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Cheltenham Trials

David Rusk weighs in with his tips ahead of the Cheltenham Trials. 


Last year I predicted the winner of the Supreme Novice Hurdle. Now I have decided to give my opinion on today’s action.

Cheltenham’s Trials tend to hold numerous secrets to overall winners at the highly anticipated main event in March. Despite the soft ground – the festival’s hopefuls will be in action, including some intriguing match ups.

Firstly, I think that there might be some value in Dynaste’s price in the Brightbet Cup Chase. He is available at 2/1 and I ‘m aware that Many Clouds has great form – especially after the Hennessey. However, I think that he will enjoy the track as he won here last March.

As well as that, he is by far the strongest horse in the field, conveying his ability to stay when finishing strongly behind the impressive Silvinaco Conti.

Another horse which one cannot ignore is The Giant Bolster. Despite some blips in his impressive resume so far, he has always loved the course gaining some massive achievements including three powerful runs in three Gold Cups. Yet, I do not feel that this form will be strong enough to test Dynaste’s resilience.

I feel it will be a hugely competitive – yet fascinating race. I cannot see further than Dynaste. He is my selection for this race if he can fend off the challenge from Many Clouds who is expected to put on a display after his most recent success.

I think that there might be a tasty enough double opportunity available tomorrow too. Peace and Co is simply too short to back. (1/2 Paddy Power) It will be exciting to see if the ante-post JCB favourite will run a big race. The feeling amongst punters and bookies alike is that this horse won’t be beaten.

Nonetheless, I assume that is what Willie Mullins thought on Thursday with regards Royal Caviar – who is becoming an incredibly frustrating and expensive horse to follow. I believe that Value At Risk could be a useful name to add to the Peace and Co betting slip. He is available at a price of 6/4 with Paddy Power. An impressive win here could easily throw him into the market near favouritism for the Neptune, or the Albert Bartlett, depending on which route his team decides to take.

I believe that a Peace and Co & Value At Risk double is the best bet of the day. A €5 double with Paddy Power will return 18.75 currently, and they are two leading hopes in tomorrow’s racing.

Finally, we all remember last year’s Cleeve Hurdle when Knockara Beau did the impossible and defeated superstar Big Buck’s. This year the race is really interesting, the two vying for favouritism are Saphir Du Rheu who made the change back to hurdles after major inconsistencies over fences. Also there is Un Temps Pour Tout who seemingly has an abundance of potential.

I think that there is more to just these two in the race. Cole Harden cannot be dismissed after dispatching At Fishers Cross earlier this season – as well as producing numerous bold displays. Yet, I feel that Reve de Sivola is creeping under the radar for this one. It’s rather mindboggling a horse that recently defeated the top-class Zarkandar can be as big as 11/2, against inferior opposition. Saphir Du Rheu’s return will be tough to judge – one cannot be certain that his blunders over fences may have dented his confidence. I have to go for Reve de Sivola on this basis alone.


12:40 Peace and Co (1/2)

13:15 Irish Cavalier (11/1 each-way)

1:50 Dynaste (9/4)

3:00 Value At Risk (6/4)

3:35 Reve de Sivola (11/2)


David Rusk: Pundit Arena


Featured image by by Carine06 from UK (Cheltenham Racecourse) , via Wikimedia Commons

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