignment

I was very impressed with Ian Williams horse when he won at the Cheltenham meeting in November. He was third in the EBF Final at Sandown around tis time last year on soft ground, so I don’t think that will be an issue.

He’s run behind Paisley Park in a Grade 3 at Haydock has looked better by the day and off his current mark, he must go close.

Ryanair Chase – Un De Sceaux

Un De Sceaux

I have always really liked Un De Sceaux and I don’t think I’m on my own, there is nothing not to like. This looks like a competitive race but Willie’s horse always seems to run his race and with the ground softer than it normally is at Cheltenham, it should play into his strengths and I can’t see him out of the first three.

Stayers’ Hurdle – Paisley Park

This race looks all about Paisley Park, I love the way he has progressed through the ranks. He seems to switch off in his races and has endless stamina which are things you need to win a race like this. I just think there something a little special about him.

I remember watching Big Buck’s at Aintree one day and the only time he traveled going past me was heading out on the final circuit. Emma’s horse seems to have a similar running style which really lends itself to this type of race and I think he should win.

Brown Advisory Plate – Janika

This looks like a very tricky race to try and pick a winner with lots having bits and pieces of chances but also with question marks. I run Testify in this and although I’m hoping for a good run, I think he may struggle.

Bearing that in mind I’ll go with the top horse Janika, who’s looked good since coming from France. I know he has to carry a fair chunk of weight but he’s carrying top weight for a reason and could be a class above his rivals.

Mares Novices’ Hurdle – Posh Trish

Posh Trish (Blue)

I don’t think you need to be a superstar to win this race and looking at the market Nicky’s horse is too short for what she’s done. There are lots of mares I would give chances to in this but I’ll once again stick with the top horse Posh Trish.

Paul’s mare has done nothing wrong all year, she is a listed winner over hurdles and has winning course form. There may be better mares in hurdle been she is admirably consistent and looks nailed on to be in the places.

Kim Muir – Touch Kick

Once again, a very difficult race to work out and I could have picked any number of horses. I know there has been a lot of talk around Measureofmydreams but I can’t really have him.

In the end I’ve gone for Touch Kick who’s owned by a good patron of mine Mr Trevor Hemmings and trained by Paul Nicholls. I understand that connections were quite keen on getting him into the race. He’s yet to win at Cheltenham but has got a nice racing weight and the assistance of the very capable Will Biddick in the saddle.

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Donald McCain Cheltenham Thoughts – Thursday
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