The Cheltenham Festival 2023 is edging ever closer and, with the off slowly looming in to view, we’ve got jump jockey icon turned tactical guru Ruby Walsh and top pundit Rory Delargy with us every week to hopefully get you more bang for your buck.
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The second race on day two of the 2023 Festival is the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase and the lads have been looking at the early markets to hopefully send you off into the night with a winner. Gerri Colombe is a handsome favourite at the time of writing but can anyone cause an upset and who’s looking good each-way value? Here’s Ruby’s verdict.
Ruby Walsh: Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase
Patrick Mullins’ case for riding Gaillard Du Mesnil in the 3m 6f National Hunt Chase definitely wasn’t softened by his run at Leopardstown over the weekend. However, if you look at last year’s Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase, L’Homme Presse beats Ahoy Senor and Gaillard Du Mesnil was third.
It’s probably hard to say that this year’s contest is a stronger race thought, isn’t it? It doesn’t to me anyway.
Gerri Colombe looks to be an obvious player. I was impressed with his win at Sandown at the weekend. The National Hunt Chase has been ruled out as he doesn’t qualify anyway so this is more than likely his sole target.
Gaillard Du Mesnil has the choice of two while Sir Gerhard’s target up in the air. Thyme Hill was very good in the Kauto Star Chase at Christmas, but he had blown out at Newbury before that behind McFabulous.
Ramallies was demoted at Naas the other day, James Du Berlais blew out at the weekend, Thedevilscoachman likes really soft ground and it’s hard to see , Balco Coastal turning the form around with Gerri Colombe over half a mile further. That leaves Gentlemansgame.
It’s a wide-open race, but it doesn’t look an outstanding contest on paper between two or three top novices who are well ahead of the others. So if you’re looking at it from Gaillard Du Mesnil’s connections point of view, why wouldn’t you have another crack at it?
Sir Gerhard was keen enough under Paul Townend over 2m 5f last year in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle. Would fences settle him better? He did settle better at Gowran Park, but that was over two miles so it’s hard to tell.
He looked really settled in maiden hurdles, So the question is do you go all the way up to three miles with him in one step? I don’t know.
It will be an interesting conversation and a lot will depend on what Willie Mullins moves from the Arkle Chase over 2m into the Turners Chase over 2m 4f. It’s all about putting those pieces together to complete that jigsaw as best you can with the novice chasers.
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Verdict: My pick is Gerri Colombe but I don’t have an overly strong opinion. The form of Galia des Liteaux took a boost at the weekend but she might run in the Mrs Paddy Power Mares Chase
At a bigger price, one that I thought came home well at Leopardstown, upped in trip when fourth to Mighty Potter was I Am Maximus. He could improve again if he went up in distance.
Ruby’s Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase Tips:
Galia des Liteaux
I Am Maximus
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