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Tuesday 6 March 2012

Festival fever taking hold !

Well Monday night I went to the Cheltenham Festival preview evening at Maghull Town Hall, Near Liverpool. Those present on the panel were John Parrott, John Morris (Jumping Prospects) and David Carr (Racing Post) who compiles the David Pipe feature on a Saturday. Unfortunately Stuart Machin was unable to attend.

First race up was the Supreme Novices Hurdle, everyone thought that Darlan was the class act but it was a case of whether he will be able to last out, John Parrott went for Alan King's Montbazon whilst John Morris sided with Donald McCains Cinders and Ashes(1st 10/1), the latter had been given the thumbs up by Cholmondley maestro earlier in the week at Bangor.
Sprinter Sacre is another Henderson hotpot but the likely Odds on price now that Peddlers Cross is heading for the Jewson led the panel to seek out some ew value and DC selected Menorah and JM Cue Card.
JLT Chase
Not much mentioned for this that I can recall but JP thinks that Lie Forritt may be the one for some ew cash.
Champion Hurdle.
All seemed to agree that Hurricane Fly will be difficult to beat as he may be better than ever, JP thinks that race could be run to suit Binocular who will get the fast pace he needs from Overturn.
Cross Country
Try and avoid this if you can, unless you know something we dont.
Mares Hurdle
Race not covered
Novices Hcap Chase
Ferdy Murphy's Going Wrong was mentioned for this.

That's Day one out the way, unfortunately due to lack of time I will not be able to post Tuesday to Friday selections until tomorrow evening. However several of the evenings are covered on

National Hunt Challenge Cup
Race not covered
Neptune Novices Hurdle
JP went for Simonsig, he said that Geraghty had stated that he wasnt beaten by the trip at Sandown but by the ground as it wa stacky. DC went for an ew selection in Cotton Mill and JM went for Monksland ew.
RSA Chase
DC went for Grand Cru's and suggested 50/1 outsider Mr Moonshine ew, JM First Lieutenant and JP  went for Alan King's Invictus ew.
Queen Mother
Sizing Europe seemed to be the only horse on anyones lips for this.
Coral Cup
JP mentioned Alan Kings Batonnier and said that Spirit River was only 4lb higher than when winning previously.
Fred Winter
JP mentioned the fav Vendor, Alan Kings Kumbeshwar and Fire Fighter who he says wasnt knocked about last time. DC said that Pipe's Kazlian was worth a saver. JM said to keep a lookout for all Ellisons runners at the festival and put in a word for Royal Opera, he also mentioned James Ewart's Un Guet Apens who can run a big race.
Champion Bumper
JP said that Royal Gaurdsman looked a good thing and Tizzard had said that he was better than Cue Card. New Years Eve was mentioned as was Peter Bowens Aintree winner Sir Johnson. Population will be going to Aintree.

Pertemps Hurdle
DC seemed to suggest that Our Father had been laid out for this and JM put forward Barwell Bridge as an outsider.
Ryanair Chase
JM and JP both agreed that Albertas Run will go well again and DC was keen on Great Endeavour back over a shorter trip after a break on a course he likes.
World Hurdle
Big Bucks was reaffirmed as the winner and that Dynaste might be produced late.
Festival Plate
Pipe's Salut Flo was put forward for this as one that would take a lot of stopping.

Triumph Hurdle
JP went for Pearl Swan and pushed home that Nicholls had said improvement was likely. A couple of big price alternatives in Hollow Tree and Asaid were put forward and Darroun also got a mention.
County Hurdle
Citizenship was mentioned for this on the back of the run LTO, however it's going to take a leap of faith in seeing if he makes the cut. Prospect Wells who has had a breathing op since last run was next best.
Albert Bartlett Nov Hdle
Boston Bob was given as the one to beat here as will improve for the better going, JP was keen on Mount Benbulben and Sea of Thunder and Lovcen were also mentioned.
Gold Cup
All thought that this years race could be set up for an outsider with a fast pace looking assured and JP was keen on Burton Port. JM went for Weird Al and said he looked brilliant at Bangor last Wednesday and McCain thinks he has him back to his best.
Some decent chasers in here as always such as Cloudy Lane and Chapoturgeon but as with the amateurs race the jockeys play a big part and you are best siding with one of those and Richard Burton does very well here.
Martin Pipe
Citizenship may go in this if not in the County. Balgarry was mentioned by DC as the likely winner for Pipe.
Johnny Henderson
Dual Swinton Hurdle winner Eradicate was talked about as a likely sort for this as was Kumbeshwar, Alan King having won with Oh Crick. Of course it goes without saying that henderson will be out to win it as well and Tanks for That could be the one for him.

David Carr's blogpost of the night is below: