With the 2015 Cheltenham Festival fast approaching reputations will be tested on Cheltenham Trials Day
An array of Festival hopefuls will have their reputations tested on Festival Trials Day, with the first being the leading Triumph Hurdle hope Peace And Co when he races in the first on todays Cheltenham card.
Peace And Co hosed up at Doncaster in a graded contest on his first outing in the UK and comes here as the clear 5/2 favourite for the Triumph. Alan King’s Karezak will provide a good benchmark for the Henderson horse given his second behind Simon Munir’s other festival fancy Bristol De Mai at Chepstow. The odds on favourite will have to win this convincingly to remain so ahead of the others in the Festival markets.
The highly regarded Stellar Notion will seek to win the Novice Chase (1.15) before a possible attempt at the Arkle or JLT in March. If he is impressive his price is certain to shorten for Festival success.
The six runner Betbright Chase (1.50) is packed full of quality, with Pipe’s Dynaste looking to pick up where he left off in the Ryanair on his return to the track. With consistent performances since then he is likely to strengthen his reputation for March. Many Clouds is an even more interesting prospects and could really throw his hat into the ring for the Gold Cup if he can add this to his Hennessy victory.
With prices available for the Neptune and Albert Bartlett connections will hope that Value At Risk will not put his reputation at risk in the Neptune Trial at (3.00). If he wins his chances for further glory will be touted.
In an interesting renewal of the Cleeve Hurdle (3.35) chasers return hurdling and challengers try an extended distance in the hope that the World Hurdle might be in their grasp come spring. Cole Harden and Saphir Du Rheu will have to deliver here to be real contenders at the Festival.
At Doncaster a strong renewal of the old Great Yorkshire Chase (now SkyBet Chase) looks set to be fought out between the King stablemates Godsmejudge and Medermit, with the danger being the in-form Fairy Rath.
CROCKFORD’S DEAD CERT – DYNASTE (CHELTENHAM 1.50)
2014 Ryanair winner has done nothing wrong since, finishing second in the King George latest. The Pipe grey looks certain to continue in that good vein of form and will claim this valuable prize.
CROCKFORD’S WHISPER – HORATIO HORNBLOWER E/W (CHELTENHAM 1.15)
On a featherweight in this novice handicap, Lizzie Kelly is a definite bonus for this Nick Williams Whisper. Good winner on Boxing Day and likely to build on that.
ARCHER’S SELECTION – ANALIFET (DONCASTER 2.05)
Archer would have respected the choice of fellow jockey Ruby Walsh to come across the waters to ride this highly regarded mare. This main chance would have been his selection.
LUCKY CHANCER – OLOFI E/W (CHELTENHAM 3.35)
Having posted two respectable runs this season, this horse is certainly worth a Lucky Chancer in what looks an open renewal of the Cleeve Hurdle where many reputations at this extended distance still need to be proved.
Crockford’s Gambles on Cheltenham Trials Day (Saturday 24 January):
Cheltenham – Peace And Co (12.40), Horatio Hornblower e/w (1.15), Dynaste (1.50), Walkon (2.25), Value At Risk (3.00), Olofi e/w (3.35) and Dell’Arca (4.10)
Doncaster – Witch From Rome e/w (12.25), Runswick Royal (1.30), Analifet (2.05), Blaklion (2.40), Medermit e/w and Godsmejudge e/w (3.15)
Lingfield – Pirate Cove (12.50), Indus Way e/w (1.25) and Wajeeh (2.00)
Uttoxeter – Winston Churchill (3.25)
(Featured photograph – 2014 Ryanair winner Dynaste and Tom Scudamore by Stuart Rice)