13.30 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
CHAMP KIELY returned a good winner of a Grade 1 last time and has won four of his five starts. He should be a bit shorter in the betting based on his form to date and has excellent claims of making the frame. HERMES ALLEN is unbeaten in three starts over hurdles and has the course form in the book. He could prove tough to beat.
Selections: CHAMP KIELY, HERMES ALLEN
14.10 – Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase
SIR GERHARD is a dual Cheltenham Festival winner and impressed on his chase debut in January. His jumping will need to be slicker but he is a really good horse and could be too good for Gerri Colombe. THYME HILL has placed in all three previous visits to the Cheltenham Festival and bagged his Grade 1 over fences last time. I think he has a great chance.
Selections: SIR GERHARD, THYME HILL
14.50 – Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
GRAND ROI hasn’t been able to deliver his best in this race for the last two years but has slipped down to a dangerous mark and has the ability to figure at large odds. ICARE ALLEN was fourth in last season’s Triumph Hurdle and has claims if able to reproduce that form here, while BEACON EDGE was fourth in the Stayers’ Hurdle a couple of seasons ago and has been given a nice chance by the assessor. FIL DOR is also included.
Selections: GRAND ROI, ICARE ALLEN, BEACON EDGE, FIL DOR
15.30 – Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
The defending champion ENERGUMENE returned a beaten favourite in the Clarence House last time but otherwise he is unbeaten over fences elsewhere and mathematically he is the best horse in the race plus conditions will be in his favour. Willie Mullins will have ensured he has him in tip-top shape ahead of his repeat bid and he gets a confident vote to go close to defending his title.
Selections: ENERGUMENE, EDWARDSTONE
16.10 – Glenfarclas Chase (Cross Country Chase)
FRANCO DE PORT could be a big player on his cross country debut at Cheltenham for the Willie Mullins team. He has been dining at the top table for quite a while now and his third in the Grand Steeple-chase De Paris last year reads extremely well. Should he cope with the course, he surely goes close. GALVIN stays well and brings Grade 1 form into the race. He is preferred over Delta Work.
Selections: FRANCO DE PORT, GALVIN
16.50 – Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase
COEUR SUBLIME is high up in the weights but he’s a genuine graded performer who’s contested various Grade 1 events previously at the Cheltenham Festival. He was turned over last time but will be suited to a strong pace and has possibilities. MIDNIGHT RUN makes his handicap debut off a fair mark and could be a player with Bryan Cooper in the saddle. SIZING POTTSIE has been trained for the race and completes the trio.
Selections: COEUR SUBLIME, MIDNIGHT RUN, SIZING POTTSIE