If you are a racing fan – let alone a jumping fan – it’s hard not to get jiggy about the Open meeting at Cheltenham which gets under way on Friday. And then there’s the added bonus of putting one over on Paddy Power. It just feels so good to do that – and we have done so at the Breeders’ Cup and last weekend too. A miserable time for you Paddy. You hear me?
Let’s take a look at the four races on terrestial TV – starting with the handicap chase at 1.35. This is tricky, let’s not kid ourselves, but I think we will get a good run from Sew On Target for the Colin Tizzrad team. He ran a cracker at Cheltenham just last month over half a mile further, finishing third behind Johns Spirit. He’s run well at Cheltenham every time he has been there – have a bit on him each-way.
The novices’ Chase over an extended 2m4f and it is an absolute cracker. However, if Oscar Whisky (2.05) jumps he will simply win so he has to be the selection at short odds for Nicky Henderson (above). The class hurdler should have been sent fencing far sooner in my opinion.
The 2m 5f handicap hurdle in memory of my good friend David Johnson. JP McManus was a great friend of David’s and will be keen to take the prize so I’ll be gunning for Upswing (2.40) to run a cracker. He’s only been to Carlisle recently, but the form looks solid and a step up in trip could bring out more improvement.
The Cross Country Chase (3.15) is always a bit of fun, and even more so if we take the Power money. I see no reason why specialist Balthazar King (above) won’t come out on top in a race he knows well. He loves it here.
So this is just the start of three huge days at Cheltenham, and I’ll be blogging every day to give you my news and views. Hopefully Paddy will be much poorer by the end of it all. You hear me Paddy? Yeeehaaa!