In part 1 of his preview of the big races at the Cheltenham festival, the experienced Joe McNally previewed the Arkle and the Champion Hurdle.
Now he turns his attention to the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Ryanair Chase and the Neptune Investment Hurdle.
This article was first written on January 24th
[symple_heading type=”h3″ title=”
Queen Mother Champion Chase” margin_top=”10px;” margin_bottom=”10px” text_align=”left”]
“Never be afraid of one horse” A cliché from trainers anxious to show their courage and continue hornswoggling owners. But this time folks, you won’t even hear that whispered until much nearer the day that Sprinter Sacre lines up at long odds-on.
Spoiler alert! Serious after-timing coming up!
I backed Sanctuaire each way for this at 50s prior to his April Sandown victory (at least I can say it’s noted on my blog where I tipped it at that price).
But, as we now know, SS ate him up and spat him out on seasonal debut after Ruby had made Sanctuaire much more digestible by sending him off with the devil on his tail. Saturday Trials day will be interesting should the meeting go ahead; I suspect Sanctuaire will be ridden with considerably more restraint, although that might prompt a return of his pig-headed attitude (quirky in trainer-speak).
If he doesn’t disgrace himself on Saturday, he remains the best each way proposition for the QM imo. If you haven’t backed SS and are eager for a straw to clutch in opposing him, his jumping technique will, I believe, see him caught out one day. Whether the mistake will be a race-losing one is another matter.
His enormous stride and scopey jumping style mean that he can spend more time in the air than is ideal. He also shows a lot of lateral movement up there in many leaps and it can cause him to pitch off balance on landing. The habit has yet to trouble him much but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that it might one day cost him dearly.
If you can’t have Sanctuaire each way, Sizing Europe could be an alternative if he turns up though I fear the final line up will see fewer players than the gun fight at the OK Corral.
[symple_heading type=”h2″ title=”The Ryanair Chase” margin_top=”20px;” margin_bottom=”10px” text_align=”left”]
After the King George I felt as though I’d been on the wrong side of a Mafia hit. There was I perched on my bar-stool, having taken 10s, 8s and 7s Cue Card to quite a bit of money, only to be whacked by a pair of wise guys in the shape of bad mistakes at two of the first three fences.
I’d been convinced Cue Card would stay the trip at Kempton and perhaps he would have in going firmer than the suet pudding they got.
Anyway, I’m convinced he is a top notch horse who, a bit like Zarkandar, has not yet had the chance to show his true worth. I will be going all in to recover my Kempton cash and more
[symple_heading type=”h3″ title=”The Neptune Novices Hurdle” margin_top=”10px;” margin_bottom=”10px” text_align=”left”]
I rarely pay much heed to the Novice hurdles, certainly from an ante-post viewpoint, but after The New One scooted in at Warwick I took all the 7s I could get with BetVictor.
It’s a long long time since I’ve been so impressed by a young horse and I think he’s a superstar in the making. He’s not the biggest in the world but he has a very athletic action and I think he could even win a Gold Cup in the next three years.
He’s a most powerful traveller and surprisingly tractable given that his default mode is ‘keen’.
That’s it. Wherever you’re watching from, whoever you’re betting with I wish you luck and many memories.
In part 3 I will preview the World Hurdle and the big one, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. My mind is already made up.
[display-posts tag=”cheltenham” posts_per_page=”7″]