By James Regan – @racingtracker on Twitter
Of the championship races, the Stayers Hurdle is probably the most wide open, followed by the Gold Cup.
I’ve already covered this from a ratings perspective for JPFestivial, but here is a bit more meat on the bone.
Supasundae heads the market and Jessica Harrington seems confident although didn’t put Supasundae up as her best chance at this year’s festival. I know this is debatable, but I really cannot see him staying the 3m at Cheltenham, he was a good winner last year at 2m5f, but those extra 3 furlongs have done him on flat tracks at Aintree and Leopardstown, where admittedly he got beat by two good ones in Apples Jade and Yanworth. I’ve laid to win two horses this year Supasundae is one and Presenting Percy is the other.
Sam Spinner has the right profile this year he was won at the trip and has been bang in form and that very much is the right profile, Unowwhatimeanharry let that down last year, but he for me was over raced and just got found out. Jed O’Keeffe has a great horse on his hands and Joe Colliver gets on great with him. Since they stepped him up to 3miles he looks an absolute beast and he beat a fair few of these easily at Ascot over Christmas. He has had a nice break and is only 6 years old and could easily keep improving, could he be the Inglis Dreaver? He is one of my better bets this week, already had him at 20/1 between Haydock & Ascot and if he hits 6/1 or bigger next week I will dip my toe back in.
Yanworth being added has thrown a spanner in the works for sure, the only question would be the coming back to Hurdles after a bit of a stop start season over Fences. He likes Cheltenham and is a big danger, minus his run in the Champion Hurdle last year, but he did stay on very well in that. He is likely to be well punted.
Penhill is also a danger but I look to his Punchestown race last year and look at the horses in this and with no prep I don’t see that as Stayers Hurdle Form. Most of those have done very well now chasing, Monalee & Presenting Percy. If he gets backed in on the day, he would be in with a massive shout given his owner.
Unowwhatimeanharry is to old now and I don’t think he is anywhere near as good as last year. Lami Serge is talented, but I don’t think he will stay a strong gallop which will happen given Sam Spinner may take it up. He didn’t find much in the last furlong and a half at Ascot and Sam Spinner just kept going away from him.
The New One will struggle for me, too old and won’t be good enough. Wholestone the trip is a bit too far for him, he is way better over a shorter trip. Bacardys has been disappointing this season and that is not good coming into Cheltenham.
One at a decent price I really like here is La Bague Au Roi backed her NRNB at a big price (33/1), she will stay the trip. She has improved a lot this season and like Sam Spinner the step up in trip has been the making of her, probably has a bit more to find but could easily sneak a place with the allowances. That means I must put a shout out for Jers Girl who was just behind La Bague Au Roi at Kempton in November.
My main selection is Sam Spinner 5/1 & La Bague Au Roi as some EW Interest at 20/1
Each Way Options, Penhill 10/1 & Jers Girl 40/1
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