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Cheltenham Question    European Racing

Started 2/23/17 by b3rob; 107 views.

From: b3rob


Cheltenham 2017 is nearly upon us and I want to try and put a number on some of the main protagonists and see if we can draw up some shortlists to get involved in the action both ante post and on the day.

I think the first thing to do is admit that all being well and no interference we are playing for place money on anything other than Altior - currently backed into 1/3 for the Arkle, a top class horse surely on his way to being one of the greats , in fact I am in the camp that he should skip this and take on Douvan as there is a credible case to be made that he could well beat the Mullins superstar. This season Altiors best figure came last time with a career best of 169 which took him on par with his hurdle form, Douvans best number came at Leopardstown in December when he ran 174, they are both the same age and so both are likely to carry on improving, they are also horses carrying a number that could be significantly higher as they win as they like.

Charbel on paper looks an obvious place player but I believe he could be in some serious bother as he likes to lay it down , the Arkle is a ferocious race and often results in a ferocious pace , those on the front end face a lot of pressure to jump quickly and accurately , it became very clear at Sandown in December at the last that he won’t stand up to the scrutiny of Altior pressing him and he was quickly discarded when passed, also has an entry in the JLT.Yorkhill won the Neptune last year and a horse that I liked a lot over hurdles , however I am still largely unimpressed with his form over fences and his place in the market looks to be based on a very robust line over the smaller obstacles, over fences he has achieved little, the eight grand chase he won at Fairyhouse has only produced one winner which was Yorkhill himself but a figure of 121 to win a grade 3 means a potentially flattering form line in print, but one that currently lacks substance, although a previous festival win is a big positive, also has an entry for the JLT which he looks more than likely to take up.

I would love to hear your thoughts...