Closutton, Bagenalstown, Carlow, Ireland
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Cheltenham Friday 17th March

Triumph Hurdle 2m 1f

Blood Destiny (Patrick) won at Fairyhouse and the form of that ace has worked out well. We have kept him fresh for this and he should be right in the picture. Lossiemouth (Paul) was unlucky in running when beaten by Gala Marceau at the Dublin Racing Festival and will be hard to beat today. She’s a very laid back filly which is a big advantage here. Gala Marceau (Danny) is quite complicated and there is a chance the big occasion today might get to her. The likely fast pace should help her settle. Zenta (Mark Walsh) won well at Fairyhouse and could be anything. She jumped well bar mistakes at the last two hurdles. We will see where she fits in after today. Gust Of Wind (Sean O’Keeffe) ran better than his finishing position would suggest at Leopardstown and could be each-way value here. Je Garde (Mikey O’Sullivan) is a nicely bred filly who was third in a hurdle at Auteuil on soft ground. She lacks experience for a race like this but is one to keep an eye on for the future. Cinsa (Brian Hayes) doesn’t look as smart as some of these at this stage but will come into her own in novice hurdles next season.

County Handicap Hurdle 2m 1f

Hunters Yarn (Paul) was very impressive when winning a listed hurdle at Navan last time and fits the profile for this race. If he improves a little he has a great chance. Sharjah (Patrick) may not be suited by the ground but takes a big drop in class. Winter Fog (Kieran Callaghan) won well at Leopardstown at Christmas and was fourth in the Pertemps here last year. He is in great shape coming here. Saint Sam (Jack Foley) was very disappointing last time but he was second in the Boodles here two years ago. The ground will suit and he has an each-way chance.

Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle 3 miles

Embassy Gardens (Paul) has plenty of experience and will like the trip and ground. He was most impressive at Thurles last time and that makes him a hot order here. Shanbally Kid (Danny) won over 2m 4f at Navan last time and will appreciate this step up in trip. His jumping can a bit suspect at times so the slower pace over this longer trip will help to put him in the firing line. Patrick has elected to ride Seabank Bistro whose pedigree suggests this trip and ground will suit. He has an each-way chance.

Gold Cup Chase 3m 2f

Galopin Des Champs (Paul) has had a great preparation and we are happy with the trip and ground for him. He just needs a bit more luck than he had last year. Stattler (Patrick) won here last year on much better ground and that is a worry with today’s testing conditions. The trip will be no bother for him.

St James’s Place Hunters Chase 3m 2f

Billaway (Patrick) has a great record here. He has every chance again but age is not on his side. Also, the new riding rules could hamper his rider as this horse needs plenty of cajoling.

Mares Chase 2m 4f

Allegorie De Vassy (Paul) comes here on the back of two easy wins. She has the ability and will handle the ground. She jumps very well and the only slight worry is her lack of experience. She should be hard to beat. Elimay (Mark Walsh) has had an interrupted preparation and will come on a huge amount from her run at Naas last month. She has all the experience needed but her fitness is a little concern. Dolcita (Danny) has been running well but needs a career best if she is to finish in the first three.

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey’s Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f

Spanish Harlem (Mikey O’Sullivan) will like this trip and ground. She will run a career best but looks more a chaser than a handicap hurdler. Haxo (Kieran Callaghan) ran well in the Ballymore here last year and is in great order. Saylavee (Jack Foley) needs a longer trip but the soft ground will be a big help.

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