LAST but not least, and if you've still got any dough left here's a look at my notes for Friday's Festival races from an excellent preview night that I was honoured to be a part of on Wednesday.
The JCB Triumph Hurdle – Friday 1.30pm
Turner – Word from the stable is they believe We Have A Dream (7-1 BetBright) is superior to Apples Shakira, while Alan King is ‘buzzing’ with Redicean (4-1 BetBright) after his win in the Adonis. Has been bought back by the breeders, posing the question of why did the now former owners sell if you think you have the winner?
Beefy – Juvenile form this season looks better than the novice form. Hang fire on this race until you see how the Fred Winter works out.
A shout for French 66/1 shot Pesk Ebrel, who has three placed runs since moving to jumps across the channel. French imports are 5/7 in this race.
The Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle – Friday 2.10pm
Paddy – A Hare Breath (14-1 BetBright)
Glenno – Ivanovic Gorbatov (14-1 BetBright) has been laid out for this race but needs good ground.
Beefy – Mohayeed, although Max Dynamite (7-1 BetBright) could be absolutely thrown in. Willie Mullins’ growing record in the race needs serious respect.
Frank – Flying Tiger (12-1 BetBright) has been running well below his mark this season on ground he hates, will improve in this race. Also whizzed up All Set To Go (33-1 BetBright), trained by Kevin Frost.
The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle – Friday 2.50pm
Beefy – Calett Mad (14-1 BetBright) has the perfect profile in a race which is won by an out and out bruiser. Has been running over hurdles and fences for years but remains a novice, has an experience edge and having been tried over 4m this shouldn’t be making him choke unlike plenty of others. Quote – “this is not a race for fancy dans”
Chris’s Dream (12-1 BetBright) was also mentioned by Tom Malone, moved to Henry De Bromhead after winning in Ireland. Concern he needs soft ground though.
Turner – Mulcahy’s Hill (25-1 BetBright) needs it very soft
The Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup – Friday 3.30pm
Might Bite (11-4 BetBright) was this year’s vote winner by an overwhelming margin, beating Sizing John (6-1 BetBright), Road To Respect (9-1 BetBright), Native River (5-1 BetBright), Killultagh Vic (9-1 BetBright), Double Shuffle (33-1 BetBright) and 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Edwulf (16-1 BetBright).
The St James’ Place Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup – Friday 4.10pm
Burning Ambition (3-1 BetBright) and Wonderful Charm (6-1 BetBright) dominated discussion. Glenno, the king of the hunting field, believes BA ticks plenty of boxes but may be on the short side now. On good ground, Wonderful Charm is the value bet.
The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle – Friday 4.50pm
Frank – Mullins, Elliott and Nicholls have won 5 of the last 5, are responsible for 6/7 and have had 20 placed horses in this race
So, the message was, focus on the major stables and major owners for this event.
Hardline (16-1 BetBright) has impressive form and as an Elliott runner, has to be paid close attention.
The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase – Friday 5.30pm
Turner – Theinval (10-1 BetBright) was 3rd last season and like Rock The World can come back and win this time round, while Bouvreuil (18-1 BetBright) is another with a big chance on old festival form.
Beefy – Don’t Touch It (9-1 BetBright) looks like a graded horse running in a handicap. Beat Petit Mouchoir, Brain Power, Yorkhill and Charbel over hurdles. Only slight chink is lack of course experience, but could be a class above.
Harrington’s winner from last year, Rock The World (16-1 BetBright), is also respected.
Myself – Dolos (16-1 BetBright) for the Nicholls stable is one to consider
Robert – Ellison thinks Forest Bihan (20-1 BetBright) is ideally suited to this race but will only run if the ground is good.
Phew – a long night!