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The Cheltenham Festival is just a fortnight away, and our antepost tipping podcast series continues to rattle through the renewals as Paddy’s pundits bring you their early fancies for the meeting.
The From The Horse’s Mouth team take an in-depth look at the Kim Muir Challenge Cup in this week’s episode, with legendary jockey Ruby Walsh, Paddy’s trader Frank Hickey and tipster Rory Delargy giving their thoughts.
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“The one I did like if it could come back to form is the Tizzard’s Oscar Elite. He was much better over hurdles and he can do it over fences. He was second to Vanillier in last year’s Albert Bartlett and he then went to Aintree, finishing third behind Ahoy Senor.
“He fell at Cheltenham behind Threeunderthrufive on his first start this season. He’s dropped back to two and a half miles on his last two starts behind L’Homme Presse and Imperial Alcazar at Cheltenham. Going up in trip but down in grade in the Kim Muir could really suit Oscar Elite.”
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“Frontal Assault was a massive eye-catcher running in the Martin Pipe last year but he could be campaigned for the Irish national. If he turns up, he’s a big player.
“The one that I could be tempted by is Mister Fogpatches. I would love to know if he is being aimed at this. I’m not saying he’s going to win but he always runs his race. He’s extremely consistent. He might be off a mark of 140 or 142. This season, he has hit the frame at Listowel, in the Cork National, Troytown, at the Cheltenham December meeting over 3m 2f and in the Thyestes.
With the NRMB, he’s worth looking at as a solid each-way play.”
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“A Beginners Chase at Fairyhouse in January won by Floueur could be the key in deciding who to back in this race. Floueur beat Frontal Assault, with Grand Paradis in third and Egality Mans in fourth. Any one of Floueur, Frontal Assault and Grand Paradis could turn up and win this. They had the perfect preparation at Fairyhouse in January.
“Floueur has come out since and ran well in the Grand National trial but Frontal Assault and Grand Paradis are very interesting. Frontal Assault came from a long way back at Fairyhouse and forced a dead heat. He went to Cheltenham last year and ran in the Martin Pipe but he clearly wants to run over 3m plus. He’s a stayer and it was noticeable last time out. He looks the obvious favourite.
“I’d be happy to get behind Frontal Assault or Grand Paradis at their current prices. Frontal Assault will relish the trip and I don’t have doubts over whether Grand Paradis will stay. He has a lot of stamina. He’s ran since the Fairyhouse race as well.
“This is the race for Frontal Assault but Grand Paradis could go elsewhere. However, it all depends on what Gordon Elliott decides to do with the pair.
“If I had to pick between them now I’d side with Grand Paradis simply because he’s a bigger price despite there not being much between him and Frontal Assault.”
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