On what punters are calling Ruby Tuesday the old Champion Hurricane Fly can fly against the odds on Day One of the Cheltenham Festival 2015
With the Irish Champion Ruby Walsh booked to ride a host of leading fancies on the first day of the Festival, the jockey may live to regret choosing the promising Faugheen over the proven Hurricane Fly. Last year’s Festival winner Faugheen has cruised to victory this winter and has the potential to be a world-beater, but the quality of his opponents is in question. Hurricane Fly on the other hand has beaten Jezki three times already this season and looks close to his best. The connections have questioned the disparity in the odds between the stablemates and believe them to be closely matched.
Ruby Walsh will expect to make the winners enclosure at least once with Douvan (Supreme), Un De Sceaux (Arkle) and Annie Power (Mares Hurdle) on what could be an excellent first day for the Irish. The Irish look certain to take the National Hunt Chase with either the short priced Very Wood or the unlucky 2014 Kim Muir runner up Cause Of Causes.
The Welsh trainer Evan Williams goes to Cheltenham with two live chances on the first day. Barrakilla has also been considered a Festival hope and Court Minstrel will certainly benefit from the faster conditions.
CROCKFORD’S DEAD CERT – BARRAKILLA (ULTIMA 2.40)
Been long talked of as a Festival horse and the yard will be confident of a bold show given the weight and distance. Second last time when running at the course and would have been closer if the winner had not slipped the field. Highly regarded.
CROCKFORD’S WHISPER – CAUSE OF CAUSES E/W (NATIONAL HUNT 4.40)
Elliott’s horse has scooped some big prizes in the past and will have certainly aimed at this. A mistake in the Kim Muir last year cost him the race. At around 8/1 the chaser provides excellent each way value.
ARCHER’S SELECTION – HURRICANE FLY E/W (CHAMPION HURDLE 3.20)
Archer would have favoured this imperious Champion who has done nothing wrong this year. Ruby Walsh has certainly made a bold choice passing over this former winner Champion Hurdle victor.
LUCKY CHANCER – COURT MINSTREL E/W (ARKLE 2.05)
Priced at around 33/1 this Lucky Chancer will relish the faster conditions and always comes to his own at this time of the season. Best of the runners over the smaller obstacles, worth a chance when apparently overlooked by bookies and punters alike.
Crockford’s Gambles on Day One of Cheltenham Festival 2015:
L’Ami Serge and Tell Us More e/w (Supreme 1.30), Bitofapuzzle e/w (Mares 4.00), Keltus e/w and Generous Ransom e/w (Chaps Barbados 5.15)
(Featured photograph – Hurricane Fly at the Cheltenham Festival 2015)