Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Day at Cheltenham

The first Cheltenham meeting of 2008 looks as tricky as ever. The Nicholls camp is particularly bullish about Predateur in the 1.35; I'm still not certain the horse gets the trip. French raider Okaido should have no fears on that score having won over three miles in France; he could be anything. I'll sit this one out.

In the 2.45 Star De Mohaison will be popular running off a hurdle rating that is considerably lower than his chase equivalent. Hills Of Aran was nibbled at at fancy prices before the start of Ascot's Long Walk Hurdle just over a week ago, but he got no further than the first. The tissue has the horse priced at around 10/1 here; he would be an interesting each-way wager.

Several commentators have put up Afsoun for the 3.20 but I will not be joining in. Most of the runners in this have questions to answer, including Black Jack Ketchum and Wichita Lineman. If Blazing Bailey is in top form he'll have a shout, but I'm going to sit this one out too.

Leading Authority should take the 1.50 at Exeter but is likely to be priced accordingly.


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Mr Tips! Pleased to see you have started the year in style. All the best for 2008.


GeeDee said...

A good start to 2008, with both Hills Of Aran and Leading Authority obliging. Hills Of Aran (10/1) won well in the end, although he took some time to warm to his task; early on his jumping was pretty sketchy. Paul Moloney rode a fine race from the front on 12/1 shot Hennessy; McCoy had the eventual second covered coming to the last to win by three lengths. In the morning Betfred stood out by offering 14/1 HOA, so I placed my bet in the local Done shop and was happy to collect later in the day.
With the benefit of hindsight, what value Blazing Bailey was at 7/1 for the 3.20. Backed in to 11/2 at the off, BB won this as he liked and now looks back on track for the World Hurdle in March.
Leading Authority (6/5f) was awarded his race in the stewards' room after crossing the line a head behind Bob Buckler's 7/1 shot Niche Market. NM hampered LA after the last; the stewards obviously took the view that the interference had cost LA the race.