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It’s the third day at the festival and I’ve some crackers at Cheltenham for you. Some really good novice chances kick things off in a race which is not on ITV. This one features eagerly awaited debut of over fences of THE BIG BREAKAWAY and having been down to Colin Tizzard’s yard recently, I know they can’t wait to get this horse on the track. He has to concede experience to The Butcher Said and Soldier of Love, but does get weight from them. He should be winning this if he is to be a champion.
DISCORAMA was one of our selections at the Festival earlier this year and he ran a very good race to be placed in the Handicap Cha. He comes here on the back of a good run at Galway when finishing second and I reckon this is perfect race for him on Sunday afternoon. West Approach has to be delivered late, but does not win that often. I would be more worried about Ramses De Teillee, who will love it if the ground gets very soft.
I am a huge Defi Du Seuil fan and the only race he disappointed in was the Queen Mother Champion Chase, he won this race last year when lots of things were against him. He is just a very good horse and really soft ground won’t bother him, I have to admit I want him to win too.
PUT THE KETTLE ON won at this meeting last year and won the Arkle at the Festival back in March. She has always been underestimated, but keeps winning, I reckon she is the one in this. The worrying thing for me is that the Philip Hobbs team are not firing on all cylinders, if they were I would be very confident of Defi Du Seuil. But, with the doubts, Put The Kettle On could be the value.
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The ground again could be the key here and I am not convinced that Edwardstone wanted it very soft, so that is a concern for his backers. Harambee, who won the race last year, will like conditions but has not had the benefit of a recent run. Hunters Call is one that I am really interested in, he finished a good fourth at the Galway Festival in the Galway Hurdle, when nothing went right for him.
He is a smart horse, who has already won a big prize when winning an ultra competitive handicap hurdle three years ago at Ascot. Sir Psycho is one who has had a run and bolted up at Haydock last year, he will handle the forecast conditions. I might be mad, but BALLYANDY – even with top weight – could well be the value bet.
THIRD TIME LUCKI has the best bumper form and will probably be short in the betting here. He has not been impressive up until now, but his bumper form is far superior to any of these and maybe he just needs the softer ground he will get here.
Jungle Junction is interesting coming over from Ireland, Jessica Harrington is no stranger to pulling off a surprise and it’s interesting she sends this horse here. If the favourite bombs, Courtandbould has been a winning machine and if this house handles the ground, he is the alternative to our selection. However, there will be a few raised eyebrows if Third Time Lucki does not win.
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