Friday 18th March
1:30 – The Triumph Hurdle – SMAD PLACE @ 10/1
I see the Triumph Hurdle as a duel between Grandouet and Smad Place with slight preference for the former.
He has won 2 of his 3 hurdle runs and clearly has the required stamina for this test.
I like that connections have got a good recent win on the cards for this horse, so he meets the requirements of having won last time out and has had a recent prep run.
The stable know what is required in this race as they have sent out 2 winners and 3 placers in the last 6 seasons.
This tells us that all involved are not just going here for the sake of it; they must know they have a good chance.
2:40 – The Albert Bartlett – SYBARITE @ 16/1
Sybarite is one I have been following all season long and feel this horse will be top class eventually.
I predict that he will improve from the run last time out, plus he has been placed in a graded hurdle behind Champion Court.
The step up in trip could be the making of him and we must respect Nigel Twiston-Davis opinions of this horse.
He looks like an ideal each-way bet in this event at the value prices on offer.
The cover bet could figure any number of horses in the race but as Champion Court has 7 lengths on Sybarite we should respect that run as being a very decent performance.
3:20 – The Gold Cup – LONG RUN @ 5/1
When I witnessed Long Run winning the King George VI race at Kempton at the start of the year I was taken with the impressive display of jumping – they have clearly worked on this aspect.
He will have no problem with the stamina of the Gold Cup and I feel he is the one horse that can gain more improvement, while others do not have that room for improvement.
It is amazing that he is only 6 years old and looks sure to be the top class chaser of the future.
With the Nicky Henderson stable flying at the moment it would be a brave call to discount him not landing the Gold Cup.
Denman I feel can run well and reach the frame as he ran to a mark of around 177 in the Hennessy if he runs that again then he will be right there in the top 3.
5:15 – The Grand Annual – DE BOITRON @ 20/1
Going through the entries, I like to see good 2 mile form for this event and just over it to prove stamina will hold up in the last race of Cheltenham.
Even better if the horse has course form, is aged 9 or younger, would be carrying a handy weight and can improve on its form.
We have one horse that meets all those criteria who is called De Boitron.
He actually won a hurdle and chase over in France before joining the Ferdy Murphy stable.
He has picked up 4 wins and interestingly has a course win at Cheltenham.
He has picked up a class 2 at Doncaster, afterwards a class 3 at Cheltenham both over 2 miles he may well be worth a bet in the last race of the 2011 Cheltenham Festival!
All bets to win and to place.