Cheltenham: Theatre Guide good value on opening day
Well it is finally here. All the talking is over and we can now look forward to four days of top National Hunt action from Prestbury Park. Many will be concentrating on the big races of the day – the Champion Hurdle, Arkle, Supreme Novices etc. but there is a little more value to be found elsewhere, particularly in the Handicaps and that is where I will casting my eye over.
First up, Theatre Guide looks to be huge value in the 3m1f Handicap Chase at 2.40. Colin Tizzard’s charge has been highly tried this season and connections had him entered for top races here at the Festival this week but have thankfully decided on this. He has decent course form and might prove to be well handicapped on his best form, particularly now stepped up in trip again.
Later on the card, Cogry should prove to be a bit of e/w value in the 4 mile National Hunt Chase. Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge has always been a horse I have admired and the step up to this stamina sapping trip may be the making of him. He has plenty to find with current favourite, Very Wood on their Albert Bartlett runs last year but he may prove to be the better stayer and he should have plenty more to come over fences as well.
Today’s final e/w play comes again from the stable of Nigel Twiston-Davies. I am hoping Nige will have a rip roaring day and I do hope that The New One can gain a bit of redemption earlier on in the day in the Champion Hurdle. It is Little Jon that gets my vote in the finale on day one, the Listed Handicap Chase.
Now, Little Jon is never the easiest on the eye over his fences but he is such a strong traveller and has such a nice weight here, he looks slightly over priced in my opinion. He ran pretty well in Grade 3 company last time but has been subsequently dropped a couple of pounds. Ryan Hatch takes off a further 5lbs today and if his jumping holds up, he should grab a place at the very least from the front.
Day One Selections
2.40: 0.5pts e/w, Theatre Guide @ 18/1
4.40: 0.5pts e/w, Cogry @ 16/1
5.15: 0.5pts e/w, Little Jon @ 12/1
Kevin Walsh 10/3/15
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