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Wednesday 6 March 2013

Cheltenham Preview

I made my annual pilgrimage to the Cheltenham Preview evening in Liverpool on Monday and it was a great evening in the company of racing folk all with the same mentality of Cheltenham, Cheltenham, Cheltenham !

Unfortunately I wasn't able to post my thoughts last night as I was at The Phantom Of The Opera at the Liverpool Empire which was very entertaining.

Ben Palling and Charlie Longsdon were at the preview along with organiser and racing pundit John Morris, John Parrott and Speed guru Andy Holding .

Ben Palling said about My Tent or Yours(2ND) in the William Hill Supreme Novices that he needs a fast pace and if he gets that he will be difficult to beat....Well I've never known a race at the festival that doesn't have a fast pace so there should be no problem there. He also said that River Maigue could not be ruled out.
On speed ratings Jetski and Un Atout were at the top of the list with Charlie Longsdon suggesting Melodic Rendevous as the ew value.

In the Arkle BP was full of Simonsig(1ST) and went as far as to say that he had more natural ability than Sprinter Sacre, however CL was not convinced that Simonsig had been tested this season and was of the opinion that Overturn needed a flat track to show his best as he is all about speed.

The Champion Hurdle is looking like a cracking race and CL said that both Rock on Ruby and Zarkander stay well but that Hurricane Fly (1ST) will be kept more closer to the pace this time around. I thought it was interesting that BP didnt really push the chances of Grandouet in the same way as My Tent or Yours or Simonsig.

The Neptune Investments Hurdle on Wednesday started with what could finish second to Pont Alexandre with Mullins having commented that he will be even better on good ground. CL though reminded us that Nigel Twiston Davies is of the opinion that The New One(1ST) is the best horse that he has trained and he was my idea of a likely winner of this when he won at Cheltenham in October. On speed he was also mentioned as having shown an unbelievable turn of foot when winning at Warwick in January. Tarquin Du Seuil was another to get positive noises with his second to My Tent or Yours at Ascot whilst it was thought that Pont Alexandre would take all the beating. BP brought the chances of Chatterbox to our attention saying that he was desperate that he should run in this event and he also reminded us of his defeat of My Tent or Yours and told us that he had been working well at home. This is a really hot race and one to savour next week

The RSA and CL highlighted Dynaste and Boston Bob as horses that will stay, whilst BP said that Dynaste was his idea of a fantastic future star and Gold Cup horse. On Hadrians Approach he thought he would suffer from his lack of concentration in a race as he is apt to make a mistake or two. On speed fifures we were reminded of the chances of Lord Windermere (1ST) EW and Lyreen Legend EW.

The Champion Bumper we were told that the Paul Nicholls/John Hales Fastcno Rustico had been working sensationally on the gallops recently and there was good chance that Ruby Walsh would be riding.

In the Jewson BP put forward Captain Conan as the likely winner as did speed ratings who was also keen on Mullins Hey Up Charlie.

Onto the Ryanair and BP wasn't overly keen on Riverside Theatre reading between the lines and speed ratings went for First Lieutenant(2ND) and Menorah EW and we were reminded that Mouse Morris had been asked pre Hennessy about his prospects and he had said that he didnt have a chance and was a spring horse and FL went to run a cracking race and finish third to Bobs Worth and Tidal Bay, so with everything geared towards the festival he must go close.

The World Hurdle and BP reminded us of Oscar Whiskey stamina issues and John Parrott mentioned Smad Place a s a good EW bet.

Our Conor(1ST) in the Triumph was speed ratings nap of the week with Far West(2ND) and Rolling Star mentioned as the best of the English and we were told not to forget the chances of John Quinn's Kashmir Peak and Hidden Justice. BP was positive about Rolling Star and said that he couldn't wait for the race.

The Albert Bartlett and CL went for Superior Quality EW, whilst BP was keen on NTD's African Gold(2ND) and reminded us that he had beaten there Close Touch(1ST)(ent Sandown Saturday) at Doncaster last time out which he thought was good enough to make him difficult to beat here.Speed ratings put up At Fishers Cross(1ST) and Road To Riches as the two to watch out for.

In the Grand Annual we were reminded of the solid form of the race won by Tome George's Rody at Warwick last time out with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th all going on to win their following race, the time of that race was also highlighted.

The Gold Cup BP told us that Long Run will be wearing cheek pieces and that he had taken well to them at home and we were reminded that Bobs Worth(1ST) was 4-4 at the track. On speed it was Silviniaco Conti who recorded a good time at Warwick but the fact that he hasn't run at Cheltenham was a negative

Charlie Longsdon was asked about his horse chances in the Handicaps but was able to duck the question by stating that it was up to JP McManus were they ran and as yet he didn't know which races they were running in..He did have a good word for Brassick as a horse for next season.
Ben Palling was asked about other horses at the stable and their chances, he mentioned Forgotten Voice as a big horse who has speed to burn, jumps well and would take a lot of beating in the County Hurdle, Ericht and Tour D'Argent Martin Pipe Cond Jockeys Hcap Hdl, Une Artiste Mares Hdl EW, Nadiya De La Vega (cheek pieces first time) Byrne Group Plate and in the Johnny Henderson Petit Robin was back to his best.

Other snippets, we were told that Paul Nicholls was personally keen on both Sam Winner and Wonderful Charm, but we were also reminded that he wasn't a good tipster.