FINDING the winner of the 24-runner Pertemps Final (2.10pm) is yet another impossible task, especially with my original fancy Presenting Percy having been clobbered by the handicapper.
He represents last year’s winning owner/trainer/jockey combination and I still wouldn’t be surprised if he goes very close, although at as short as 6/1 in a place, the secret is out.
Instead, I’m keen to take a chance on Philip Hobbs’ FOR GOOD MEASURE at 10/1 with 188BET.
He ran a cracker here over this trip on good ground when second in December and can be competitive off just a 3lb higher mark.
He was only just beaten by stablemate Golden Doyen that day. He re-opposes, but my selection is a younger horse and has more scope for improvement.
At a much bigger price, I’m also going to throw a few quid each-way at Nigel Twiston-Davies’ BALLYMALIN at 25/1 with Sky Bet.
Champion Hurdle-winning jockey Noel Fehily steps in to replace the injured Willy Twiston-Davies on a four-time winning novice hurdler who ran well here behind Wholestone in October.
The form of the yard is a slight concern, but he is just too big a price to go unbacked in such a wide open contest.
Finally, if you are having a bet today, then do so with 188BET as they are giving you your money back on every race as a free bet if you finish second to the SP fav for a maximum of £25.
For Good Measure e/w 2.10pm Cheltenham
Ballymalin e/w 2.10pm Cheltenham
Jeff Parkes, 188BET
Why we are shortest about Barney Dwan (2.10pm Pertemps Final)
Tobefair goes for an incredible eight-timer and it would be a wonderful story if his small stable were to win this race.
However, Barney Dwan would have run him very close at Warwick in January if it wasn’t for a couple of crucial errors, the second of which unseated Paddy Brennan.
Barney Dwan is 12lbs better off with the same rival today and shouldn’t be almost three times the price.
Hopefully, with his chasing campaign now aborted, his hurdling technique should improve on his last run.
We’ll be keeping him onside in what is always a hugely open race.
Why we are biggest about Un De Sceaux (2.50pm Ryanair Chase)
Willie Mullins’ admirable nine-year-old nearly is a multiple Group One winner and always runs his race.
That said, with no rain forecast the ground looks set to continue to quicken and that certainly won’t be in his favour.
At the current 2/1 he can be taken on in the hope that he is outpaced on the better ground.
A small yet select field take him on, and with Josses Hill and Empire Of Dirt having big chances, we’ll be happy to take him on at the price.