It was the last race of the day, the bumper, and was one of two Mullins trained horses that I alerted members to because the price was too big to ignore.
I was attracted to Briar Hill because of what Mullins said about the horse during a stable visit that was posted in the Cheltenham area of this website.
The canny Irish trainer said that Briar Hill pleased him because “he does his best work on the racecourse and not at home. And I like horses that do their best work on the course.”
Then, on the morning of the race when being interviewed about his big rides that day, Ruby Walsh was asked about the horse he was holding. “Ah it’s Briar Hill. He runs in the bumper. He’ll make a good chaser one day but we’ll see how he does today.”
Mullins had three horses in the race. When I studied their previous form a question struck me. Why was Walsh riding Briar Hill? Union Dues was half the price in the betting market and Sizing Tennessee was a stablemate of which much was expected.
I was right to wonder. Briar Hill went on to win the bumper by 7 lengths. Last year the Mullins camp won the bumper. With a certain horse called Champagne Fever. And we all know what that did 12 months later, just two days ago. Keep an eye out for Briar Hill.
The New One, a selection I told members to be on should it drift in price to 11-2 or bigger, did just that. It won and won in fine style at odds of 11-2. A superb rid by young Sam Twiston-Davies for his dad. The yard needed some cheer after having to rule former Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander out of the race this year.
And father Nigel did not see his son win today. He confessed: “I didn’t see the race. I’m afraid I got gut-ache and was in the loo.”
I expressed how keen I was on The New One by telling members: “I think The New One could bounce back today with a big run.”
I felt that way because the horse had course and distance winning form and was only narrowly beaten up the Cheltenham hill on last outing.
So two more winners at Cheltenham to follow on from the three on day one. I said I would be happy with five winners there across the four days, so I am more than delighted to have reached that total in half the time.
And we still have some big races left to run on Thursday and Friday.