Favourites too short

Today we have the final Cheltenham meeting before the Festival. It is a fantastic day of racing with eight graded races, five from Cheltenham plus three at Doncaster.

The going at both meetings is soft with further rain forecast throughout the day. The other jumps fixture in Britain is at Uttoxeter where the going is heavy. There is also racing in Ireland at Fairyhouse which contains a few races of interest for the future.

We are going to look at two of the Grade 2 races from Cheltenham:

2.25 3m1½f (New) BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) (Class 1) (5yo+)

Bristol de Mai would be at very short odds if coming here directly from his Betfair Chase success at Haydock. However there is the small matter of a desperately disappointing subsequent effort in the King George on Boxing Day to consider.

His two best pieces of form have been shown in very deep ground at Haydock.

It may be that he can handle those conditions when others can’t.

Although the ground will be soft today, it’s very doubtful if it will be as testing as at Haydock. He has to be considered a vulnerable favourite.

Most of the opposition have achieved a similar level of form, with the exception of The Last Samuri. He has been a wonderfully consistent horse at a high handicap level.

He looks to be as good as ever, judging on his latest Aintree run.

In receipt of weight from the majority of the field I expect a big performance.

I provisionally price as follows:

Bristol  De Mai  3/1

The Last Samuri 4/1

American  11/2

Tea For Two  11/2

Definitly Red  6/1

20/1 bar


The Last Samuri
The Last Samuri

 3.35 3m (New) galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2) (Class 1) (5yo+)

Wholestone put up an improved performance when winning the Relkeel Hurdle on New Years Day.

Both Agrapart and Colins Sister finished behind him there.

Although both enjoy a small pull in the weights, I expect Wholestone to confirm that form.

Finian’s Oscar reverts to hurdles from chasing and his chance is greatly respected.

Beer Goggles has improved on each of his three starts this season.

A line through Colin’s Sister puts him on a par with Wholestone.

Let’s hope he puts up a very strong performance.

On my private tissue I have the front of the market as below:

Wholestone  7/2

Beer Goggles  5/1

Finian’s  Oscar  5/1



The early prices on offer from the books are fairly tight around their respective favourites: Bristol and Finian’s. As you will see when making a comparison, it is a view I do not share.

2017 Report & Special Membership

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