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Cheltenham Festival 2018 Tips & Nap – Wednesday 14 March

As we’ve been busy with our private racing information, we have not been posting regular tips, but since its Festival week, and we had someone ask nicely, below are a heap of selections for the second day of Cheltenham Festival 2018!

Feel free to leave a comment complaining about the tips, or saying how amazing they were for you, at the bottom 🙂 We can take it.

Today’s Cheltenham Races – Quick Links

Race 1 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – 1.30pm

2m5f (2m5f26y) (Old) Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered As The Baring Bingham) (Class 1) (4yo+).

For this race, we like the likely short-priced favourite SAMCRO (IRE) for the win, but the price will be nothing to write home about. For each-way backers, we have a couple at really long prices which may go well today – based on best timed put down – including COOLANLY (IRE) and KNIGHT IN DUBAI (IRE) both of whom will be double figure prices. Try to get a best price guarantee and an extra place for those two, as they need things to drop right, but a win is possible. More solid each-way claims belong to BLACK OP (IRE).

Race 2 – RSA Novices Chase – 2.10pm

3m½f (3m80y) (Old) RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (5yo+)

We go for bigger prices in race two, with our main selection, BALLYOPTIC (IRE) which will be ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies for father Nigel. The overnight price of 16/1 looks like an excellent chance to make the frame, and this one has put down times which suggest a win is more than possible. We cannot, though, rule out the likely favourite, PRESENTING PERCY (GB) which will make the frame at least barring any mishaps, under Davy Russell for trainer Patrick G Kelly.

Race 3- Coral Cup – 2.50pm

2m5f (2m5f26y) (Old) Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (Class 1) (4yo+)

There’s a monster 26 horse field for the 2018 renewal of the Coral Cup, and therefore we make no apology for suggesting three each-way selections for this race: BLEU BERRY (FR)WILLIAM HENRY (IRE) and MAX DYNAMITE (FR) are a little proud of the field based on what they have achieved on course to date.

Race 4 – Queen Mother Champion Chase – 3:30pm

2m (1m7f199y) (Old) Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (5yo+)

In this race, if injury, fear uncertainty and doubt over DOUVAN (FR) did not exist, we would be stating this is a nailed on winner. Even so, we do not think that Willie Mullins would send a horse to Cheltenham in anything below 100% match fitness. Further, Ruby Walsh has chosen this one over a pretty high class stable companion. If up to his best, this gelding wins this one a little cosily. But there is risk attached. Even so, this is our NAP for the day.

Race 5 – Glenfarclas Chase (Cross Country) – 4:10pm

3m6f (3m6f37y) (X-Country) Glenfarclas Chase (A Cross Country Chase) (Class 2) (5yo+)

In the Cross Country, we have one long priced one, each way, and a shorter priced strong form claim. Those horses are BEEVES (IRE) and CAUSE OF CAUSES (USA) respectively. The former is expected to be priced in the region of 50/1, while the McManus owned Cause of Causes is looking like starting as favourite at a price of around 5/2. As ever, this is wide open, though, and the unique nature of this event means really most of this field could conceivably string together a performance and win this today. Clear as the mud they will be running on? Maybe, but this is not a race to go wild about betting on, though it will be excellent entertainment.

Race 6 – Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle – 4:50pm

2m½f (2m87y) (Old) Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (Class 1) (4yo)

In this race, we’re making one, longer priced, each-way selection: TURNING GOLD (GB), which is trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and will be ridden by Tom Bellamy. This gelding is unexposed, and tapered up nicely for this, culminating with a good performance on the clock to win at Haydock last time out, a month ago, on heavy going. Its going to be muddy today, and the ground will have been well trodden by this race, so a horse which goes well in these conditions, and has recent form, looks like a nice option at an expected 25/1 price.

Race 7 – Weatherbys Champion Bumper – 5:30pm

2m½f (2m87y) (Old) Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race) (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4-6yo)

Two geldings stand out for us in the bumper: the Irish trained RHINESTONE (IRE) and TORNADO FLYER (IRE). The likely favourite, Blackbow, actually beat Rhinestone last time out at Leopardstown, but Rhinestone put in a better performance on his penultimate start – on heavy going – and therefore we think can turn the tables under today’s conditions. Much depends on the 1-2% difference in fitness today which may exist, but the stopwatch says our two selections should make the frame, and we’re by no means opposing the favourite, but rather looking to predict today’s result. Tornado Flyer is probably the most interesting, and least exposed – and this one was given a stern test first time out on heavy going, to win. Any improvement – which is likely – and this one could be a very good winner. Two nice each-way selections here at prices in the double figures for the latter choice.

Good luck if you are going to Cheltenham or just watching on TV.

We recommend you take a look at the up to £100 in free bets from Betfair.

By Robin Scott

Software developer, Robin Scott helps to run the Little Blue Pen website, in order to publish the product of two decades worth of software driven UK & Irish racehorse ratings.

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