First day of the Cheltenham Open meeting and three races to look at. The track has been watered over the last few weeks and the going is Good/Good to Soft in places.
12.55 Cheltenham Glenfarclas Veterans´ Handicap Chase (CLASS 2)
Due to firm ground the Cross Country chase has been postponed to late January and this race for the older horses substituted.
Ericht and Realt Mor are the two runners with recent form. Both having run last week with Realt Mor being one of a number of winners for Gordon Elliott at Down Royal.
Astracad is of interest, having been sent to the sales and then bought back by his trainer.
With Shuil Royale now a non-runner the above three are at the head of the market.
I go 9/2 the field.
2.40 Cheltenham Neptune Investment Management Hyde Novices´ Hurdle (Grade 2)
West Approach and Wholestone are essentially the same horse on previous form.
Peregrine Run continues to improve.
Baden sets the form standard. The grey has had four career outings; two in Ireland and his two in Britain have both been at this course.
My provisional tissue:
Peregrine Run 9/2
West Approach 9/2
3.15 Cheltenham Opus Energy Novices´ Handicap Hurdle (CLASS 3)
Eighteen runners at present and the layers are taking no chances with their morning prices.
Plenty of these look badly handicapped.
Tudor City was a very easy winner on latest start on the flat.
Air Horse One is potentially well handicapped on his bumper form, but this is reflected in the 4/1 currently on offer.
Yearly profits have increased again this week with a strong bet on an impressive 11/4 winner. For more details about the service and latest membership terms go to: www.slh.co.uk
Back tomorrow morning for day 2.