ITV are very kindly covering the two-day Cheltenham meeting today, with the last four races presented for our delectation and delight. They are also sending a complete OB crew to Bangor to cover a six grand handicap hurdle – why, we know not, but there you have it.
First race on the telly is the CF Roberts Electrical & Mechanical Services Mares’ Handicap Chase (snappy, eh?) at 1.55 and the field of 10 has three horses at 6-1 heading the market. With no less than 8 horses trading at 10-1 or less this has the appearance of a wide open contest, but we have a strong fancy in the shape of Silent Steps, which is available at 7-1.
Neil King‘s 7-y-o won her latest race at Southwell without coming off the bridle, the official distance being 23 lengths, with the apparent improvement being put down to the first time applied blinkers. Well, they are on again today and so is the fragrant Bryony, so, off just 5lbs higher we take her to follow up.
In case the unthinkable happens and Troubled Soul (aptly named) decides to jump off with the rest, we also advise a saver on Fergal O’Brien‘s madam at 10-1. This 9-y-o is very talented when the mood takes her, winning her latest start with any amount in hand, before saying ‘no thank you’ when lining up at Sedgefield last week.
The CF Roberts 25 Years Of Sponsorship Handicap Chase at 2.30 has Sir Greatrex‘ mare Theatre Territory installed as the 3-1 favourite, even though this 8-y-o has just a maiden hurdle win to her name – and that was two years ago. What she has got, though, is some classy course form and an ultra-promising comeback run after a wind op. Second to a 147 rated winner and in front of a 152 rated third, the handicapper must be itching to raise TT‘s handicap mark from today’s 132, but the rules stop him doing that, so, in the hope that our favourite jockey can get it right, we suggest a lash at the price.
If SW-C fails to do the biz, we’d better suggest another saver, this time on Alan King‘s Kerrow at 7-1. Coming back from a mega lay-off, Kerrow looked all set to win a valuable chase at Bangor before going tail over stifle at the last fence and, if no worse for the experience, could make amends today.
The third of the televised races is the unmentionable Glenfarclas affair – so we won’t mention it.
The card concludes with the Citipost Handicap Hurdle at 3.40, in which Worthy Farm is the favourite at 100-30, after winning a very modest event at the mighty Taunton. Promising as Paul Nicholls‘ charge undoubtedly is, this race is a different cauldron of tuna and we much prefer the chances of Clondaw Native, which is available at a much more palatable 16-1.
Stuart Edmunds‘ 6-y-o was noted staying on nicely behind today’s opponent (and second favourite) Aaron Lad at Market Rasen 3 weeks ago and, armed with a 10lb pull this afternoon, we’ll take Cieran Gethings to get it there or thereabouts.
‘So what of Bangor‘ we hear you cry.
Well, it’s at 2.10, there are 7 runners and Valadom will win it at 9-2.
You heard it here first.
Silent Steps 1.55 Cheltenham 2pts e/w @ 7-1
Troubled Soul 1.55 Cheltenham 1pt win @ 10-1
Theatre Territory 2.30 Cheltenham 4pts win @ 3- 1
Kerrow 2.30 Cheltenham 1pt win @ 7-1
Clondaw Native 3.40 Cheltenham 2pts e/w @ 16-1
Valadom 2.10 Bangor 2pts win @ 9-2