Monday, 11 March 2013

Cheltenham 2013 Day 1

It's never easy picking a winner at Cheltenham and I'd be happy if I can walk away from the track with just one winner on each of the four days ill be quite content.

My selection for the opening race of the Festival the Supreme Novice Hurdle Melodic Rendezvous was not declared for the race after a dirty scope so I'm going to take a chance on Dodging Bullets who has the benefit of a previous run at the Festival as well as a couple of course victories but in no way is he a confident selection. At a big price Cause Of Causes could run a big race if returning to his Ascot form when taking the Ladbroke Hurdle in impressive style in December.

I've already pinned my colours to Overturn in the Arkle so it's onto the JLT Handicap Chase and my original selection my namesake Alfie Sherrin has not been declared so I might play it safe and plump for the favourite Our Mick who was running a big race when unseating his rider on his seasonal reappearance at the track in January and there no doubt Donald McCain will have him primed for this contest.

The feature race of day 1 the Champion Hurdle I shall stick with Zarkanda who I selected in my previous blog on the race but 7/9 runners here have realistic chances in a fascinating renewal of the crown jewell of hurdling.

Edna Bolger is the king of training horses for cross country races and Arabella Boy has already taken two similar races over the banks course at Punchestown this season and despite unseating his rider at the course in December he gets my vote here especially of a lovely racing weight of 10-9. Bostons Angel the 2011 RSA winner would be one of the biggest dangers and you can never rule out the course specialist Uncle Junior despite being allocated top weight.

Quevaga is a certainty on my books for the Mares Hurdle as she bids to make it five in a row at the Festival but the final race of the day will not be so easy with 20 going to post in a ultra competitive Pulteney Novice Handicap Chase. You could stake a claim for virtually every runner but former Festival winner Carlito Brigante could just be the class horse of the race especially of a lenient looking handicap mark for a horse of his ability so he get my vote in the days concluding race.

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