Back to the musical headline today, courtesy of Paul Simon as we take a look at the second and final day of the Cheltenham International meeting.
Centrepiece at 1.50 is the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase with a field of 17 due to go to post.
After an excellent third in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, Al Dancer has been installed as favourite at 11-2 and is a worthy one. Allowed to run off the same mark as last time, NTD‘s 7-y-o can enhance its already impressive course record by taking this valuable prize and should be backed accordingly.
Given the field size and the vagaries of multi-runner chases, we also put up Annie Mc (25-1) and Romain De Senam (20-1) for tiny each way punts.
The Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle at 2.25 is always a difficult puzzle to solve, with many of the runners stepping up to 3m for the first time, but we think the value lies with Ask A Honey Bee at 7-2.
Fergal‘s horse seems all about stamina and holds a verdict over today’s favourite from Wetherby in October. Have a win bet on this one.
At 3.00 the Unibet International Hurdle is the stage for the reappearance of the enigma that is Goshen. Well clear when unseating Jamie Moore in the Triumph, this 4-y-o has since had two underwhelming spins on the Flat, but pitches up today with its trainer talking Champion Hurdle. On that basis, Goshen just has to win today, but, frankly, 7-4 don’t float our boat.
As an alternative, we suggest an each way bet on Ch’tibello at 8-1.
Dan Skelton‘s charge was saddled with a penalty for its three races last season, but that has now gone and, after a minor wind tweak, the 9-y-o reappeared to run a stormer at Aintree over 2m 4f. Back over its best trip today, we should at least get a run for the hard-earned.
The Close Brothers Mares’ Handicap Hurdle completes the card and, in this, we recommend an each way bash on Crossgalesfamegame, whatever that means.
Another Fergal jobbie, this 6-y-o should have come on bundles for her comeback run and is very well handicapped on last year’s novice form.
11-2 are the odds of reward.
Cameras are also at Doncaster, where the turn-out for the first two races can only be described as disappointing. The short priced favs dominate both the 2.05 and the 2.40, neither of which look like betting propositions.
The final race at 3.15, however, is a different cauldron of tuna, with nine runners and our selection here is last year’s winner of the race Boldmere.
Caroline Bailey‘s 7-y-o has had two outings in preparation for today and should be spot on for a repeat under Paddy Brennan. Take the 5-2.
Eso es todo, amigos.
Al Dancer 1.50 Cheltenham 1.5pts e/w @ 11-2 (5 places)
Annie Mc 1.50 Cheltenham 0.5pts e/w @ 25-1 (6 places Hills, Betfair)
Romain De Senam 1.50 Cheltenham 0.5pts e/w @ 20-1 (6 places Betfair)
Ask A Honey Bee 2.25 Cheltenham 2pts win @ 7-2
Ch’tibello 3.00 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (4 places Betfair/Skybet)
Crossgalesfamegame 3.35 Cheltenham 1.5pts e/w @ 11-2 (4 places Skybet)
Boldmere 3.15 Doncaster 2pts win @ 5-2