3.00pm Cheltenham tips for Friday’s Class 2 race. Stamina is going to be crucial as a field of eleven go to post for this unique test at Cheltenham on Friday. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
IN SUMMARY: Plenty of recognisable names including Cause Of Causes, Cantlow and Auvergnat, all in the colours of JP McManus and all three have claims if at their best. Preference though is for AUBUSSON, who ran well in defeat on his latest start at Fontainebleau in a Cross Country over a trip that was inadequate for him. He was an unlucky loser that day and is sure to benefit from a sharp step up in trip, with his current mark seeing him thrown in at his best. Lizzie Kelly takes off a further three pounds and he can gain a second chasing success.
1 CAUSE OF CAUSES – Won over course and distance at the Festival in March off ten pounds lower before running a big race to finish second in the National when last seen. In previous years he’s needed his reappearance and this mark is stiff enough, so others are preferred today.
2 CANTLOW – Twelve year old for the King of the Banks Enda Bolger who finished third over course and distance behind Cause Of Causes at the Festival. He ran poorly on his return over hurdles but will be much happier in this discipline, as form figures of 0123 over course and distance tells you. Key player under Mark Walsh.
3 AUVERGNAT – Fourth behind both Cause Of Causes and Cantlow at the Festival in March, but that was a commendable effort and he returned this season with a good run at Galway. That was a good prep for this and there is more to come from him in this sphere. Highly respected.
4 URGENT DE GREGAINE – French Raider who won this race twelve months ago (delayed until January, at odds of 50/1). He was last seen last month finishing second in the Velka Pardubicka in the Czech Republic. That will have set him up nicely for this race and despite being six pounds higher than last year, he’s an each way player.
5 KINGSWELL THEATRE – Eight year old for Michael Scudamore who has been frustrating to follow over fences, winning three starts ago at Exeter before two flops since, including over course and distance. He was readily outpaced at the Festival and the same should be the case here in an equally as tough race.
6 AUBUSSON – FInished ninth in last year’s Hennessy Gold Cup for Nick Williams off a fourteen pound higher mark, not disgracing himself in a Cross-Country at Fontainebleau on his latest start. That was over an inadequate trip and there is a strong suspicion he’ll improve for this sort of marathon distance. He’s extremely well treated at his best and can take this under Lizzie Kelly.
7 NEED TO KNOW – Has won some minor Cross Country events at Punchestown and in France for John Brennan, last seen down the field at Craon in France. Far more is needed in a much tougher race and he’s best watched.
8 INIS MEAIN – Still a maiden after nine runs over fences for Denis Hogan and he’s been brushed aside the last twice, well held on both occasions. His latest run was particularly disappointing and others are readily preferred.
9 VICTOME DU SEUIL – Eight year old for Emmanuel Clayeux who is a multiple winner over fences in France, winning a minor Cross Country event at Lignieres last time around. Far more is required here though and he’s likely to miss out.
10 BERTIE BORU – Arrives here four pounds out of the weights but he has run some good races in defeat of late, unseating over course and distance in December 2016 after being badly hampered. Foolish to dismiss him after a good return to action last time around at this venue.
11 ADAM DU BRETEAU – Makes his Cross Country debut today on the back of some poor performances of late, well held at Wincanton last month after weakening tamely at three out. He has stamina to prove at this distance and others have far more solid claims.