Nigel Twiston-Davies – My Cheltenham Runners Thursday 16th March

Nigel Twiston-Davies Weekly Column

We may have our Cheltenham tips online already but if there is one other man it pays to listen to, it’s Nigel Twiston-Davies. He has had plenty of Cheltenham Festival winners and we had our usual phone call with him to get the exclusive low down on how he’s feeling about his biggest chances.

After a quiet day on Wednesday life at the stable will be a lot busier this morning with a longer list of entries to go through at the biggest racing festival in the World, Day Three.

Nigel’s Charity Bet

As always, we’ve given Nigel a £50 charity bet to place on a horse of his choice – we’ll be giving him one every day this week – after all, it is Cheltenham! He can choose to go win or Each Way, so it may be telling that he decided to go each-way  again for today’s bet!

Brown Advisory & Merribelle Stable Plate – 4.10pm
Ballykan at 33/1 Each Way

Nigel told us that “Ballykan had a well earned break after finishing fourth at Bangor and ran as I expected when fifth to Pilgrims Bay at Kempton on his return to action. He has been really buzzing at home since that race and I am hopeful he can run really well this afternoon so fingers crossed for a bold effort with Daryl Jacob booked to ride.”

If Ballykan wins, we’ll donate the winnings to the Injured Jockeys Fund!

Thursday’s Other Runners:

JLT Novices’ Chase – 1.30pm
Flying Angel (14/1)

Although it looks as if he has a lot to do against this field he is a very good horse at his best as he proved last time out at Warwick when powering away from a decent field for a pretty comfortable success. When he gets everything right he takes some beating, and with his willing attitude a real attribute he ought to put in a bold showing and take home some place money with a clear round.

Pertemps Final – 2.10pm
Ballymalin (25/1) & Splash Of Ginge (66/1) & Arctic Gold (80/1)

Not one but three runners for the stable here and not a lot to choose between them. Splash of Ginge has done very little wrong since reverting to hurdles and is a bit of a stable favourite, while Arctic Gold is pretty decent, but weighted accordingly and may not find life too easy off a mark of 138. If I had to choose between them the improving Ballymalin may be my best chance after wins at Perth, Southwell, Ffos Las and Kempton already this season, and he may yet be my best hope in an intriguing contest.

Stayers’ Hurdle – 3.30pm
Ballyoptic (14/1)

He seems to have slipped in under the radar a little as far as the betting is concerned and deserves a decent win after falling at the last hurdle twice when staying on strongly and potentially challenging. Last time out he finished fourth to Unowhatimeanharry on softer ground, but I am hoping he can serve it up to the obvious jolly on the better going this afternoon and he could well be the one to give the short priced favourite the most to think about today, possibly one for a forecast.

Nigel Twiston-Davies will be back each and every week with his thoughts exclusively for as well as every day over the major meetings (including Cheltenham)! To see what our tipsters are backing in all today’s races, check out our Cheltenham tips or our horse racing tips!

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