Chantry House is the one we came down on in this one. It’s a competitive renewal of the Supreme Novices, with plenty of horses capable of winning.
We feel the selection hasn’t really been tested over hurdles and that there’s more to come. He’s a little bit of a bigger price than Asterion Forlonge and Shishkin and he may be able to take the honours in the opener.
- Ruby Walsh’s Cheltenham Festival Cheat Sheet
- Frank Hickey’s 3 horses he fancies who are well handicapped
- Paul Jacobs 4 value plays to save the day
- 5 Irish runners to back at the Festival
Brewinupastorm, Olly Murphy’s charge, has been laid out for this race ever since he won a Novices Chase at Taunton at the end of last season.
There’s a lot of pace in this race and that’ll suit him as he stays well. If his jumping can hold up – he has only had two starts over fences – we feel he’ll go very close. He’s a good each-way price.
This is a wide open race as per usual with this renewal. Vinndication is the one we like. He’s the top weight but he has some really good form in the past.
He’s the class edge of this race for Kim Bailey, who has a couple of good chances on the opening day.
It’s not a vintage renewal of the Champion Hurdle but Epatante is the one for us. She’s favourite in the market but we feel an end-to-end gallop will bring out the best in her.
Some of our number on the trading floor had reservations about how she’ll go on this track, but she’s a different filly this year and comes into this one on the back of a good win in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.
This is a really good matchup between Benie Des Dieux and Honeysuckle, which looks a close match on paper. We feel Benie Des Dieux’s form is on a different level to Honeysuckle so we’re very sweet on her.
At an odds-on price she’s probably not a great betting proposition, so Stormy Ireland in the betting without market looks as if she might be worth a few quid.
But if Benie Des Dieux gets over the last safely this year, she should win.
Another wide open contest, though Beakstown looks laid out for this for Dan Skelton, who has a knack of producing winners at the Festival, especially in handicaps like this.
Beakstown has gathered enough experience over fences to suggest that a mark of 139 is well within his reach. So we feel at a good each-way price he’s worth looking at.
Carefully Selected is favourite and is going to be in warm water for Willie and Patrick Mullins. His jumping is a slight question mark but he has the ability to carry these at his best. He’s a great performer and you can’t say that about most horses in the race.
At an each-way price we’re also interested in giving a chance is Smoking Gun. He went off favourite for the Thyestes Chase but didn’t perform on that occasion. But he stays well and Tom Hamilton is a good amateur.
Carefully Selected is probably the best horse in the race but we feel Smoking Gun is the value each-way play.