It’s week three of the Racing Post’s Cheltenham guide, Upping The Ante, with the focus rightly on last weekend’s Fighting Fifth, in which dual Champion Hurdle-winner Buveur D’Air cruised to victory ahead of Samcro, a victory that saw David Jennings eat humble pie. Lynch rightly suggested last week that the latter won’t be winning the Champion Hurdle in 2019, a fact that looks pretty assured by Saturday’s action at Newcastle. The pair also reveal the other horses that caught their eye in the previous week, including RSA hopefuls Santini, who was impressive in winning a Grade Two on debut over fences, and Delta Work who battled well to get the better of Le Richebourg. Apple’s Jade was for the pair the performance of the weekend, and potentially the season so far, and they suggest that the 2/1 available for her for the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle is more than fair. Champ’s handicap victory at Newbury puts him in the Ballymore picture, and La Bague Au Roi, having scored nicely on Friday, is one to look out for the JLT Novices’ Chase. We have our own Cheltenham Clues for the weekend each Monday.
There are reflections on the week’s action regarding the Arkle, a race for which Kalashnikov further advertised his claim by scoring easily at Plumpton today, and Mengli Khan also ranks another interesting candidate. The pair are excited to see Lalor in the Henry VIII on Saturday, for which he is already odds-on, and the reappearance of the best horse in training, Altior, in the Tingle Creek is of obvious interest. Furthermore, there are thoughts on Sunday’s John Durkan from Punchestown, where Antepost Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy is likely to get his season under way, and the pair reveal who is potentially the forgotten horse for Cheltenham’s showpiece.
Additionally, Lynch reveals a solid treble that is almost guaranteed come March-time and thoughts on Irish racing, including the Jockey Championship for which he reckons Davy Russell represents good value. Redzone.bet, reveal that they aren’t too worried about Buveur D’Air judged on last year’s performance, however the presenting pair believe he is a far better horse this season, and is close to being comparable to Hurricane Fly and Istabraq. Contrary to this, the sponsors are running scared of Apple’s Jade, whom they cut from 3/1 to 7/4 after her easy victory in the Hatton’s Grace.
As usual, today’s selections are enhanced by redzone.bet –
- Tiger Roll – Cross Country Chase from 3/1 out to 9/2 – winner of both this race and the Grand National last year, and Gavin Lynch’s Nap for the festival as of last week. He made a solid reappearance over course and distance earlier in November, giving fifteen pounds to the winner that day, and looks to be campaigned with this race in mind once again, a race for which Lynch thinks he will be around 7/4 on the day.
- Delta Work – RSA from 8/1 out to 12/1 – winner of the Pertemps at the 2018 Festival, and two-from-two over fences, gamely getting the better of Joseph O’Brien’s Le Richebourg to win the Drinmore this weekend, he looks sure to be a warm order come March-time. Crying out for three-miles, he represents the best value for the RSA, particularly at this boosted price.