Preview: Kim Muir Handicap Chase (5.30)
Here’s a favourite that’s surely going to drift a bit. Measureofmydreams hasn’t won for three years and, while he may recover his old form now that he’s with Gordon Elliott, this hasn’t been a brilliant week so far for following Elliott handicappers. He made several mistakes in big-field races a couple of years ago and I’d expect to see him clout one here. Any Second Now also looks a bit high in the betting, considering he’s 0/9 over fences, although he has some quality form.
It’s All Guesswork ran a super-eyecatching race when sixth in a Pertemps qualifier last time and he looks progressive over fences, albeit not quick. Rogue Angel is an Irish National winner from years gone by who is interesting for this second spin around Cheltenham, having gone well for a long way in the four-miler years ago. The Young Master has been having a good season and returns from a break with his stable in form. He could do with the ground drying out. Kilfilum Cross is interesting, having won his handicap debut on his first start for Henry Oliver. He’s a big beast with more to offer.
Dawn Run Mares’ Novice Hurdle (4.50) result
1 Eglantine Du Seuil (N D Fehily) 50-1
2 Concertista (D E Mullins) 66-1
3 Tintangle (J W Kennedy) 40-1
Also: 15-8 Fav Epatante, 25-1 Black Tears 4th
Dawn Run Mares’ Novice Hurdle (4.50): Eglantine Du Seuil wins at 50-1 under jockey Noel Fehily for trainer Willie Mullins. Concertista was second at 66-1 on her first ever trip over obstacles.
Dawn Run Mares’ Novice Hurdle (4.50): Epatante is in midfield as Emily Moon continues to make the running under Robbie Power, who is setting a strong gallop. Emily Moon leads from Elfile and Sinoria, with about 15 lengths separating the field. Emily Moon weakens but Presidente Line leads over the last hurdle with Concertista and Eglantine Du Seuil … Concertista and Eglantine Du Seuil cross the line together and will have to be separated by a photo.
Dawn Run Mares’ Novice Hurdle (4.50) They’re off. Emily Moon and Posh Trish are first over the first hurdle as the large field negotiates the first hurdle safely.
Dawn Run Mares’ Novice Hurdle (4.50) 2m 1f
The runners and riders are down at the start, with Epatante the favourite under Barry Geraghty, who has already ridden a double today.
Dawn Run Mares’ Novice Hurdle (4.50) betting
- Epatante – 13/8
- Posh Trish – 5/1
- Sinoria – 9/1
- My Sister Sarah – 9/1
- Elusive belle – 20/1
- Queenohearts – 11/1
- Lust for glory – 20/1
- Sancta Simona – 25/1
- Emily Moon – 28/1
- Indefatigable – 40/1
- Elfle – 66/1
- Black Tears – 40/1
- Eglantine Du Seuil – 80/1
- Allez Dance – 100/1
- Tintangle – 66/1
- Buildmeupbuttercup – 100/1
- Concertista – 66/1
- Presidente Line – 150/1
- Court Maid – 150/1
- Awayinthewest – 150/1
- Diamond Gait – 150/1
- Dame du Soir – 250/1
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Dawn Run Mares’ Novice Hurdle (4.50) preview
It feels slightly odd to not just be backing an odds-on shot from Willie Mullins’s yard in this, but no such horse is available for the first time in the four-year history of this contest. Nicky Henderson has suggested that Epatante represents his best chance of a winner this week, which looks like good information, now that he’s already had three winners.
She gets 5lbs from the other obvious one, Posh Trish, four times a winner for Paul Nicholls this term. From Ireland comes Sinoria, a half-sister to Minella Rocco who seems to be going the right way. Mullins fields My Sister Sarah, who has something to prove on the bare form.
Brown Advisory Plate Handicap Chase (4.10) result
1 Siruh Du Lac (Lizzie Kelly) 9-2
2 Janika (D A Jacob) 3-1 Fav
3 Spiritofthegames (Harry Skelton) 6-1
4 Eamon An Cnoic (T Scudamore) 10-1
Non Runners: 10,20
Brown Advisory Plate Handicap Chase (4.10): “I actually watched Bryony and thought: ‘You know what, that was my game plan’,” she says. to ITV’s Oli Bell. “My question mark was whether he would stay but I wasn’t in a position to take a pull down the back to get a breather into him. My God, he jumps. He jumps and he jumps and he jumps and he jumps and he jumps.” Along with Rachael Blackmore and Bryony Frost, Lizzie Kelly is the third different female jockey to ride a winner at this year’s Festival. If only there was somewhere you could read more about them …
Brown Advisory Plate Handicap Chase (4.10): Siruh Du Lac continues to lead but they’re queueing up behind with one to jump. Siruh Du Lac is over the last in front with Janika in hot pursuit. Siruh Du Lac wins for Lizzie Kelly in a pillar to post win. Janika was second and – I think – Spiritofthegames was third.
Brown Advisory Plate Handicap Chase (4.10): River Wild pulls up as Siruh Du Lac continues to lead from the front, with Didero Vallis a length behind. Splash Of Ginge is third while Janika is nicely poised with three to jump …
Brown Advisory Plate Handicap Chase (4.10) 2m 5f
They’re away and running in the third last race of the day, with two exceptionally hard acts to follow after one of the most fascinating hours in Cheltenham Festival history. The gallop is relentless and Lizzie Kelly leads the charge on Siruh Du Lac with the field well spread out. Testify is next, with Slash Of Ginge and Didero Vallis. Kings Odyssey is a faller.
Andrew Gemmell speaks: Like everyone else with a runner at Cheltenham this week, Paisley Park’s owner spoke to Chris Cook in the build-up.
Preview: Brown Advisory Plate Handicap Chase (4.10)
Nicky Henderson has the favourite in Janika, a good second in both his starts since arriving from France. However, this one is now 11lbs higher in the ratings than when he got here and he hasn’t actually won anything yet. Henderson also put in a good word recently for River Wylde, last seen suffering a nasty fall at Haydock in November, when the fences were too stiff. He was third in the Supreme a couple of years ago.
Siruh Du Lac is unbeaten in three this season and beat Janika by a head here in January. Spiritofthegames ran fifth in a handicap hurdle at the last Festival and has made a good transition to fences, running third to Kildisart here in January. Azzerti, a late and unlucky faller in that race, was going well at the time and may get involved if he’s allowed a smidgen more room.
Stayer’s Hurdle (3.30) result
1 Paisley Park (Aidan Coleman) 11-8 Fav
2 Sam Spinner (Joe Colliver) 33-1
3 Faugheen (R Walsh) 4-1
Also: 16-1 Bapaume 4th
Tote: win 2.10 places 1.40 8.00 2.10
Tote Exacta: 37.80
Andrew Gemmell speaks to ITV Racing: “I can’t believe it’s happened,” says the winning owner. “I hope it’s the first of many, let’s keep coming back.”
Stayers Hurdle (3.30): Another fairytale as Paisley Park wins the Stayers by three lengths from Sam Spinner and Faugheen – I think – was third. Paisley Park made life incredibly difficult for himself there, getting stuck in traffic, extricating himself and then blundering through the last. He dug deep on the run-in and found loads more in the tank. Paisley Park and Aidan Coleman win the Stayers.
Stayers Hurdle (3.30): Sam Spinner leads from Wholestone and Faugheen. Paisley Park is in seventh but risks getting stuck in traffic as they head towards the second last. Faugheen moves alongside Sam Spinner in front. Faugheen and Sam Spinner lead them up the hill. Paisley Park is galloping into contention. Paisley Park moves into the lead and blunders his way through the last. Paisley Park digs in and finds more. Paisley Park wins the Stayers!!!!!!!!
Stayers Hurdle (3.30): Nautical Nitwit, Sam Spinner, Faugheen, Wholestone and Kilbricken Storm. Black Op is Behind him with Top Notch. Paisley Park is in midfield and doing ok. They’re three out, but a long way from home.
Stayers Hurdle (3.30): Nautical Nitwit leads by three or four lengths from Sam Spinner, then Faugheen, Kilbricken Storm and Wholestone. The field bunches up and they’ve seven to jump …
Stayers Hurdle (3.30): Off they go, with Nautical Nitwit and Sam Spinner making the early running, five or six lengths clear of Faugheen …
Stayers Hurdle (3.30) 3m
Another potential fairytale on the cards here, if Paisley Park – a horse who has endured no end of health problems – can justify favouritism and win for his owner Andrew Gemmell, who has been blind since birth. “He’s great fun,” says suave and debonair ITV Racing presenter Ed Chamberlin. Everybody wants this horse to win … except the bookies, of course. But who cares about them? They’ll be away and running any second now ….
Stayers Hurdle (3.30) betting
- Paisley Park – 6/4
- Faugheen – 9/2
- Supasundae – 11/1
- Black Op – 12/1
- Kilbricken Storm – 16/1
- Top Notch – 16/1
- Bapaume – 20/1
- Bacardys – 28/1
- Petit Mouchoir – 33/1
- Wholestone – 40/1
- Sam Spinner – 40/1
- Yanworth – 40/1
- West Approach – 50/1
- The Mighty Don – 100/1
- Coquin Mans – 125/1
- Keeper Hill – 150/1
- Nautical Nitwit – 300/1
- Man of Plenty – 300/1
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“Paisley Park (best price 2-1) has been sensational this season and I don’t see the seven-year-old’s form changing anytime soon,” says Oddschecker equine connoisseur Sam Eaton. “Emma Lavelle’s horse demolished a decent field which included Black Op, Wholestone and Aux Ptits Soins to name a few at this course in January.”
Preview: Stayers Hurdle (3.30)
This could be the heartwarming story of the week, if Paisley Park can win for the popular trainer Emma Lavelle and his owner Andrew Gemmell, blind since birth and a regular attendee at Festivals since the early 70s. But Paisley Park will have to be truly outstanding to do it, having been vigorously campaigned since October. Faugheen “The Machine” is the old man of the party these days, trying to win at the Festival for the first time since his Champion Hurdle four years ago. In view of his horrible fall behind Apple’s Jade in December, maybe we should just be glad that he’s here at all.
Supasundae won a handicap here two years ago and chased home Penhill in this race last year. Since Penhill is sidelined, what’s to stop Supasundae going one better? Kilbricken Storm won last year’s Albert Bartlett and now returns to hurdles, having failed over fences. His stable could be in better form. Sam Spinner and Yanworth had the necessary ability at one time but their recent form undermines hope.
Interview: In case you’re unfamiliar with the work of Bryony Frost, here’s an interview she did in the build-up to the Festival with our own Chris Cook.
Ryanair Chase: That was one of the best horse races I’ve ever seen and on ITV, Brough Scott couldn’t agree more. That horse had to dig extremely deep after getting passed at the second last and again at the bottom of the hill. Bryony Frost’s post race interview was something else as well. Hopefully ITV will flag it up on Twitter shortly, at which point I’ll stick it up here. Frodon and her jockey are getting the biggest reception of any winning duo this week in the winning enclosure.
Ryanair Chase (2.50) result
1 Frodon (Bryony Frost) 9-2
2 Aso (Charlie Deutsch) 33-1
3 Road To Respect (S W Flanagan) 9-2
Also: 7-2 Fav Footpad, 5-1 Monalee 4th
Tote: win 4.80 places 1.70 7.00 1.70
Tote Exacta: 105.30
Ryanair Chase (2.50): Frodon and Bryony Frost win the Ryanair Chase for trainer Paul Nicholls. That was a terrific race and a very brave run from the winner.
“He’s got his day, guys,” says a jubilant Bryony Frost of her horse. “He’s Pegasus, he’s a terrific battler. It was that minute he got headed two out and he grabbed me by the hand and said “I want this, don’t you let me down”. He’s unbelivable and I love him. The dream that he’s just made come true for me, he’s incredible. He’ll deserve every high five, carrot and Polo Mint he’ll get.” Some dust in your reporter’s eye, here.
Ryanair Chase (2.50): Aso leads from Frodon with Un De Sceaux close behind. Footpad is in sixth, getting a patient ride. Frodon goes back in front with Aso on his outside … Frodon leads at the last with Aso alongside him … Frodon wins for Bryony Frost! Frodon beats Aso and Road to Respect.
Ryanair Chase (2.50): Frodon and Sub Liutenant are the one-two qwith Monalee , Road To Respect and Aso all breathing down their necks. At the back, Coney Island and Charbel are struggling. Un De Sceaux is bang in contention they’ve four to jump …
Ryanair Chase (2.50): Frodon narrowly in the lead from Sub Lieutenant, Monalee, Aso and Road To Respect.
Ryanair Chase (2.50) 2m 5f
Off they go in the Ryanair Chase with Footpad the 7-2 favourite – this should be an excellent race; one of the most competitive of the week. Frodon immediately takes up the running under Bryony Frost, with Sub Lieutenant just behind her. They’re a couple of lengths clear of Monalee and Road To Respect …
Two women jockeys in the Ryanair: Rachael Blackmore rides Monalee and Bryony Frost rides Frodon – both horses with big chances. Speaking of women jockeys, there’s a superb documentary about them on ITV4 at 10.30am on Saturday this Saturday. It will also be available on the ITV Hub for a month after that and it’s well worth a look. Read on …
Ryanair Chase (2.50) betting
- Footpad 7/2
- Monalee 9/2
- Road To Respect 11/2
- Un De Sceaux 11/2
- Frodon 15/2
- The Storyteller 25/1
- Terrefort 25/1
- Balko Des Flos 28/1
- Aso 33/1
- Coney Island 33/1
- Charbel 40/1
- Sub Lieutenant 66/1
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Greg Wood, our racing correspondent, is in spiky mood today!!! If the activity in my email inbox is any indication, most bookie PRs are too busy emailing me press releases about assorted “wacky” wheezes they’ve dreamt up to attract the attention (and money) of potential customers to notice how many winning favourites there have been.
Ryanair Chase (2.50)
A funny sort of race, this, which has attracted quite a strong field by offering a refuge for those fleeing other races. Footpad, evading the mighty Altior, has had his hind shoes whipped off him after he kept cutting into himself and would be a big player if recovering the form of his Arkle win last year. Monalee was no match for Presenting Percy last year or for Kemboy at Christmas, but perhaps he can be the best at this intermediate distance.
Road To Respect and Frodon are others who have ducked the Gold Cup and both have enough class to get involved, though this is the end of a busy, productive season for Frodon and he tends to be losing his form by this stage. Un De Sceaux is the specialist Ryanair runner among the leading contenders but he’s also the oldest at the age of 11 and needs to turn around last year’s form with Balko Des Flos.
Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle (1.30) result
1 Sire Du Berlais (B J Geraghty) 4-1 Fav
2 Tobefair (Thomas Bellamy) 40-1
3 Not Many Left (M P Walsh) 16-1
4 Cuneo (Rachael Blackmore) 12-1
Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle (2.10): “I thought I was in trouble three out, I got tight for room,” says Barry Geraghty in an interview with ITV. “It was a good battle, it was a lovely race to win.”
Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle (2.10) Heading towards the last, Cuneo takes up the running under Rachael Blackmore but Sire Du Berlais wins by a neck for favourite backers to give Barry Geraghty his second winner of the afternoon, this time for trainer Gordon Elliott.