Despite the stingy odds, on offer, Seymour Biz can only find one horse worth backing for the 2018 Champion Chase.
After an exhilarating weeks racing let’s try to look back and see what we have learnt about what will happen in four weeks time at Cheltenham. Firstly the Gold Cup, we have learnt this week from trainer Mark Bradstock that former winner of the race Coneygree is out for the season so will not be returning to try and recover his crown. Also Nigel Twiston-Davies has decided that Bristol-De-Mai will go straight to the Grand National at Aintree, he will be sadly missed. After yesterday’s racing, winner of the Swinley Chase, Regal Encore at Ascot goes to Aintree for the National, and Ascot Chase winner, Waiting Patiently, will probably dodge the Ryanair due to worries about the going and go to Aintree as well, but trainer, Ruth Jefferson, states nothing is certain. Elgin, who won the Kingwell is being talked about as being supplemented for the Champion Hurdle. My impression of this is its a total waste of money unless connections feel the race will cut up badly and they can race for place money. Also in the Kingwell, Call Me Lord did his chances for the Champion Hurdle no good at all being beaten by a handicapper. Cue Card ran a fair race but in his pomp would have dealt with his rivals easily. Last weeks winner Kalashnikov is being aimed at the Supreme Novices instead of the Ballymore, wherever he goes he faces hot-pots Samcro or Getabird. Over in Ireland at Gowran Park, Jessica Harrington’s Our Duke won well on route to the Gold Cup. Mean while back at the ranch, the Mullins ranch that is, Willie has stated that Douvan will go straight to Cheltenham after swerving a Gowran Park entry, he also said he is not bothered about Min and Douvan facing each other in possibly the Champion Chase, however I think sadly we will ever see Douvan on a racecourse again. So I will look at two races run on Wednesdayat the Festival.
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First let me look at the Ballymore Novices Hurdle, the old Neptune, here we have a really hot favourite in Samcro trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliot and as Irish trainers have won six out of the last ten runnings of this race it can be seen they come with a strong hand for this contest. Willie Mullins has Getabird and Next Destination as two of his main contenders but they are declared for other races and may want to swerve Samcro who is undefeated in Ireland but has yet to cross the water and ply his trade over here. Amy Murphy was aiming Kalashnikov at this race, but has decided to go for the Supreme Novices instead and maybe take on Getabird there. But what if Gordon Elliot thinks Samcro can win the Champion Hurdle? Then all trainers will be queueing up to get their horses in this race. So with all that’s going on I am going for a British trainer to take this contest, Tom George has Black Op entered and he is worth a small wager. Unlucky last time out at Cheltenham when hitting the last fairly hard he lost his momentum to go up the hill and was beaten 3/4 length by Santini, that came after a 17 length victory at Doncaster, and on that basis he is worth a punt.
Black Op 2pts ew
The Queen Mother Champion Chase looks a gimme for Altior, Nicky Henderson’s charge, the way in which he wins his races is just sublime. Last time at Newbury he only had two rivals but totally destroyed them. His jumping was technically excellent and the way in which he drew alongside Politilogue at the last and then won going away was imperious, he has won his last dozen races and is unbeaten since 2015. Willie Mullins has Douvan, Min, Un De Sceaux and Yorkhill declared for this to try to confuse us but he can send any one of them they won’t get near Altior. If there is any place money to be gained you could try Un De Sceaux and hope Altior makes a mistake to increase your winnings, but you be extremely hopeful.
Altior 5pts win
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