THE bookies absolutely cleaned up on this day 12 months ago, but there are plenty of well-backed favourites that could leave the layers feeling blue as they wave goodbye to Prestbury Park.
Peace And Co is Betway’s 5/2 favourite for the Triumph Hurdle (1.30pm), but hopefully a number of you took the advice to back him at 25/1 in December, so there is no need to go in again today.
In the County Hurdle (2.05pm), I’m very keen on the chances of THE GAME CHANGER on his first start for Gordon Elliott. This six-year-old was formerly trained by Charlie Swan and he finished an excellent third in the Galway Hurdle behind Thomas Edison and Bayan.
That is top class form and, although he’s been off the track since October, he has reportedly been working very well. His handicap mark looks fair and the 9/1 with Paddy Power should be snapped up.
The Albert Bartlett (2.40pm) is always a brutal test for novice hurdlers and, with a huge field of 20 going to post, this year’s renewal could be even more demanding.
Blaklion is a horse I’ve backed ante-post and I’m still keen on his chances, but I’m also going to throw MARTELLO TOWER into the mix at 10/1 with Betway.
Margaret Mullins’ mount will love this step up to three miles and will be staying on when others have cried enough.
Finally don’t miss Warren Greatrex’s PAINT THE CLOUDS in the Foxhunters (4.00pm). I’m pretty sure he’s the best horse in the race and Sam Waley-Cohen is an excellent partner in these races.
THE GAME CHANGER e/w 2.05pm Cheltenham
MARTELLO TOWER e/w 2.40pm Cheltenham
PAINT THE CLOUDS 4.00pm Cheltenham