Fulham Manager Scott Parker must be wringing his hands with despair as bookmaker Paddy Power hammered another nail into his coffin today. The Irish…
Followers of the regular ante-post columns over the last few weeks will be on Sporting John each-way for the Ballymore, and Minella Indo for the RSA – both at 6/1 – in the opening two contests on day two of the Cheltenham Festival.
As for any particular recommendation in these races now, I don’t see the need to delve any further. The Ballymore looks to be at the mercy of the front four in the market, and perhaps more pertinently the Irish hotpot – Envoi Allen. Having Sporting John each-way on our side is a good bet, and the two ‘The Bigs’ (Getaway and Breakaway) could well improve to be involved.
If you had a fiver burning a hole in your pocket then perhaps 25/1 each-way 3 places for Son Of Camas in the market with Paddy Power that excludes Envoi Allen and Sporting John, could be the way to go. Son Of Camas has had a wind operation since being beaten by Fiddlerontheroof in the Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle and could be a live one at a price.
The RSA market looks about right too, and I’m more than happy to suggest keeping it simple – in that, if you aren’t already on Minella Indo, then you could (and should) still avail yourself. Of the opposition, Allaho has been beaten twice by Minella Indo over hurdles, Champ isn’t straightforward despite being talented, and Copperhead had a brutal race at Ascot three weeks ago.
The Champion Chase sadly will be without Altior, but even without him, I’m struggling to find a way in, comments which are also consistent with the Cross-Country and the Champion Bumper – who look at the mercy of Tiger Roll and Appreciate It respectively.
So, in terms of adding a couple of bets, it is the two handicaps on Wednesday’s card that I will delve deeper into…
Eglantine Du Seuil – 20/1 EW (Ladbrokes 6 places)
Year on year, we see Cheltenham Festival form stand up and be counted in subsequent seasons. There is something about the atmosphere, the track, the willingness of connections to have another go, that dictates that horses often reproduce cracking efforts again at this meeting.
Two horses who ran screamers at last year’s festival I think are very worth investing in a few quid each-way, in what is usually a fierce cavalry charge. Canardier was a brilliant fourth in the 2019 Coral Cup, when rating much the best of any horse that wasn’t held up and/or raced wide out of the back and into the home straight. The icing on the cake is that he has joined Willie Mullins in the interim – hardly a negative!
Mullins throws seven darts at the Coral Cup board, and it is another of his charges that is vastly overpriced at 20/1 each-way with Ladbrokes, who offer six places also. Eglantine Du Seuil produced a noteworthy and strong staying performance when winning the 2019 Mares Novices’ Hurdle, and on the back of an eye-popping (not just eye-catching!) run at Leopardstown in February, she must run well. After winning at last year’s festival she went on to finish third in a pair of Grade 1 novice hurdles. She is mightily classy.
Tronador – 9/1 EW (Bet365 generally 5 places)
Gordon Elliott has won this race twice in the last ten years, and has had countless placed horses in the same timescale – he runs five here and so will have his hopes of adding to that tally, and it might well not be with the obvious first string Aramax.
Tronador is in the same ownership as Elliott’s 2018 winner Veneer Of Charm, and also wears blinkers for the first time over hurdles – similar to his 2013 winner Flaxen Flare. He was not the greatest horse on the flat when trained by David Lanigan, but quickly proved well suited to hurdles when winning on his second start for Elliott at Thurles. His third qualifying hurdle run was behind a very well backed stablemate, and notably David O’Regan took the ride on that occasion, and retains the ride here. Tronador hurdles fluently, stays well and looks ideally suited to this test.
The other horse I suggest backing is trained by the man who will always be remembered as beginning the mighty Tiger Roll’s career with a win in a Market Rasen hurdle – so it would be fitting should Nigel Hawke train a Cheltenham Festival winner on the same day that Tiger Roll bids for festival immortality.
Repetitio is already a winner around Cheltenham’s New course when winning an all-age handicap hurdle in December that is working out very well. That probably isn’t his best piece of Cheltenham form as it happens – that came when chasing home leading Triumph Hurdle candidate Allmankind on the Old Course (which this race will be run on) in November.
There are many unexposed types in opposition, but back against his own age group, with the experience and battle scars of these races, Repetitio is just the type of horse that will go off a backable price, and run extremely well.