Cheltenham day 2

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What a day yesterday as we tipped up 28/1 winner, VINTAGE CLOUDS with the most stunning write up, even if I do say so myself.
We are not messing around and have some other fantastic bets lined up today.
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No joy with yesterdays charity bets but remember this is a marathon and not a sprint.
Hopefully today we can get some money in the bank with our Charity bets for the Fantastic Well Child.
Elsewhere Cotswold Racing was in top form as he produced 28/1 winner Vintage Clouds. We said at the start of Cheltenham this was his stomping ground and a big festival would be on the cards.
You can get the remaining 3 days with Cotswold Racing for £10.99 here.
In fact any tipster you want for the remainder of the festival are now priced at £10.99 and you can even get the full portfolio of all four tipsters, for £25.
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Here are day 2 Charity bets in brief which will be followed by the write ups:
1:20 Cheltenham – CRAIGNEICHE – £10 WIN – 7/1
3:40 Cheltenham – OR JAUNE DE SOMOZA – £5 E/W – 33/1
4:50 Cheltenham – ZANZA – £10 WIN – 7/1
1:20 Cheltenham – SOME NECK – £10 WIN – 9/1
3:40 Cheltenham – ZANZA – £5 E/W – 7/1
3:05 Cheltenham – BRAVEMANSGAME – £10 WIN – 4/1

Today’s Free Tip comes from all the tipster above and the write ups can be matched up against the above tips.




CRAIGNEICHE (CORAL CUP) 2.30 Cheltenham, 2 points win 10/1 generally
Was very impressive at Ascot on his latest start despite still being a little green. He’s up 12lbs for that romp but there looks plenty more to come and he rates as one of my strongest bets of the meeting if not THE strongest. The extra yardage should bring about lots more improvement and I think it will take a very good horse to stop him.


OR JAUNE DE SOMOZA 1 POINT EACH WAY  @ 28/1 (5 places 1/5)  generally  

 I’m very keen on the Irish from here and if we are backing entoucas we need to be backing or jaune de somoza at 3 times the price. Hes finished about 3l behind entoucas on his last 2 starts and both times was given plenty to do with hold up rides. I’m hoping today jack kennedy will get a more forward position at the start of the race as that’s what’s needed in this race, if held up again we could be up against it. The drying ground will be in his favour here and I just thought at 28s he was too big not to get involved. 


Wednesday 17th March Grand Annual Zanza 1.5pts ew 10-1 Sky/WH/BV 5 Places 

Hobbs had been playing coy with where Zanza was going next so the price has gone a little, now it is clear he is going for the Grand Annual.

We were on Zanza when he ran, in what has turned out to be an amazing form race, that, to my eyes he looked like he was going to win, before he came to grief 3 out. As it turns out Sky Pirate went on to win, beating Ibleo, with a little further back Capeland in 4th.

Zanza has stayed put on that mark of 145. It followed a race at Newbury where he was never better than when he crossed the line in first. That made me sure he would have stayed on up the hill. The strength of the form of that race has worked out so well that these are the ratings of the first two, Sky Pirate was 134 that day, now 152. Ibleo was 137 and is now 156. Capeland in 4th has also gone up a pound. Sky Pirate has had plenty written about him and is the current 6-1 favourite and Ibleo beat The Big Bite(who should have won on Saturday) and Paddy Poem who has also won since. Capeland has also won since. The form is crazy strong and the horse that might have beaten all of them is still 145. He is the proverbial handicap snip.

With Dickie riding great and Hobbs in much better form, we have to go in. When he ran at Cheltenham, he jumped slightly to the right, which would normally put me right off, but it wasn’t marked and I think he has that much in hand he can run round the outside and still win. If you go back and watch his eyecatching run behind Allmankind at Warwick, there were no such problems, so hopefully it was a one off. The more I watch his back catalogue, the more I like him.

Raised stake bet.


3:40 Cheltenham, Some Neck, 1 point win, 10/1 generally

Horses tend to improve plenty for a first race over Cheltenham’s cross country course. Some Neck stayed on strongly to win on his debut here and any improvement on that would make him have a live chance in a market where Tiger Roll looks to be taking out too much and the favourite comes here under a bit of a cloud.

Some Neck was given time off after that win and shaped fine until blowing up in a tough looking hurdle race a couple of weeks ago. He should be spot on for this. Some Neck has classy back form when trained by Willie Mullins and the different obstacles in these race seems to suit him well. Easysland is the one to beat if back to form.

Easysland won impressively here last year on testing ground. He was nowhere near that level when an odds-on 4th of 9 back here on better ground in November. Easysland came here last year on the back of a win at Pau but has more to prove now. He’s the right favourite but I want to take him on at the prices.

Tiger Roll has been a fantastic horse but he has shown very little this season and another poor showing here could be the end of his racing career. Le Breuil will likely get too far back on his first go at this course. Balko Des Flos hasn’t run well for a while and this looks a last throw of the dice with him.


16:15 Cheltenham: Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

ZANZA 1 point each way @ 7/1 – Generally (5 places, 1/5)

This is always a cavalry charge. On The Slopes, Us And Them, Glen Forsa and Moonlighter can front run. Bun Doran should be up there with Duc Des Genievres. Entoucas, Embittered and Zanza can come next. Last year’s winner Chosen Mate should be held up, along with Sky Pirate, Ibleo and Not That Fuisse.

Zanza is a horse that has looked dramatically improved this season since sent chasing. He found Eldorado Allen and Allmankind too strong in novice chases, but improved on handicap debut at Newbury, where he was wickedly slick at his fences and cruised clear to beat some reasonable horses off a mark of 138. Next time out at Cheltenham he jumped less well, and at times out to his left, but was seen hard on the bridle and travelling well when over jumping at the third last and crumpling on landing. That race looks rock solid handicap form, as it was won by Sky Pirate, with Ibleo second. Zanza may well have given them both a fright had he remained standing that day, so with him much better off at the weights and able to race off the same mark of 145, he makes plenty of appeal. Good ground is vital to this horse, so drying conditions are in his favour. He will need to jump better than last time, but if doing so I expect him to be right there at the business end.

Joseph O’Brien’s two runners dominate the market. Embittered is entering handicaps for the first time, after being beaten a long way by top novice Energumene last time. He clearly rates a danger, but again he was beaten a long way and a mark of 149 in no pushover. Entoucas has been running well in big handicaps in Ireland, but has been nudged back up the handicap and might find something too good. Ibleo and Sky Pirate have both won since the Zanza race and might find themselves too high in the weights. Chosen Mate has plenty to do from a mark of 156. Not That Fuisse and On The Slopes are interesting on the drying ground.


1:20 Ballymore Novice Hurdle


A cracking race where you can’t really look outside the top 3 in the market for win purposes and the current favourite is Bob Olinger who has attracted a lot of money over the last few days. I respect the horse massively and I think he is our main danger, ahead of 2nd fav, Gaillard Du Mensil, but I still don’t think he will be good enough to trouble BRAVEMANSGAME.

I have been a massive fan of this horse for some time, actually even before he ran under rules and bought from the point to point scene. He is a huge horse, one of the biggest I have seen with lots and lots of scope. He was always going to come into his own once he went jumping, given his physical presence and power he has.

He had his first start over hurdles at Chepstow in October and came home 2nd to Soaring Glory, over 2 miles. The trip was too short that day but he still troubled Soaring Glory all the way to the line. Soaring Glory actually went and won the Betfair Hurdle 2 weeks ago, giving this piece of form a nice boost.

BRAVESMANSGAME progressed on his next 3 starts, winning all of them with his final run being in the Challow Hurdle, destroying a decent horse in Star Gate by 10 lengths, at Grade 1 level. He was all class this day. His jumping is impeccable, he travels so smoothly through his races and when the button is pressed, he just goes away from a field in a matter of strides.

Following his win in the Challow Hurdle, Paul Nicholls said something off the cuff, without hesitation, so kind of caught off guard, but he said – ‘’Next year he’ll make a super chaser and he’s not unlike Denman in his physique, size and how he does things – he’s probably got a bit more boot than Denman – but it’s just nice to be talking about him in the same breath as Denman. It’d be nice if he turned out as good as Denman, but he’s every bit as good at this stage of his career as Denman was at the same stage’’

That is a bold statement to make, comparing BRAVEMANSGAME to one of our recent greats in Denman. That just confirmed even more about what I thought of BRAVEMANSGAME.

He has big footsteps to fill and reach the heights of Denman but if the master trainer is willing to liken him to the great horse, what must he be doing on the gallops?

I just love everything about this horse, his size, his scope, his jumping, his long stride, the way he travels, the gears he has.

What is even more frightening is the fact he is going to improve again for the better ground.

I am adamant he is going to be a superstar for many years to come and I simply cannot see how he is not involved.

If he does get beat then it is going to take of the highest quality and whoever that horse is, will be a special horse. I can’t see it though and I am absolutely as confident as I have been on horse at the festival, for as long as I can remember.

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