Cheltenham tips: Matt Chapman’s big 4 to score in the Championship races

Matt's eager to for the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Stayers Hurdle and Gold Cup to come under orders.

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ITV racing’s Matt Chapman picks out his Lucky 15 for the Cheltenham festival and Paddy is paying double the odds if you have just one winner on any Lucky 15, 31 or 63’s placed between Monday, March 15 and Friday, March 19 on UK & ROI racing.

Tuesday – Champion Hurdle: Goshen

At Cheltenham, there tend to be good, very good and then freak-like horses. And in the championship races that’s how I look at the fields trying to pick my selections. In the Champion Hurdle my feeling is the defending heroine Epatante is very good, but not out of this world. So after her defeat by Silver Streak at Kempton I have to take her on. Honeysuckle is unbeaten in ten starts and was awesome in the Irish Champion last time. She could easily win. But I like Goshen. He looked awesome before and after he had unseated Jamie Moore in the Triumph Hurdle, and after a lacklustre return he was brilliant at Wincanton last time. He could be a super classy horse.

Wednesday – Champions Chase: Chacun Pour Soi

There’s no doubt in my mind Chacun Pour Soi will take all the beating. The short-priced favourite was electric at Leopardstown last time and might be the defending champion had he not missed last year’s Festival through injury. He just looks very good indeed and is still lightly raced and mainly untested. There is more to come for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend. First Flow might be the each-way alternative at longer odds. He’s won his last six starts for Kim Bailey and could still be improving.

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Thursday – Stayers Hurdle: Paisley Park

Although he ran deplorably in this race last year, Paisley Park for me, is still the best stayer in the business. He reminds me of Big Bucks, in that I just think he’s better than all the other stayers. He would have been very unlucky not to beat Thyme Hill last time out. Even though he hits his flat spots now and again, he’s very hard to beat on his day.

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Friday – Gold Cup: Santini

There is no doubt that Al Boum Photo can land three Gold Cups. But he’s just not a horse that excites me at all. For all his talent we hardly ever see him and he’s just a bit of a bore! I’m sticking with last year’s runner up, Santini, who to be quite frank has done very little this term in three starts.

That said, I really believe he’s a horse that needs a strong gallop and a big field, and he just doesn’t get that in any race other than the Gold Cup. Aidan Coleman rides for Nicky Henderson and at long odds he might surprise a few people. I will have a few quid on each-way.

*Paddy will be all over your telly box throughout the Cheltenham Festival sponsoring ITV’s live coverage from Prestbury Park – and you can get free and exclusive tipping columns EVERY DAY from Ruby Walsh, Matt Chapman and Mick Fitzgerald here on PP News.

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