Most bookmakers are suffering to discover a clean preferred with four horses all combating it out to be despatched off the marketplace leader. When you recall that six of the last seven winners have gone off odds-on, it shows you the way open this 12 months’ race is, with plenty of corporations providing four/1 with the field this morning. The most talented horse within the line-up is almost, in reality, Lalor, and there received’t be a dry eye in the house if he came to win for Kayley Woollacott, who become tragically widowed final year.
Winner of the Grade One Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree last year, the seven-12 months- vintage made an outstanding beginning to his chasing profession when triumphing the Grade Two trial for this race closing November. That was followed with the aid of a barely beneath par run within the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown the following month, in which he turned into beaten a few ways from domestic.
Connections blamed a combination of the honestly soft floor and too brief a return to the racecourse for that this appointment, and we’re likely to peer him in a higher light now. He has been vulnerable inside the betting in the latest days as plenty of rain has hit Cheltenham, but he has a shape on a smooth floor, and that doesn’t subject me as a great deal as it does some. The most effective component that puts me off is his lack of healthy practice, as this may be the handiest; his 0.33 begin over fences and his first in 2019. His class may additionally well get him via.
However, I became so keen on GLEN FORSA’s current leaping show at Sandown that I’m siding with him at a pleasant-priced nine/2. Mick Channon is higher recognized for saddling runners at Royal Ascot rather than Cheltenham. However, the retirement of Henrietta Knight a few years ago opened the door for him to train a few jumpers. Tim Radford, whose colorings will be carried by Glen Forsa, had horses like Somersby with Knight and that they have when you consider that all been switched to Channon. Last yr, they tasted Festival achievement with Mister Whitaker on the whole day and that they return to Cheltenham with new possibilities of glory.
None may have more significant claims than Glen Forsa, who began his chasing profession in a regular-looking handicap at Chepstow in November off a mark of just 114. Further success was observed at Kempton on Boxing Day, and he took the step up into Graded corporation in his stride whilst outjumping Kalashnikov inside the Kingmaker. He has plenty to prove on this Grade One enterprise on paper, but I haven’t seen a novice leap in addition to him in years. His potential to live lots further than this two-mile ride and handle gentle floor are massive positives, and it will take a great one to lower his colors. When planning this column this time closing week, I changed into pretty sure to be tipping up Hardline as the each-manner opportunity to the front three.
However, the ten/1 on offer then has a lengthy long past, and at five/1, he makes barely much less enchantment. He is every other established on gthe entire floor and the drop again to this experience should healthy too. There aren’t tons between him and Glen Forsa at the head of the market now, so for that reason, I’ll stay with the former. There seems to be plenty of tempo in the race, with Knocknanuss, Ornua, and even Duc Des Genievres in attendance. The latter flies the flag for Willie Mullins, who has saddled 3 of the last 4 winners of this race. However, the front-jogging approaches seemed to assist him last time, and it won’t be clean to dominate this subject. With no hiding location, it’s miles possibly to play to the strengths of the closers like Glen Forsa, Lalor, and Hardline, with my choice going to the high-quality jumper.