It’s hard to separate Irish raiders Alaivan and CARLITO BRIGANTE in the opener, but I marginally prefer the latter at around 9/2. The faster the ground the better for this fellow, who just keeps on improving and he has now won his last three. I’ll also be having a small each-way bet on BARWELL BRIDGE at a massive looking 40/1. He’ll settle much better with a stronger pace and may reverse form with his Ascot conqueror Advisor.
Get Me Out Of Here and Spirit River have both advertised the form of last month’s totesport Trophy this week and Donald McCain’s ANY GIVEN DAY looks hugely overpriced at 16/1 for the County Hurdle (2.05pm). The grey ran on really well to finish seventh that day and will appreciate any further drying of the ground. The same connections sent out Peddlers Cross to win on Wednesday and can continue their rich vein of form.
Quel Esprit is the interesting one in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle (2.40pm) tomorrow as he is making a quick reappearance having crashed out at the first hurdle on Wednesday. He is the apple of both his trainer’s and jockey’s eye and it would be no surprise if he popped up here. The 8/1 on offer with Ladbrokes could be too generous. However, I will be backing RESTLESS HARRY as he looks hugely progressive and was scintillating in his trial here. I think the step up in trip will suit and at 7/1 he looks fair value.
Roulez Cool could well be a good thing in the Foxhunters, but 3/1 is just too short for me and I’d rather take a chance on a couple of big-priced runners. DRYBROOK BEDOUIN looks a massive each-way price at 28/1 with Skybet for one that has won round here and might have beaten Roulez Cool previously but for a terrible mistake. I’m also interested in CHESNUT ANNIE at the same price who comes here in great form and could be in the shake up.
I’ll be leaving the Grand Annual alone, but will be having a few quid on ASHKAZAR in the penultimate race of the meeting at 7/1. The trip looks perfect for him and don’t forget he was good enough to run in last year’s Champion Hurdle. If he’s on a ‘going day’ he could turn this into a procession.
CARLITO BRIGANTE 9/2 Cheltenham 1.30pm
BARWELL BRIDGE e/w 40/1 Cheltenham 1.30pm
ANY GIVEN DAY e/w 16/1 Cheltenham 2.05pm
RESTLESS HARRY e/w 7/1 Cheltenham 2.40pm
DRYBROOK BEDOUIN e/w 28/1 Cheltenham 4.00pm
CHESNUT ANNIE e/w 28/1 Cheltenham 4.00pm
ASHKAZAR e/w 7/1 Cheltenham 4.40pm