Cheltenham 2016 – Day 2 preview by David Cormack
Day 1 proved to be a punting trial for me. Not only was I keen to take on Annie Power, I also let David Pipe get one past me. Pipe and O’Neill are always dangerous at racing’s premier meeting, we should never let ourselves forget that.
Moving swiftly onwards to day 2 then.
Race 1 – This looks a match between two horses with the world at their feet. I prefer YANWORTH who looks the ideal type for this but Yorkhill has done nothing wrong and I wouldn’t put you off him if you fancy him. Alan King’s horse is the one for me though.
Race 2 – Another race the bookies are pricing as a two-way affair with More Of That and No More Heroes the likely protagonists according to the satchel men. Both have sound claims but More Of That has much more on here than in the two chases he’s competed in thus far while No More Heroes is short enough for me in a race where both Blaklion and Seeyouatmidnight are close up on ratings. I think Sandy Thomson’s SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT has been under-rated and is too big at around 12/1 and given that he has already beaten Blaklion at Cheltenham on New Year’s day he gets the nod. A good race in prospect this.
Race 3 – The Coral Cup is usually a minefield – like most bookmaker sponsored handicap hurdles it is invariably tough to solve. However, I reckon I’ve done it this year… the horse in question being DIAMOND KING. Trainer Gordon Elliott is very sweet on his chances and he’s brought him along nicely since he took over the training of him from Donald McCain. There are dangers everywhere you look and Rock The Kasbah, Blazer and Baoulet Delaroque are others I have plenty respect for. Some bookies are paying six places and I’ll be a very disappointed player if Diamond King isn’t good enough and well handicapped enough to take some kind of hand in this.
Race 4 – UN DE SCEAUX, unbeaten in his career when he’s stood up, will surely take a world of beating here and if he puts in a clear round Sprinter Sacre will have to be within a couple of pounds of his best to compete and I’m not sure he can achieve that level. Special Tiara is the one to look at if you are looking to play one at a bigger price. But I’ll hopefully be topping up my bank on Un De Sceaux.
Race 5 – Never a race to get heavily involved in, this year’s renewal sees the remarkable Uncle Junior take the stage at the grand old age of 15. JP McManus, Enda Bolger and Nina Carberry are usually an irresistible combination in this type of event and JOSSIE’S ORDERS looks to have plenty going for him.
Race 6 – The Fred Winter features its usual quota of unexposed youngsters and the key is to narrow it down and then plump for one from a shortlist. Paul Nicholls tends to target this race and won it last year and has had the runner up in each of the last three years. With that in mind I’m going to go for DIEGO DU CHARMIL who is short enough to be backing in a race like this but the trainer’s M.O. in this event is such that you cannot ignore it. Fixe le Kap could be dangerous despite top weight and I think Harley Rebel will outrun his price.
Race 7 – Limited evidence and something usually improves out of recognition to take this. Philip Hobbs has a fair record in it and WESTEND STORY has done everything right so far and is an appealing price. You can make a case for any of the top half dozen in the betting and plenty more have scope for significant improvement so it’s not a race to get overly involved in.