Friday, January 26, 2007

Cheltenham selections

An interesting card at Cheltenham tomorrow, particularly with the Festival less than seven weeks away.

The opening novice hurdle looks a hot affair with Wichita Lineman from the Jonjo O'Neill stable likely to be well fancied. Following his victory at Newbury last time, I read a report that suggested he may be better on a flat track and I note he hasn't won at Cheltenham. That being the case, I think he's worth opposing with Tidal Bay. Zilcash, although only a four year old, is getting a big weight allowance from Wichita Lineman on official handicap ratings and may be worth an each way interest at 10/1 or bigger.

Unbeaten Black Jack Ketchum runs in the 2.10 and is the star horse on show. He's never run on ground as heavy as he'll encounter tomorrow which may make him vulnerable. The value will be in opposing him. Inglis Drever and Flight Leader look to have the best chances of springing a surprise; there's not a lot to choose between them but the fact Colin Tizzard's stable (which I certainly respect) hasn't sent out a winner for three weeks means the vote goes to Inglis Drever.

If Our Vic is on song he'll have a good chance in the 2.45. A colleague of mine has taken 12/1 about him ante post for the Gold Cup. It goes without saying that if he wins, he'll be shorter than that after this race; on the other hand... If I had to have an ante post bet at this stage, Nickname at 10/1 for the Champion Chase makes more appeal.

Regular readers will know that Katchit has served us well this winter and I'm not about to desert him now; he's the selection in the 3.20. It looks a race full of promising horses; the one I fear most is David Pipe's Pauillac.


Anonymous said...

Well, you were right about Black Jack....and Katchit. I have to console myself with Wichita Lineman.
But the racing was as good as a Festival afternoon

GeeDee said...

In the opener even money shot Wichita Lineman beat 11/4 chance Tidal Bay by a comfortable looking six lengths. Zilcash fell.

Black Jack Ketchum lost his unbeaten tag when, after jumping the second last, he went out quicker than my daughter after she's finished her homework. Unfortunately Blazing Bailey (14/1) proved the fly in the ointment beating Inglis Drever (9/2) with Flight Leader (7/1)third.

I've never really been convinced by Our Vic and his second to Exotic Dancer today means that, even if he is the best horse in the Pipe yard, in my book he won't win a Gold Cup.

In stark contrast Katchit's victory at odds of 2/1 shows this horse is as tough as old boots and one to have on your side in a scrap. He now heads the Triumph hurdle market at 7/1. I'm not fond of The Triumph, a notoriously rough race, but this victory is his fourth for PG's Tips (at odds of 4/11, 7/4, 7/4 and 2/1). I will find it hard not to have an interest come March. Pauillac finished third at 3/1.