Saturday 27th January 2018
Festival Trials Day takes centre stage this Saturday at Cheltenham and it’s thrown a real top drawer looking card. A lot of big names will be turning out to give you many Festival clues and here are my fancies for the afternoon…..
1.15 – Timeform Novices Handicap Chase (Class 2) (2m 5f)
Starting things off with the Novice Chase and it’s thrown up a competitive and relatively small field. Sizing Tennessee heads affairs for Colin Tizzard having proven himself as a useful chaser the last two times here and Bryan Cooper seems to get a tune out of him.
The one I’m going to take a chance on here though is BALLYANDY for Nigel Twiston Davies. I haven’t always been the biggest fan of this horse if truth be told and Sizing Tennessee finished eleven lengths ahead of him the last day here, but he was making a return from a comeback that day and I think he will of come on from it. He’s trading at a general 3/1.
BALLYANDY – 3/1 –
1.50 – Crest Nicholson Handicap Chase (Class 1) (Grade 3) (2m 5f)
Onto the 1.50 and its the Grade 3 Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs. It’s currently headed by Coo Star Sivola for Nick Williams on the back of a couple of decent runs here at the last two meetings.
The one i’m going to take a chance on here at a bit of a price is ARCTIC GOLD again for Nigel Twiston Davies. His jumping really needs to improve here if he is to be competitive as its that which let him down the last day however he’s handicapped to go well enough to put a challenge in and i’m going to take an each way chance with him at 14/1.
ARCTIC GOLD – 14/1 (E/W) –
2.25 – Cotswold Chase (Class 1) (Grade 2) (3m 1f)
The Cotswold Chase is up next and it’s headed by Bristol De Mai for that man again Nigel Twiston Davies. However this time I wont be siding with his charge here. He’s trading at at a general 6/4 for this is Bristol De Mai and that isn’t for me to get involved with for a horse that still has far too many questions hanging over his head away from Haydock. He may well bolt up again here but I wouldnt be chancing 6/4 for him to do so in a hurry.
The horse i’ll be siding with here is THE LAST SAMURI for Kim Bailey. He’s put in two really good displays this season finishing second both times and I fancy him to put up another bold showing on his Cheltenham debut. He shouldn’t have any problems with the ground and is getting a few pounds off a few of them too. You can find him trading at around 9/2.
THE LAST SAMURI – (9/2) –
3.00 – Ballymore Classic Novices’ Hurdle (Class 1) (Grade 2) (2m 4f)
A real quality novice hurdle contest is up next in the 3.00 and its currently got two Nicky Henderson horses at the top of the market in Santini and Pacific De Baune. Money has come for the latter of the two seemingly as Nico de Boinville is up which is interesting.
I’m going to side with one at a slightly larger price though and that’s SLATE HOUSE for Colin Tizzard. I think this horse has been slightly overlooked here as he’s already won twice here this season and the last time beating Summerville Boy. He was slightly disappointing the last day at Ascot but it wasn’t an all that bad run and I’m up for chancing him to bounce back here with a good run at 9/1.
SLATE HOUSE – 9/1 (E/W) –
3.35 – Cleeve Hurdle (Class 1) (Grade 2) (3m)
The Cleeve Hurdle is up next a race last year won by Unowhatimeanharry as it’s seen somewhat of a stepping stone onto the Stayers Hurdle at The Festival.
It’s thrown up a really competitive renewal of which the majority of the field come here with chances but i’m going to chance FINIAN’S OSCAR . His season has left many confused including myself as he’s now been reverting back over hurdles from fences. He is the class act in the field here though and i’m going to chance him to get back to winning ways en route for a tilt at the Stayers at the festival.
It’d be fantastic to see Beer Goggles win this race though for Richard Woollacott who tragically lost his life last week. There will be a minute silence held 15 minutes before the race in memory of him.
FINIAN’S OSCAR – 3/1 –
4.10 – LITTERALE CI (4/1) (Jockey: Barry Geraghty – Trainer: Harry Fry)
(Took her a few times to get her head in front and has been consequently raised for that success the last day, but I think she’ll come on for that and progress here in a better field.)
1.15 – Ballyandy (3/1)
1.50 – Arctic Gold (16/1) (E/W)
2.25 – The Last Samuri (9/2)
3.00 – Slate House (9/1) (E/W)
3.35 – Finian’s Oscar (7/2)
4.10 – Litterale Ci (4/1)
2.05 – Indian Hawk (5/2) (NB)
2.40 – Maria’s Benefit (4/5)
2.45 – Laurina (13/8) (NAP)
1.45 – Whiskey In The Jar (4/6)