THE third day of the Cheltenham Festival holds fond memories for me as it is the day I rode Cole Harden to win what was then the World Hurdle.
Now called the Stayers’ Hurdle, it’s a race that is going to be a cracker this year as is the Ryanair Chase, which I think could be one of the races of the meeting.
I’ve got a couple of rides today and, while they are big prices, I have a feeling they’re going to surprise a few people and run very well.
It’s the right move to stick with this race for him rather than the Arkle. That said, I like the looks of Lostintranslation in this race. He beat Defi Du Seuil earlier in the season at Cheltenham and I think he’s got a good chance of doing the same again.
Where do you start with a race like this? There are so many different form lines to try and pull together so it’s a very tricky race to come up with a definitive answer on. The way I look at it is it’s always a good place to start by looking for horses who will handle the track and have run well around here. I thought First Assignment matched what you wanted from a Pertemps horse and any form around Cheltenham is worth a few extra pounds in my opinion.
This is going to be one of the races of the meeting. There are some top-class horses running in the likes of Footpad, Un De Sceaux, Terrefort and others. I can’t believe Footpad won’t run better than he has been this season but I prefer the chances of his stablemate Un De Sceaux. This rain has come for him at the right time and his run against Altior in the Tingle Creek was excellent.
Paisley Park has done nothing but impress this season and has been too good for his rivals. This is going to be a lot tougher and I like the look of the Irish horses. Faugheen ‘The Machine’ is Ruby Walsh’s ride and that’s a big pointer to his chances, but I prefer Bacardys. The owners are from the same town as I am back in Ireland and he was running a massive race when falling last year.
I don’t think the ground will be an issue for him at all and trainer Harry Whittington’s horses are coming to form at the right time. Two and a half miles around here with him I’ll hunt around and hope I can pick off a few rivals late on.
She’s a big price but at the same time she doesn’t know that and I think she’s really good form. I schooled her the other day and she gave me a great feel. I think she’s up for running a big race. She’s done nothing but improve all year and I think this ground is going to play to her advantage.
He’d been off the course for a while and has joined Gordon Elliott having been with Noel Meade. He was third in the National Hunt Chase behind Native River and Minella Rocco in 2016 so he has back class. He looks well handicapped to me.
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