Jack Milner reflects on Cheltenham and digs a few out for Monday’s racing
The Cheltenham Festival was another brilliant week of National Hunt racing with the three novice chase successes of Altior, Yorkhill and Might Bite in particular proving memorable and likely to be competing for Championship honours at next year’s meeting. Might Bite won the RSA Chase despite hanging across the Cheltenham track in the closing stages, and is 4/1 with BetVictor for the King George on Boxing Day at Kempton.
King George prices from BetVictor
Might Bite 4/1
Sizing John 5/1
The gelding famously fell at the last when clear in the G1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase in December but will likely head to the track in a bid to atone for that final fence mishap that cost him the race. Yorkhill could be another one heading to the Sunbury track after maintaining his yet unblemished record over fences in the JLT Novices’ Chase and is 8/1 with BetVictor for the King George and 10/1 for next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. The son of Presenting is bred to stay the trip and looks a monumental prospect for connections after success in Thursday’s opener under Ruby Walsh.
Another son of Presenting likely to prove a smart staying chaser is Resolution Bay (2.50) who should go close under Champion Jockey Richard Johnson at Taunton. Philip Hobbs’ well-bred gelding made a winning hurdles debut earlier in the season at Exeter and, after failing to stay two and a half miles last time out at the track, is a confident selection to make amends returning to both a sounder surface and the minimum trip.
The feature 2m Handicap Hurdle looks a cracker with Harry Fry’s Hint of Mint another bidding to make it three on the spin after two relatively straightforward successes over course and distance. The son of Passing Glance is respected however, has been raised 9lb for those wins however and preference lies instead with Wishfull Dreaming (3.50) to complete doubles for Johnson and Hobbs. The selection is a full-brother to connections brilliant chaser Wishful Thinking and looks well-treated from a revised mark of 128.
Good ground should likewise suit Bag’s Groove (2.20) who disappointed last time out in the Sidney Banks at Huntingdon but should score for the second time over hurdles. The selection is rated 133 over timber and sets a fair standard for the in-form pair of Harry Fry and Noel Fehily.
A first-time tongue-tie should see Jonjo O’Neill’s A Little Magic (3.20) complete a quick-fire hat-trick under Aidan Coleman. The gelding has looked a stone better horse since returning to better ground, winning at both Huntingdon and Catterick, and should defy a 5lb rise at the weights.
They go on the all-weather at both Southwell and Kempton, where I expect to see Halling’s Wish (2.30) go close dropping back in trip at the latter under Timmy Murphy. The selection scored at the track over a mile and a half earlier in the season and looked back to somewhere near his best when third last time out at Lingfield. From a pound lower mark he can reward each-way support for the Gary Moore yard.
He should go close with Gossiping (4.30) in the feature handicap over a mile. The handicapper has raised him six pounds for that win, however the form of that race has worked out well and he must go close in his pursuit of fourth career success.
For all the latest odds head to BetVictor.com and follow @BetVictorRacing on Twitter