Saturday, March 10, 2007

Cheltenham build up

It's that Guinness time of year. The Cheltenham Festival starts Tuesday; I'll be joining the scrum at 'The Guinness Village' on Wednesday, Champion Chase day. After a couple of fine drying days the going on the Old Course (used on Tuesday and Wednesday) is now described as soft and on the New Course (used on Thursday and Friday) as soft, heavy in places.

I've been going to the Wednesday's racing for about seven years and at present am working through the relevant form; as a consequence I tend not to get too heavily involved on the Tuesday. At this stage the race that's caught my attention is the opening Ballymore Properties Novice Hurdle over two miles five furlongs. This looks hot and I'll be keen to get Aran Concerto beaten. Silverburn is interesting at around 13/2 and I'm tempted to take 14/1 each way about My Turn Now as there wouldn't appear to be that much between them on Tolworth Hurdle form.

David Pipe, interviewed on Channel Four this afternoon , put forward Well Chief as his banker with Dom D'Orgeval his next best in the Royal & Sun Alliance Chase. This horse has been touted in more than one preview evening but I'm not convinced - the horse reminds me of the yard's Commercial Flyer which disappointed in the same race last year. In the Arkle on Tuesday the stable run Buena Vista who would be a confident each way selection on better ground.

It's all to play for and, in an admittedly miserable attempt to show I'm still young at heart, I'm quoting Christina Aguilera's lyrics (who?) to sum up:

'Welcome to the greatest show
Greatest show on earth
You've never seen before
Let the fairy tale unfold'

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