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Cheltenham Higgs On Horses...


14 March 2022

Here we go then guys a proper Cheltenham on its way and guess what the Irish horses will be arriving in Gloucestershire, two by two and hoping to steal our riches. Not wanting to be defeatist but they will, and the days of remaining loyal and supporting us Brits have long gone and more importantly hurts the pocket. 

So let’s get down to business...

 Day 1 and the Supreme Novices’, I am staying at home here with Constitution Hill (w). He looks to be from the top drawer and could be Nicky Henderson’s next star. My only concern is he has only had two runs, both around Sandown, however he looks professional and level-headed so I am happy to take the chance and see him as one of my best bets of the four days. 
Next up the Arkle and Edwardstone. He flies the flag for the British but I fear Mr Mullins will collect here with Blue Lord (w). He is 3 from 3 over fences this year and was running well in Supreme last year before tipping up, he’s the one for me. Edwardstone is 0 from 3 when visiting Cheltenham and that worries me at the price. 
The Ultima, and I like Our Power (ew) for Sam Thomas, he’s done nothing but improve this season and the trip is sure to suit. 
Sit back next and enjoy the Champion Hurdle and Honeysuckle, it’s a no bet race for me, but if you must, have a go on Adagio (ew 5 places), you shouldn’t come to any harm. 
The Mares Hurdle..12 of the last 14 winners were trained in Ireland and 11 of the last 14 were last time out winners. That should help you narrow it down, no bet for me. 
The Boodles next and I like a couple here, firstly HMS Seahorse (ew), he’s got some decent form and Silver Shade (ew) could go well. 
The last and I’m keen on Vanillier (ew) he was very good in the Alert Bartlett last year and it looks as though Derek O’Connor will be on board, that’s good enough for me. 

Day 2 and the Ballymore..I’m hoping Sir Gerhard (w) goes here, if so back him, if not Dysart Dynamo (w) will collect the prize for the Mullins camp. 
Next the Brown Advisory and an interesting stat here..French bred horses are 0-36 over the last 15 years, that discounts nearly all of the top of the market. Wait for the confirmed runners to bet … 
Coral Cup, we will go for Saint Felicien (ew) and enjoy a Guinness.. 
Fully refreshed and ready for one of the races of the meeting the Queen Mother, Shiskin takes on Energumene, the former will win that battle again, I can’t be having Chacun Pour Soi and I think the angle on the race is Nube Negra (ew). He was unlucky last year, this is a stronger renewal but at the current 10/1 he is a cracking place bet. 
Cross Country..I will watch with another pint of the black stuff in the hope that Tiger Roll scoots up the hill, the crowd go wild and he is retired after the race.. 
Onto the Grand Annual and Andy Dufresne (ew) looks interesting for Gordon Elliott, his mark of 155 looks fair, he has run well fresh in the past, cost £330k and looks to have been laid out for this. 
So to the Bumper..Facile Vega, American Mike (w) or one Willie’s other 8.  I see Mike as the value ! But do have a little bet on Rosy Redrum (ew 5 places), Milton Harris was shouting her chances from the rooftops in Bath the other night. 

Day 3 and we start with the Turners, Bon Olinger or Gallopin Des Champ or L’Homme Presse , time for me sit on the fence here, there won’t be value in any of them, so watch and enjoy. 
Now ready for the Pertemps, I like The Big Galloper (ew) , he is surely better than his current mark of 131. We will also hit the stats for our other selections..9 of the last 11 winners were officially rated between 138 & 148, the last 6 winners wore a tongue tie and the past 8 winners were below 14/1 in the market. Good luck ! 
Onto the Ryanair and I don’t usually get involved with short priced favourites, but for me Allaho (w) is one of the best bets of the week, a race which is sure to cut up, I can see him being much shorter on the day and the 4/6 available looks great value.  
The Stayers Hurdle and a tremendous line up. Our old favourite Paisley Park, Champ, Flooring Porter, Klassical Dream to name a few, however Thyme Hill(w) could still be improving and the Hobbs’ team will have him primed for this.  
Onto the Plate and back Andy Dufresne(w) and Our Power(w) if either turn up.. 
The Mares Novice Hurdle and time for a Guinness.. 
The day concludes with the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir and I have no strong opinion, to help you out..the past 10 winners were rated between 137 & 143, 8 of the last 9 winners were 7 or 8 and watch Gordon Elliott and JP McManus, that should help ! 

Gold Cup day and a mouthwatering start with the Triumph Hurdle, Mullins (Vauban) takes on Elliott (Pied Piper), the Brits compliment these two with Dr Parnassus and Knight Salute (ew 4 places). The latter is the angle in my book, he’s not fashionable but has done everything asked of him so far and will be fighting at the end under Paddy Brennan. 
The County Hurdle, again not sure who’s going to run, but the stats are 13 of the last 16 winners were rated in the 130s, 5 of the past 6 winners had more than 72 day break, Gordon Elliott is 0-17 and watch JP McManus. Once you have narrowed it down, add on Balco Coastal (ew 4 places), he looks very well handicapped. 
We then come to the Albert Bartlett and I fancy 2 here, firstly Ginto (w), he looks the perfect type and secondly Journey With Me (w) 
Onto the Gold Cup and what a renewal of Chasing’s Blue Riband event we have. I am struggling with Galvin, there is no doubt he is improving but he doesn’t look a Gold Cup winner to me. Plenty are keen on him, but a line through A Plus Card’s form tells me he can’t beat Minella Indo (w). You can ignore Indo’s King George run and he was beaten in the same race last year before romping home in last year’s Gold Cup. He loves Cheltenham, this time of year and will hopefully fund the Higgs’ family Summer Holiday. 
The Hunter Chase really isn’t my bag and Mares’ Chase looks a minefield. 
That just leaves us with the Martin Pipe and only 110 entries, Deploy The Getaway (ew) should run well and we can narrow it down further with some stats. All 13 previous winners were aged 5-7 and they all carried 11st 1lb or more, the last 4 winners have carried 11-9 and 11-10 and finally watch Gordon Elliott. This should give you a couple more for the Festival’s ‘Get out’ stakes. 

Hopefully I have highlighted a few winners above and we will all be enjoying roast beef and decent glass of something the following Sunday, if not, just tell the family beans on toast and water is a much healthier alternative. However, I fear your main problem will be explaining why this year’s holiday will involve the short journey to ‘Ourgate’ and not the expected plane flight, sunny beach and cocktails. I have plenty of experience in delivering this sort of news and do offer advice and counselling, for a fee of course ! 

Happy Racing all and enjoy what is sure to be a fantastic 4 days ! 

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