An intriguing four-year-old hurdle to kick things off and Allmankind will be hoping he can carry on his winning spree which came to an end in the Triumph Hurdle last season.
Jockey Harry Skelton is adamant that we did not see the best of him in that race. Botox Has was beaten by Allmankind at this track in November off level weights but in receipt of 4lb now, he can get a bit closer.
Anna Bunina gets a lot of weight from Allmankind and if the handicapper has done his sums right, she could win. She is fit and well having run a good race at Listowel where the winner Politicise has since
won again on the flat at Gowran Park.
I’m sticking with Allmankind as we don’t know how much better he could be on this ground.
Southfield Stone burst Angels Breath bubble at Kempton last year and won very well at Musselburgh over fences, He has had a wind op which should help, is a lovely big horse who has been a little disappointing to be honest so the wind op could work the trick. Not that Fuisse was good at Perth and does jump well.
I really like Philip Hobbs young horse Pileon though. He was robbed on the line in the Conditional jockeys race at the Festival by Indefatigable. He is a smart young horse who has run in a couple of point-to-points and looks like a chaser in the making. He could have a future over the larger obstacles.
Neville’s Cross is among the market leaders on the back of a very easy 20 length win at Hereford over three miles. He has taken a mighty hike in the weights, but deserved the rise. I’d better Go Now won nicely at Perth but this is much harder.
Tobefair is very interesting as he won this race last year of only a 3 lb lower mark, but it was a very different race then as there was only eight runners. Jockey Jack Tudor is excellent value for his 5lb claim on the top weight and that brings Tobefair into the reckoning.
Lock’s Corner has been on a winning spree but I thinks that will come to an end in this 18-runner contest. Flinck ran a hell of a race when third at Chepstow and is a young horse on the up.
I am keen on Jeremy Scott’s Champagne Court as an each-way play and he’s rated a lot higher over fences than he is over hurdles.
Frodon heads the weights for this 3m 1f Handicap Chase and this legend loves it around Cheltenham. That counts for a lot it is going to be so hard for him to win carrying this big weight, as he showed when running at Aintree first time out last season.
West Approach got beat in this contest last year by The Conditional, but jockey Robbie Power got there a bit soon, The Conditional did win the Ultima Chase at the Festival though, so maybe it wasn’t so bad. However, the Tizzard’s runners are not flying and that is a worry for West Approach’s chances.
Cogry was just behind West Approach in this race last year in third when they were all very closely matched at the weights. Cogry now gets 5lb off West Approach and that swings it in his favour for me.
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