You know the Cheltenham Festival is not too far away when Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci start firing their cavalry out and that is exactly what happened the weekend just gone. Read on to find out what happened over the past seven days and see if we can help you find some ante post selections in the process. Follow us on Twitter and our Channel 4 Racing previews are live every Tuesday with tips to follow every Friday evening.
This Week’s Racing
The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Trial at Ascot looks a mouth-watering affair as the Nicky Henderson duo Jenkins and Lough Derg Spirit are both still entered to run. Jenkins (13/8) has a superb engine, but he really lacks in the jumping department so that could give his stablemate the edge at 11/4. The Long Walk Hurdle is on Saturday, a race that could throw up this season’s World Hurdle winner in Unowhatimeanharry? With Snow Falcon, Nichols Canyon and Vroum Vroum Mag among the entries, it should be a cracker. Follow our free horse racing tips daily to see where our money is going.
Performance Of The Week – Douvan
The mighty Douvan will be staying over two miles this season according to trainer Willie Mullins, so that rules the star out of the Gold Cup. It makes sense as the Queen Mother Champion Chase is there for the taking, so why take the risk ruining his unblemished record this season when they can go Gold Cup next season when he is tougher and another year older? He was so impressive in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork, winning by 22 lengths and never asked for anything. True, he did not beat much, but it is another awesome display and it is full steam ahead for the Champion Chase in March. Surely it is only the fences that could stop him in his tracks?
Cheltenham Festival Notes
- Enda Bolger’s Cantlow cut to 10/1 for Cross Country Chase success after running out a ready winner of the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on Friday.
- JP McManus has a Triumph Hurdle headache as Defi Du Seuil won his trial in good style at Cheltenham. He is now 8/1 joint favourite with Landofhopeandglory. Cliffs Of Dover won for Paul Nicholls at the weekend and is now a 20/1 shot for the race.
- Paul Nicholls’s Frodon is 16/1 for Arkle success and 16/1 for the Neptune after a gutsy success in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham in the hands of Sam Twiston-Davies.
- The New One could have a tilt at the World Hurdle (33/1) according to Nigel Twiston-Davies’s assistant Carl Llewellyn. He beat My Tent Or Yours comfortably in the International Hurdle.
- Djakadam has been cut to 10/1 for the Gold Cup after impressing with success in the John Durkan Memorial at Punchestown.
- Rich Ricci’s American Tom has been cut to 12/1 for the JLT Novices’ Chase after running out a nice winner in a Punchestown Beginners’ Chase. He jumped out to the left for the entire race which did not help so will be much more suited to Cheltenham going left-handed.
- Dinaria Des Obeaux ran out a 29 length winner in his maiden hurdle at Cork for Gordon Elliott and is now best priced 20/1 for the Triumph Hurdle.
Our Road To Cheltenham Series started on 14th November and we will bring you all the latest ante-post Cheltenham Festival news every Monday, bringing you a round up of the previous week’s racing.