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Cheltmental’s Preview of The International – Day 1

The International

View Cheltmental’s Syndicates here. 18+

12:10 Novices’ Hurdle 2m1f

Small field but that is typical of this particular renewal and while ELIXIR DE NUTZ has to give 10lbs to the entire field he looks a very useful sort and I’m certain he can beat a few of these under that penalty. He is, however, still vulnerable and while I K BRUNEL looks above average I’m concerned about the ground for him. JARVEYS PLATE is well regarded and will come on from his hurdle bow but will need to on this surface for me. That really only leaves ANGELS BREATH as the potential threat to ELIXIR and I know he’s expected to be a decent hurdler. As mentioned, his point win hasn’t been enhanced by the runner up, in fact quite the opposite, but he deserves to be treated in isolation as was the manner of his victory. Market will be interesting here particularly between those two (ELIXIR & ANGELS).

12:45 Novices’ Chase 3m1f

IBIS DE RHEU took 8 starts to get off the mark over fences but won well the last day although now has an 8lb swing with THE WORLDS ENDS which is against him. That horse didn’t look the quickest of jumpers and doesn’t leave much margin for error but should be able to reverse placing’s if showing his best running. LIL ROCKERFELLER grinds it out and would be very hard to beat with no mistakes and travelling like we know he can, but round here he is liable to make those mistakes and that brings him back the field with him also giving 3lbs to THE WORLDS END. Any one of those three probably could win the race but for the manner in how LIL ROCKERFELLER won here in October you’d have to say he’s the most likely winner with THE WORLDS END on a good day being the biggest threat on these terms.

13:20 Handicap Hurdle 2m1f

This looks a wide open handicap with plenty in with real chances. Both HIGHEST SUN & AL DANCER will certainly make into above average sorts and younger horses tend to do well in this race type. That goes against A HARES BREATH who certainly looks to be coming here with every intention of a bold big under Nico De Boinville. CHAMPAGNE CITY is only 5 but is out of his Novice season and was favourite for the race last year. He surely gets involved with the better ground much more to his liking and has a more solid overall profile than some. SMAOINEAMH ALAINN won this race last year but the ground has gone the other way for her although she does handle good ground. Of those two Novice’s mentioned at the start I would suggest that there’s not much between the pair but the ground might go against AL DANCER.

Tricky looking race where I wouldn’t be confident in judgement of any runner however MIDNIGHT TARGET has won here and looks to be set after a prep run so despite being 5lbs higher than that win in April can go well. SONG SAA also has course form when third in this race last year off a 6lb higher mark so can go well too

14:30 Handicap Chase 3m2f

A nice looking handicap here where there are multiple horses who will have their fan clubs. THEATRE TERRITORY ran a blinder here last month and she looks to be capable of winning off this mark and should at least be on the premises. SINGLEFARMPAYMENT will have frustrated many of us but the fact is he does travel well and if he decided to put his best foot forward he could go close but cannot be trusted. EL BANDIT has had his issues and fitness would have to be taken on trust after his seasonal debut but could easily be involved. KERROW looks like he’s progressive so providing that final flight fall last time hasn’t scared him he could go close.

15:05 Cross Country 3m6f

A few interesting prospects here but both course form and discipline form should be key factors for this type of race. For those reasons you’d have to suggest the best chances lie with JOSIES ORDERS, FULL CRY, BLESS THE WINGS & AMAZING COMEDY. The first two mentioned were first and second here last month so will surely be involved at the finish once more. BLESS THE WINGS has his work cut out based on that meeting last month but he is one that can be a major player if primed for today which I’m sure he will be. AMAZING COMEDY comes in here after an easy victory and on these terms looks to have a big shout.

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