1.30 – Neptune H’dle
I think Neon Wolf will take some beating in this race. My mother trained him in his Point to Point days and I rode him in a lot of his work last year. We thought an awful lot of him last year and his current trainer Harry Fry and Noel Fehily can’t speak highly enough of him at the moment and they think he’s exceptional. He was fantastic over 1m 7f at Haydock which was an inadequate trip and over 2m 5f at Cheltenham it will really suit him. He should be well ahead of Bacardys who is a very good horse in his own right but I would side with Neon Wolf in this race. If turning up in this race, Kemboy could outrun his current double figure odds. He was 2nd to Lets Dance at Leopardstown and he goes quite well at home and I think he’s a horse of Willie’s that’s coming into the Festival a little bit under the radar.
2.50 – Coral Cup
I finished 4th in a Greatwood Hurdle at the track and 3rd in the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot a couople of years back on a horse called Renneti. Although he’s quite a tricky customer he’s also very talented and stepping up to 2m 5f will suit him. If the race is run at a strong gallop it will allow him to get into a rhythm and if he gets away well at the start he will run his race. This is a very difficult race to pick the winner of but if Renneti can get into a nice position early and get himself into a rhythm then he will have a great chance of running a nice race.
3.30 – Champion Chase
It’s impossible to get away from Douvan who is just so impressive in everything he does. I finished behind him Punchestown last time in the Tied Cottage. That day he literally jumped around in a canter before sprinting down the straight. In this race, he’s back in against better horses but nothing looks to be good enough to beat him.
Special Tiara finished 3rd in the race last year and he goes well at the track so he could be the one to finish 2nd behind Douvan at a big price. In my eyes they are all playing for 2nd place as Douvan is in a different class to everything else. He jumps, he gallops and he’s just a brilliant horse.
5.30 – Champion Bumper
I ride Debuchet for my mother Margaret in this race. He’s a 4yo and the last 4yo to win this race was Cue Card so it’s a tough task. That being said, he’s in great shape and he travelled over to Cheltenham very well – something that is very important for the younger horses and it’s a great sign that he’s so well in himself.
Carter McKay definitely sets the standard and is a worthy favourite. He won very easily on both his starts but with an 8lb allowance I’ll definitely make a race of it with the favourite and I think my horse has a really solid chance. Of the English horses, Western Ryder and Cause Toujours seem to have decent form and will have a chance but I’m confident of a big run from Debuchet.
Stay tuned for Danny’s take on Thursday’s races including the Ryanair Chase and the Stayers Hurdle.
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