Cheltenham Open Meeting 2016 (Part Two)
I did actually forget that there was three days to this meeting, saying that I probably would of been better of forgetting the first two as well. Borderline shocker I’ve had here in all honesty. Saying that though things started pretty well yesterday as I did tip up the 1-2 finish in the opener with the Phil Hobbs horse winning with and the 9/1 Nick Williams shot Diable De Sivola I think it was following it home in second after that. After that though it was about as enjoyable as the microwave curry I had the other night. More Of That ran a shocker. Black Cordon didn’t run and I think Wil O’The West is still running somewhere. At least Thistlecrack won.. and even he give a couple of fences a belt for good measure. But we go again don’t we and that’s exactly what we will be doing tomorrow for the final day of this meeting. The fist race of Sunday’s card see’s a rematch between Ballyandy and Moon Racer and I fancy Ballyandy to get his revenge over Moon Racer this time. He like’s it round Cheltenham as we saw when he won the bumper at the Festival and I feel he can get his head in front over Moon Racer after losing narrowly to him the other month. Next up is the 1.20 and is headed by odds on shot Le Prezien. Impressive last campaign when behind Yorkhill at Aintree and has every chance of doing well chasing this time. He finished a decent 2nd behind Charbel at Uttoxeter on his first start of the season and should probably win this with Irish raider Some Plan perhaps his main danger. Cracker of a race up next the 1.55 Shloer Chase. Won by Sprinter Sacre in a demolition job last year it’s another cracking renewal. Special Tiara heads the market trading at around 11/4, a little disapointing when 6th at Punchestown back in April but put a cracking run when 3rd in the Champion Chase at the Festival and 2nd in the Tingle Creek which I still think he was robbed of by Sire De Grugy. This front runner certainly deserves favourtisim on that form. Fox Norton is second favourite, two good victories to his name after chasing home Douvan in a few previous starts. Another career best is perhaps needed to take this but should still go well. Next up is a fan favourite an all time legend of jump racing making his long awaited return to Cheltenham since winning the Arkle back in 2016 in Simonsig. He ran his worse race of all time when last time out in Auteil, France when finish way back in 11th but I think it’s best to draw a line over the run and concentrate on the impressive 3rd at the Punchestown Festival, a repeat of that run will certainly see him in the frame and if he is there or thereabouts come up to the last that crowd will be roaring him home. I’d love see him win this. The 2.30 is another tough one, it could well be won by a big price but i’ll be going for Modus (7/1) and Leoncavallo (9/1) both each way. Modus made a promising return when 3rd on his first start of the campaign as did Leoncavallo when 2nd here at Cheltenham last month. Harry Cobden rides Modus for Paul Nicholls and takes 3 pounds off whilst Alex Ferguson rides Leoncavallo for Ben Pauling an takes 7 off. Same story for the 3.05 where i’ll again be having two selections both at each way. Call To Order (8/1) Killian Moore rides for Jonjo O’Neil and takes 3 pounds off and Looksnowtlikebrian (9/1) Shane Shortall rides for Tim Vaughan. Call To Order showed promise when 3rd last time out and has a decent pedigree whilst Looksnowtlikebrian has shot up the weight following two comfortable victories however that’s not saying he cant defy that and be there or thereabouts again.