Part II of my preview for Cheltenham Wednesday – I’ll have a closer look into all of these very competitive looking races with huge filed sizes. There might be some value to find, though, and if only one wins for me, I’ll be big in the profit today.
Coral Cup (Grade 3 Handicap Hurdle)
Prices are quickly diminishing for Lac Fontana but he is still big enough to have an each-way interest in him. He loves it around Cheltenham, won three out of six starts here and was progressive last season, culminating in a triumph in the Country Hurdle at the Festival. He has been not quite as good this season, well held in two of his three starts, though he ran in hot company and a third behind Faugheen at Kempton looks good form. He’s a fresh horse today which should work, he has his decent ground and is back at his beloved Cheltenham. I expect a bold bid.
Lac Fontana @ 18/1 Coral – 2.5pts win
Cross Country Chase
I love this race. Visually it is most compelling. Some strong runners with excellent experience in this type of race are at the top of the market and it is not easy to oppose them, but they offer little to no value in their prices. From the rather unexposed looking animals I like Rivage D’or. He needs decent ground and looks on a fair mark with potential improvement to come. He fell when last seen but usually jumps well. Trip is an unknown but possible. He has won as a fresh horse before, and could outrun his price .
Rivage D’or @ 20/1 PP – 2.5pts EW
Champion Bumper (Grade 1 Standard Open NH Flat Race)
Some lovely bred sorts in this race. I think some of the bigger prices are underestimated, however. Very well bred indeed is the only mare in the race, Montana Belle. She has a bit of experience in bumpers and shaped well in most starts. I loved the way she quickened here at Cheltenham over CD when last seen. She finished runner-up behind very useful mare Bitofapuzzle who won a couple of races subsequently and finished 3rd in the Mares Hurdle yesterday. The decent ground should suit Montana Belle who looks big and scopy. Worth a nibble.
Montana Belle @ 66/1 Coral – 2.5pts EW