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Cheltenham Festival 2022 – Day 2

Tipsters Review - March 15, 2022

Cheltenham Festival 2022 – Day 2


A cracking first day of the festival with two winners and a close second from Gary.

Jamie’s selections will be added in the morning.

Gary’s fancies for day two.

2:10 Cheltenham, L’Homme Presse – 1pt win @4.5 generally
If ‘Bravemansgame’ stays this extra trip then he’ll be hard to beat, but he struggled to stay up the hill here in last year’s Ballymore Novice hurdle, and although just about getting the longer trip at Aintree next time, he was still outstayed by the winner, and in what will likely be a much more gruelling race than he’s probably yet to encounter, he might get tired late on. His latest win at Sandown also took a knock today when ‘Grumpy Charley’ failed to fire in the Betfair Novice Handicap. For those reasons I’m going to look elsewhere and a rival that’s potentially more likely to stay is L’Homme Presse, who’s been really impressive when winning all four of his races this year, and although he’s not had to face the quality of BMG, he’s looked a future star stayer in the making, winning his last 4 races by a combined distance of 50 lengths, looking stronger at the line each time, and if this extra trip brings out any improvement, then I think he might be the one to give the fav the most trouble.

2:50 Cheltenham, Gowel Road – 0.5pts e/w @11 generally (6-7 places)
Won well here over this trip back in November beating ‘Unexpected Party’ in a good time who’s subsequently franked the form by finishing 2nd and then winning easily at Ascot last time. He then with merit to finish 3nd at Newbury in a good quality listed handicap where, had his jumping not let him down somewhat, and had the race run to suit, then he’d have possibly won. He looked as well as ever when retuning from a break to finish 2nd at Lingfield last time, and back over the longer trip tomorrow, I fancy him to run a big race.

2:50 Cheltenham, Ganapanthi – 0.5pts e/w @17 generally (6-7 places)
A bit risky on his return from a break, but this horse showed plenty of promise last year and Willie Mullins has an excellent record with his horses returning from a break to run at the festival (16% s/r horse returning after 90+ days). He ran well in a grade 1 novice at Leopardstown last year before disappointing in the County Hurdle here in March and then falling at Punchestown which might have been the reason for his lengthy break. Mullins won this race in 2018 so there’s every chance that this race has been his intention for some time and if that’s the case then he’ll surely go well.

Jamie’s Day 2 Picks

2.50 Cheltenham – GOWEL ROAD (10/1) – Bet365 – 0.5pt ew (7 places)
– I’ve followed this horse so far this season. He wasn’t disgraced at Chepstow back in October when sixth in the Grade 3 Silver Trophy, and went on to win next time out, over this C&D, when getting the better of Unexpected Party, when conceding 14lb to that rival, and they now re-oppose on much more favourable terms, conceding just the 3lbs this time. He was a good second recently at Lingfield, on heavy ground over the minimum 2m trip, which would’ve been too short for him, but he kept up to his work well and battled on to be beaten behind Metier by a length-and-a-quarter (form has taken a boost since). The assessor has given him a 4lb-rise since then, but he’s still only a six-year-old and may well have a bit more improvement in him for his local-trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies. It’s such an open race, very hard to find the winner, but I’m hoping this horse can give us a run for our money, with seven and eight places on offer with some firms.

4.10 Cheltenham – DELTA WORK (13/2) – William Hill – 0.5pt ew (4 places) – Tiger Roll may well just win this in what will probably be his last career start, but it’s his stablemate Delta Work who I like. He was brought over here a couple of weeks ago for a ‘behind closed doors’ schooling session, and again had a spin around the course the other day. It’s a unique course and always tough to be confident on a horse that has never raced properly over it, but this horse was fifth in the Gold Cup in 2020, beaten just over six-lengths, and the previous season he was a close third in the RSA, beaten just over two-lengths by Topofthegame, with Santini in second. They don’t normally go at a strong pace in this race, which should help this nine-year-old get this longer trip. He brings plenty of top class form to the table and if he takes to the course then I’d be very disappointed if he’s not heavily involved in the finish.

4.50 Cheltenham – FRERO BANBOU (14/1) – Bet365 – 0.5pt ew (6 places) – Has been in good form this season, and has been on my radar since finishing third over half a furlong further back in December, when behind the re-opposing Editeur De Gite. He is now 7lb higher than for that third, but has since won at Lingfield on heavy ground over two-mile, before finishing a staying-on second at Sandown the last day off a pound lower. That was a good effort, and with this race most probably run at a fair clip, I’m hoping this could set the race up for this seven-year-old who should be staying-on late. There’s every chance that he’s still got more improvement in him off a mark of 141, and if so then his current odds look like each-way value with six places on offer.


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