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Ruby Walsh picks out his Lucky 15 for the Cheltenham festival and Paddy is paying double the odds if you have just one winner on any Lucky 15, 31 or 63’s placed between Monday, March 15 and Friday, March 19 on UK & ROI racing.
Appreciate It looks rock solid here. He’s only been beaten once, and that was by Ferny Hollow in last year’s Champion Bumper at the festival. He’s a short price, but he’s entitled to be. Looking at the opposition, you can see why he’s short. Metier prefers soft ground.
Soaring Glory won the Betfair Hurdle but off a mark of 131 which wouldn’t be good enough here. Appreciate will kick off my Lucky 15 for the week
Wille Mullins has won nine of the 13 runnings of this race. Concertista won the Mares novices’ hurdle at Cheltenham last season. That was her first win over hurdles then. She’s won twice this season so far. She is facing a horse in very good form however, and that’s Roksana. Her run in the Long walk hurdle at Ascot behind Thyme Hill and Paisley Park, is very strong form. She is dropping down in trip but did win this race a few seasons back when Benie Des Dieux fell at the last.
Dame De Compagnie won last year’s Coral Cup, when she beat Black tears. They could be the potential dangers. Roksana has the form, Concertista has the potential and I hope she can deliver on it.
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Zanahiyr and recent Adonis Hurdle winner Tritonic set the standard.
I really fancy Zanahiyr who blew me away when he beat Saint Sam by 14 lengths at Fairyhouse and again at Leopardstown, and he is my third leg of the Lucky 15.
The hand of history is on Al Boum Photo as he looks to emulate Best Mate in recent times and win his third Gold Cup in a row. He did it the hard way last year when there was no real pace on and the one advantage he has over his two main rivals Champ and A Plus Tard is that you know for definite he stays 3m 2f and 70 yards.
There’s plenty in this year’s race to make it a searching test. Al Boum photo can get it done for our last leg on the lucky 15.
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