Urgent do Gregaine is a model of consistency in this sort of race and has a good chance of scoring here despite having to shoulder top weight. With ground concerns about plenty of the other principals, he looks a fair price for a punt.
This is a typically open renewal and we are keen on two horses for different reasons. Dame de Compagnie has been very lightly raced in recent seasons but came to this yard with a tall reputation and had looked potentially smart before injury intervened. If there is one in this race that could improve 10+ pounds it could be her.
At the other end of the handicap is Quel Destin. It could be argued he is exposed, but others could say battle-hardened. He has a similar enough profile to Old Guard who won this race for the same stable a few years back. He will handle the conditions and will have no issue rolling up his sleeves if this becomes a slog.
It may surprise you, but in this Supreme novice hurdle trial, we wouldn’t pick Pacify. He made huge strides during the summer, but has a penalty for winning a poor race last time and on this ground, we’re happy to look elsewhere. Hang In There ran a huge race on his hurdle debut at Fairyhouse last Easter and has looked a decent prospect since being purchased for 60k.
Stormy Ireland is an imposing opponent at this level and while Elegantine Du Seuil is thoroughly unexposed, she has to give her stablemate 6lb and the vibes are that she will improve for a run.
Battleoverdoyen bombed badly in the Ballymore at last year’s festival, but he may have had an issue as wasn’t seen again last season. This strapping sort made an excellent debut over fences when jumping like an old hand at Galway last month. While this ground is not ideal, he has the class edge to see him home.
13:15 Cheltenham: Urgent do Gregaine – 11/4
15:00 Cheltenham: Quel Destin (6/1) and/or Dame de Compagnie (6/1)
15:35 Cheltenham: Hang In There – 4/1
13:05 Punchestown: Stormy Ireland – 8/15
14:50 Punchestown: Battleoverdoyen – 4/6
* All odds correct at time of posting.