Cheltenham Festival 2016 – Day 2

My quest for an eleventh straight profit on Cheltenham Festivals, started well with Altior and Annie Power winning from the three bets I advised yesterday, to leave me +6 points to 1 point level stakes.

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YANWORTH wins the 2017 Champion Hurdle in my opinion. I was at Ascot in December when he won over two miles and was blown away by how well he looked in the pre-parade ring. He backed up that performance with an easy seven length victory over Shantou Village at Cheltenham in January. Shantou Village is a Grade Two winner and a horse that I rate highly. Yanworth’s form has also been franked by Charbel, who has since won at Musselburgh, before finishing a creditable fifth in yesterday’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

His main danger in this race is Yorkhill, who won the Tolworth Hurdle on testing ground at the start of the year. That day he beat O O Seven and Agrapart, who have both gone on to win since.

However Yanworth has previous festival experience, after finishing fourth in last years Champion Bumper, a race that’s produced a good number of winners. There’s an argument to be made he was unlucky not to win that after McCoy managed to lose his position. He has also won over course and distance, which is another massive positive when it comes to Cheltenham.

If he’s going to win a Champion Hurdle then he should be going very close to winning this race, which has a rich history of producing stars. Faugheen, Hardy Eustace and Simonsig won it, with the like of Rock on Ruby, Inglis Drever and Denman all placing in it
BACK YANWORTH AT 2.38 (William Hill, Paddy Power, Bet365)
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MORE OF THAT won The World Hurdle here in 2014, beating Annie Power. That form is stronger than anything No More Hero’s has shown. Martello Tower, who beat No More Hero’s in The Albert Bartlett last year has shown nothing this season. Annie Power has just won a Champion Hurdle.
More of That has run at Cheltenham four times and he’s won four times, the form is there for all to see and I’m expecting him to run another big race today. If More of That wins today then he’ll be strongly fancied in the ante-post markets for the 2017 Gold Cup, which means that within 40 minutes we could have seen two of next years Championship race winners.
BACK MORE OF THAT AT 2.87 (Bet365)
[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”15:30 – The Champion Chase” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]

UN DE SCEAUX beat Sire De Grugy with ease at Ascot in JAnuary. On a formline through that, Sprinter Sacre, who I believe is on a downward trajectory, compared to when he won at Cheltenham in November receiving lumps of weight, also won’t be able to beat him. Sprinter Sacre was all out to beat Sire De Grugy in The Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton in December and I see no reason for him to be able to improve on that showing.

Last years winner, Dodging Bullets, benefited from the injuries that Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy had. He’s had his issues since then and his seasonal re-appearance can’t leave anyone with any confidence about him retaining his crown.

If Sprinter Sacre was back to his best, he’d win this race, unfortunately he’s around two stones worse than and in my opinion he’s now a mid-160s horse. I see the only issues for Un De Sceaux being the fences, a lot has been made about his jumping, however he put in his best performance ever last time out and was foot perfect in The Arkle last year. Every time he’s stayed on his feet, fourteen times, he’s won. The only times that he’s fallen have been on his seasonal re-appearance, when well clear, therefore I’m happy to put that down to him needing a run each year just to take the ‘fizz’ out of him.
I honestly thought that Un De Sceaux would 1.50 and maybe even shorter. At 1.73, he looks to be an excellent bet.
BACK UN DE SCEAUX AT 1.73 (General)
[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”16:10 – Cross Country Chase” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”20px” text_align=”left”]
I didn’t think that I’d be having a bet in this race, until I saw that JOSIES ORDERS was priced up at 3.75. How he isn’t nearer the 2.75 mark amazes me. As this race isn’t a handicap anymore, it’s should be even easier to win. The form of beating twelve year old Any Currency receiving lumps of weight isn’t anything special, but that win was improved on over the same course and distance when running off level weights in December.
Ballyboker Bridge, Bless The Wings, Valadom, Any Currency, Rivage D’Or, Love Rory, Uncle Junior and Sire Collonges have all been beaten by the selection over these fences and I don’t really see them over turning that form today. Third Intention, Dolatulo, Rossvoss, Utah De La Coquais and Cantlow haven’t run over these fences before, so I don’t want to side with them. Eliminating those leaves Balthazar King, he this race in 2012 and 2014, but fell in last years Grand National and hasn’t been seen since due to the horrible injury he sustained. He’s now twelve and with the love the stable have for him, they’re not going to be hard on him if he doesn’t take to racing again. Quantitativeeasing was beaten by Any Currency over this course and distance back in December 2014, but that was probably too long ago now to form any firm judgements on him and I rate him as the main danger.
BACK JOSIES ORDERS AT 3.75 (Bet365, Bet Victor, Paddy Power)

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