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Cheltenham Festival preview: Part Deux

TAGs: Cheltenham Festival, horseracing tips

The racing authorities turned a blind eye to Elizabeth's attire as it had been an unseasonably warm week

The racing authorities turned a blind eye to Elizabeth

Welcome to the second instalment of resident tipster Tim Richards’ Cheltenham tips. You might have noticed that he was as cold as a corpse on Tuesday, with the exception of a smart each-way bet on 20/1 shot Carole’s Legacy in the last race of the day. He slowly warmed up yesterday with a win and a couple of places so, hopefully, today he’ll be as sizzling as Liz Hurley in Bedazzled, as he watches the events from his sun-trapped, run-soaked hideaway in Barbados.

Indeed talking of the fair Ms Hurley, it turns out the Cheltenham local is expected to turn up at the races today, what it being Ladies Day, and what with her being a posh, horsey type and all – and very much a lady – so even if you ignore our tipster’s advice, below, take mine and watch the fillies on the box this afternoon. They can all be found on Channel 4.

Thursday
Cobwebs are everywhere by now. If everything has gone a little pear up to this point, do not panic. There are other fruits in the bowl. So, after a large lunch and, if you are at the course, seven pints of Guinness, we’re all set for the juicy Jewson Novices Handicap. Ferdy Murphy’s The Hollinwell is fancied to go well in this. And who am I to disagree? – As the Eurythmics once asked.

Next up is the Pertemps Final, a race for qualifiers over the course of the season. It is seriously unpredictable, no jockey or trainer tending to dominate. Maybe a small each-way on Don’t Push It. Jonjo O’Neill has won this race twice since the millennium, so although not dominating he at least might have the edge.

Another of our ante-post picks is up next. Poquelin in the Ryanair Chase is a decent bet, and is now around the 10/3 favourite mark – Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh both have a decent record in this. The Queen’s horse, Barber Shop would be the main danger. Watch out for Poquelin in The Melling on Grand National day.

The old Stayers Hurdle, The World Hurdle is the fourth race on the card. Howard Johnson has an excellent record in this but Tidal Bay will have to pull out something special (ooh-err) to beat last year’s winner Big Bucks. Definitely a race for a naughty each-way, Tidal Bay should definitely place and it might be worth an interest in Katchit at around 33/1.

The Byrne Group Plate is up next – a race that has been won by amateurs and is another lottery. Try the third favourite, or the fourth. It’s entirely up to you. The day finishes with the Kim Muir Cup. I used to work with someone called Kim and god, she was annoying. Top weight Ballabriggs is as good a pick as any in another impossible-to-call field.

Friday
Thank god. My fingers hurt. The Irish raider Carlito Brigante looks to have a great chance in the Triumph Hurdle and at around 6/1 is great value. The Vincent O’Brien County Handicap is the second race on the final day and I have one in this that is seriously decent value. Any Given Day is a progressive sort and was unlucky to get squeezed out at Newbury last time out. You can get around 25/1 (now 16s – Ed)and although this race tends to favour the horses at the top end of the betting Any Given Day is definitely the wrong price.

The Albert Bartlett is next, or the Albert Tatlock as I like to call it. Our ante-post pick Shinrock Paddy has seen some money, but there has been some interest in Fionnegas after his career best run behind Dunguib at Leopardstown last month. Might be worth a few quid…

Next up: the Gold Cup. The Kauto Star v Denman annual battle commences. There’s been a lot of talk about McCoy taking the ride, especially after being unseated in the Aon. Time will tell – it’s all down to which Denman turns up. We’ve got the ‘value’ in Kauto Star at 11/8, but there might be some each-way value in Imperial Commander, especially if more money comes for Denman on the day.

Almost there, and we stumble on to the Foxhunter Chase. Dun Doire at around 12/1 is the pick of the field in one of the oldest races at the Festival. The Martin Pipe Handicap was added to the card last year and so there aren’t any real trends to discuss. 25/1 shot Andytown was the race’s first winner. It might be worth having an interest in one of David Pipe’s entries. Ashkazar currently heads the market.

And so to the final race of the Festival, The Grand Annual. If Copper Bleu runs then the 14s currently on offer look great value. Sunnyhill Boy and Tartak would be my other picks. But, at this point it’s all about the drinking and crying that is about to come next. Another year over and what have I done, all my aspirations have shrivelled in the sun. As The The once sang.

At this point another rum punch please, barman.

To see the first part of the preview click here.

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