I WOULDN’T SWAP LE BREUIL FOR ANYTHING IN THE KIM MUIR
I love riding winners at the Cheltenham Festival . I won another National Hunt Chase on Ravenhillon Tuesday and now I am back on last year’s winner of the race LE BREUIL in the other race for amateurs, the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.(5.30)
He has been dropped a couple of pounds and is coming in here off a nice mark after being a previous festival winner. Discorama’s good run in the Ultima on Tuesday definitely helps his chances too.
Ben Pauling had a runner-up with Kildisart so his horses are in good form and I am really looking forward to riding him.
Derek O’Connor looks like he is on a fancied Nicky Henderson horse for J P McManus in Champagne Platinum. He ran in the Grade 1 behind Itchy Feet in February, which was a very good run.
His inexperience is going to be the big thing. He only has three runs over fences and is stepping into a 26-runner handicap, but he has the right man on board.
I also like Henry De Bromhead’s Plan Of Attack. Barry O’Neill gets on very well with him, winning over hurdles and fences. He had a very good run at Leopardstown over Christmas and is a tough, hardy handicapper.
But I wouldn’t swap Le Breuil for anything. He is the class horse of the race.
SAMCRO is in the Marsh Novices’ Chase (1.30). He has had a wind op since he last ran. He was upside Fakier D’oudaries at Christmas and unshipped at the second last and he ran a great race behind Faugheen at Christmas. Faugheen backed that up with a great win at the Dublin Festival.
I don’t think there is much wrong with SAMCRO’S form and he just could be sneaking in under the radar. Two miles three will be right up his alley and if he comes back to a bit of form he has to be a massive player.
Faugheen has been incredible and if he wins I don’t think we will ever have heard a roar like it again. He’s been an amazing horse, a Champion Hurdle winner, but I just think SAMCRO could come back and surprise a few people.
Sire Du Berlais was the winner of the Pertemps Final (2.10) last year when he got an inspirational ride from Barry Geraghty. I thought he was amazing on him, but Sire Du Berlais has top weight this time.
The interesting horse for me is RELEGATE for Colm Murphy. She is sneaking into this race with 10st 11lb and she is a previous Champion Bumper winner round here.
I am going to chance RELEGATE and go with THE STORYTELLER each-way for Davy Russell and Gordon Elliott. He had a lovely run at Leopardstown the other day qualifying in sixth place. He definitely has a chance.
His form has been rock solid. He beat Chacun Pour Soi over two miles in Leopardstown at Christmas. He is coming in fresh and he could take a bit of stopping.
Last year’s winner Frodon and Bryony Frost are back, Min steps up to the Ryanair trip but the way Henry’s horses are running A PLUS TARD might be the one to side with.
Shattered Love ran a blinder behind Chris’s Dream, who goes for the Gold Cup. She is a very classy mare who won the JLT two years ago. She’s had a couple of wind ops since and the only worry is if the ground is very tacky, which might not suit.
He looks like the Big Buck’s of the stayers division and I can’t see anything beating him. He seems to win with plenty in hand every day.
It’s a competitive field withApple’s Jade stepping back up to three miles. She was bouncing on the gallops on Tuesday morning but she has to come back into a bit of form.
Summerville Boy was second to PAISLEY PARK on Trials Day and if anything is going to give him a run it is possibly him.
There is a horse of Dan Skelton’s I like in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate, OLDGRANGEWOOD, who is in off a nice enough weight. He won at Cheltenham the last day beating Saint Calvados and Lalor over two and a half miles.
It is the same trip, the same ground and he will be produced late by Harry Skelton. He seems to jump well and I think he can run a big race.
Gordon has Ben Dundee and Death Duty. Death Duty came back from nearly three years off and has had a couple of runs. He is going to have to step up to feature here but he will like the ground and seems to be improving from his runs.
Ben Dundee is a good, hardy handicapper who was second in Navan behind Minella Times off a rating of 138 and he had a run over hurdles at Christmas. He is coming in relatively fresh so don’t be surprised if he is in the first three.
There are 22 in the Daylesford Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (4.50). There are a lot of mares who could be in the money.
MINELLA MELODY has done nothing wrong for Henry de Bromhead. She really likes soft ground. I thought she was impressive the last day in Fairyhouse against Colreevy and before that she beat Mount Ida at Punchestown.
I suppose the biggest thing for her is it is her first time at Cheltenham but she did travel over to Aintree and she was second in the bumper there. Cheltenham is a different kind of track but she looks good enough to deal with that.
I really hope Mount Ida runs a good race for KTDA Racing of David Page and his wife. I rode her out on Tuesday and she seemed to be really bouncing. She will like the trip and she is a nice filly.
Another of Gordon’s Ard Abhainn is an improver. She won her bumper and got sold last year at the Cheltenham sale to her owners the Gittins family and it would be brilliant if she could get in the money.