Wednesday 14th March – The Ups and Downs of Cheltenham

Yesterday saw some real highs and lows at the Festival and that is not just talking about my bets! Sprinter Sacre was awesome in the Arkle and looks a real champion in the making for many years to come. Whilst the victory for Rock On Ruby was brilliant to see both for the Paul Nicholls’ satellite operation and for jockey Noel Fehily, for whom this was incredibly only his second Festival success.  In my opinion this showcased Fehily’s riding ability, as he lay up close to the breakneck gallop set by Overturn and then made sure there was no let up as the horses turned in to the straight.  Having seen him take a fall on our horse Low Gales on Sunday, he has certainly seen the ups and downs in the last few days.

However, the main down I refer to in the title, is the fact that three horses lost their lives yesterday, Scotsirish, the previous twice Festival winner Garde Champetre and Educated Evans.  My thoughts are with their owners and connections for whom a potential day of triumph turned into a disaster. Racing really suffers when there are equine fatalities and everything must be done to ensure these instances are minimised.

Today, my main bet is Grand Crus, who having bypassed the Gold Cup should show he is this years’ best long distance novice chase. He should be backed at 2.50 with Paddy Power.  Whilst in the Champion Chase Sizing Europe looks a good thing,however, a horse I think will run well at a good price is Gauvain who has Noel Fehily on board giving asssitance.  A three times course winner and the retrun of blinkers which have helped in the past, mean he should be supported at 34.00 each-way which is generally available.

For my each-way lucky 15 today I will add Felix Yonger in the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle (14:05) and Megastar an old favourite of mine who returns to hurdling in the Coral 30£ Free bet! Cup (16:00) on a good mark if he returns to his old form!  Best prices are available with Bet365.

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