Noah and his Ark have been on weather watch over the past week or so, meaning the ground at Cheltenham is heavier than us after Christmas.
As a result, we could see a few shocks on Tuesday – more than enough to get Jamie Carragher spitting mad.
It could turn out that Getabird is the next Douvan, and he may prove to be just too good in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at 1.30pm, but the value looks to lie with Summerville Boy.
His defeat of the reopposing Kalashnikov, (who went down all guns blazing) in the Tolworth, received a boost when that one landed the ultra-competitive Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last month, and Summerville Boy can keep it mighty real by landing the opener.
Coo Star Sivola has run really well over hurdles at the last two Cheltenham Festivals and boasts a progressive profile over fences, having improved again when a clear-cut winner at Exeter last time.
That was only his second start over this trip and, open to further improvement as a chaser, he looks sure to give another good account in the Ultima Handicap Chase at 2.50pm. Gold Present is respected, however, he might get stuck in the mud, and a bigger threat could be Beware The Bear, who only tired late on in the Welsh National last time.
Half of Timeform have been up before the judge (according to rumour), but it’s Jury Duty who makes most appeal in the four-miler at 4.50pm. Gordon Elliott has won two of the last three renewals and looks to have a strong hand once again with Jury Duty and Mossback.
The former has kept some hot company this season and has looked the ideal type for this race for some time, so gets the nod. No Comment lacks chasing experience, but is still an intriguing runner having very much caught the eye when third in a Grade 1 at Sandown last month.
We’ve all let ourselves down at some point in our lives, and it’s always best to give people/horses a second chance. His mishap at Plumpton aside, Rather Be has looked a graded-level chaser this season, landing the odds with the minimum of fuss on a couple of occasions, and the suspicion is that the assessor has taken a big chance with him in the Giggs Stakes (Close Brothers) at 5.30pm.
Any Second Now has yet to taste success over fences, but this strongly-run race will suit him, with Barney Dwan another to consider. He ran well off this mark when second over hurdles at the Festival 12 months ago and looks the type to excel under the spotlight once more.
* All odds correct at time of posting.