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Today’s Info 10th March 2015 – Cheltenham Day 1

Good morning


Let’s kick straight into the Supreme Novices Hurdle and if you like talking horses then you will like Douvan a lot, I am being a little harsh with that simple description perhaps but he is too short for his slamming of lesser Irish rivals and whilst he may be very good, backing him to be so needs more faith than sense. He is trained by the man who should know his pecking order, he is talked up by one of the best jockeys we have ever seen and he is open to any level of improvement and might be better for better ground so the moment has come to see. At the prices I’ll be happy to see that without wading in though.


L’Ami Serge is hugely similar although I think the form is bare faced stronger than Douvan’s and in a third year of hurdling now has more experience and hardiness for a test like this so is certainly a better option at the odds with similar bullish connections in his corner. That said I like the third best in the market where Jollyallan is well up to standard for a Supreme yet hasn’t even worked out how to jump yet or use the most of his impressive frame.


Harry Fry has got experience in to him and then put him nicely away for a tilt at this on better ground and I think he will relish the hill here if his jumping holds up in the race. He travels so well, has a lovely long stride and is open to lots of improvement, overpriced of the top three in the market and hopefully get’s McCoy and McManus along with the Fry team off to a flyer for the week.


There is only one horse who should be up to racing with Un De Sceaux in the Arkle and that is Josses Hill but his jumping has been hippo like at times and stepped up in trip last time was a left field move from connections in terms of coming here at the Festival. I expect UDS to win and win well but I do think Barry will get Josses Hill around in second place and there we have a possible wager.


In the without market he is 11/2 and that looks way too big. I don’t think Vibrato Valtat will beat him and after that many of these will be ridden to finish, if Barry is positive and I think he will have little choice, plus that is his style in these races, to make his mount go quicker than he has to date over fences then he should be a clear second on his ability and remember he was not that far behind Vautour at the meeting last year and then smashed Sgt Reckless at Aintree. Jump Joss Jump!


I think the market is spot on in the Handicap at 2.40, the best three perched horses are Pendra, The Druids Nephew and Ned Stark. I am a massive fan of the latter, Alan King has got a proper horse here and knows exactly what this race requires. I have only a slight concern about the track but I think he has to be on side and has a lot more to come with experience.


I don’t there is much room in playing the other two as well, Pendra could win but the value is long gone this week and The Druids Nephew has solid claims, I’m happy to play one of the top three and Ned Stark will hopefully get a bit of luck. There is value elsewhere in the race though and with Ian Williams in such good form last year’s favourite for the Kim Muir, Indian Castle looks forgotten at the odds and is more than capable of taking a hand in this having looked far more like him self last time out. Went off a short price for the Paddy Power, has a good record on decent ground and if you forgive a spin in cheekpieces and accept that the return following was intended to line up at the Festival with no cobwebs then we are on a lively one.


I think The New One is the most solid in the Champion Hurdle and I’m only going to slightly spoil the watching of the race with a very small bet on him rather than go all out to solve what is a fascinating contest. He has had one too many runs perhaps this season and could have come fresher in an ideal world but his form from last year and this is marginally the best to me and whilst Faugheen winning decisively or a tearful Fly third timer would bring the house down, The New One has his own script that might include Champion status this year.


Annie Power surely wins the Mares but again in the without market I’d be tempted by Polly Peachum who has been a little forgotten in the race through lack of racing and if at her best with possibly more to come will give Glens Melody a decent race for the places.


Very Wood should win the 4m but is hard to enthuse over the prices.  I am chancing two at bigger prices in the hope they have valid excuses for not lining up with a win or two under their saddles this term that their ability would have deserved. Thunder And Roses is a fine beast but disappointing to date and his pilot has had a couple of decent sits on him. Very Wood holds him but he can do better and is just the type to appreciate something like this – Grand Nationals in time too.


The other is a bigger price in Ballyculla who has an excellent jockey booked and excuses for some of his efforts over fences yet also potential to improve plenty. Well behind Cogry after a blunder which makes that read worse than it was and the hope comes from his endless stamina and his liking for this track. A run behind Kingsmere here over hurdles has stuck in the memory bank and better ground and the hill hopefully sees him hit the places at big prices with a clear round.


Always rated Generous Ransom as a prospect and he should be backed in the last. Right race hopefully and he can build on his progression and is just about a fair price at the top of the market. Killala Quay is perhaps the one most interesting otherwise with surely more to come after a stop start few runs over fences, he was good at the Festival last year and could have been nicely lined up for a big spin, happy to save with him and wrap up the day there.


It’s four days but it would be good to get something over the line early! Good luck to all


Advice –




1.30 – Jollyallan 0.75pt e/w – 9/1 General


2.05 – Josses Hill 0.75pt Win – 11/2 without Un De Sceaux with Lads and Corals


2.40 – Ned Stark 1pt Win – 9/1 Powers, Victor and 888

2.40 – Indian Castle 0.75pt e/w – 22/1 General, 5 places


3.20 – The New One 0.5pt Win – 4/1 General


4.40 – Thunder and Roses 0.5pt Win – 25/1 Powers and Stan James

4.40 – Ballyculla 0.5pt e/w – 50/1 General, 4 places with BETFRED, Totesport, Coral and Skybet


5.15 – Generous Ransom 1pt Win – 9/1 General, 10s with Powers

5.15 – Killala Quay 0.5pt Win – 14/1 Boyles, Powers and Hills


One multiple for the day 0.5pt e/w treble – Jollyallan, Ned Stark and Generous Ransom


Have a crack at the placepot and jackpots, pick 4 etc as that will allow a bit of Mullins coverage for the afternoon…it’s going to be a rollercoaster! Good Luck all.


The Judge





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