For the second year going for walks, the Festival goes to begins on the soft ground following heavy rain in Gloucestershire over the last week or so. There has been so little of that this season that we don’t know who will deal with it better than the others. It shouldn’t be a problem for Al Dancer, who has form in all varieties of situations, and he seems a worth favorite following his win in the rearranged Betfair Hurdle at Ascot remaining month. Nigel Twiston-Davies has been bullish approximately him for pretty some time.
However, I’m slightly concerned about the horse’s keenness, and I surprise if the occasion should get to him. Classical Dream, the mount of Ruby Walsh, has been the one for cash over the last few days, and if he were to collect, he might be giving Walsh and Willie Mullins their fourth Supreme success within the seven years. He is substantially reputable, as he has an excellent mindset, and the ground will carry his stamina into play, but he’s short-sufficient now. I assume the same can be said about ANGELS BREATH, but I nevertheless suppose he’s the maximum likely winner. I felt his defeat inside the Dovecote at Kempton some weeks in the past
changed into a fine instead of a poor. That becomes most effective his 2nd start beneath guidelines, and Nicky Henderson admitted afterward that he become desperately in need of the run. He has reportedly been working the residence down for the reason that, and also, you get the sensation the Seven Barrows crew think he might be a bit special. They’ve educated lots of Champion Hurdle winners down the years, so you must respect that, and the rain can have performed him no damage in any way.
I’ve been impressed together with his leaping, and even though he’ll be one of the more green runners inside the subject, he’s one in every of very few that would have that all-critical wow issue. We don’t recognize how exact he is, but and the 5/1 looks a truthful charge. It’s an open Supreme, although it’s tough to position a line through many of them. Fakir D’Oudairies gets the 4-12 months-old weight allowance, and he turned into hugely marvelous while winning the Triumph Hurdle Trial right here in January.
However, I’m now not satisfied by using the electricity of that form, while if conditions had been a piece faster, I would have been tipping Itchy Feet at a massive 33/1; however, he’s unproven on the floor. For me, the each-way bet needs to be VISION D’HONNEUR, who became crushed through Classical Dream and Aramon at Leopardstown last month. The ground changed into sincerely too quick for him that day, and quick-run miles on a hard song like Cheltenham with masses of providing underfoot is what he wishes in my ebook.
Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy teamed as much as taking this prize two years ago with Labaik, and they may do it again with this horse. Betfair is paying five locations within the race, and this lad appears a cracking every-manner wager at 11/1. The Ultima Handicap Chase (2.50 pm) is continually fiercely competitive, but if there is one that could be thrown in this year, it’s GIVE ME A COPPER. Paul Nicholls has been banging within the winners over the past few weeks, and he thinks this one is very nicely handicapped. The lightly-raced nine-year-vintage ran an extremely promising race on his reappearance at Sandown earlier than being positioned away for this.