Paul Ferguson has three selections from Cheltenham for us on Friday; Valhalla in the 3:20; Thomas Campbel at 4:30 and Cyrius Moriviere at 5:40. Compare odds and bet.
Cheltenham’s first meeting of the season gets underway this afternoon and, as you would expect, the card looks as competitive as ever.
Three of the four hurdle races look really interesting and offer the opportunity to back each-way. First up is Valhalla (3:20) who caught the eye at Newton Abbot a fortnight ago and the drop in trip ought to suit here.
Colin Tizzard’s six-year-old looks capable of going well off the same mark and he was well supported (7-1 into 5-1) on Thursday evening. With 17 going to post, he should still be backed each-way.
Narrowing down the opposition isn’t easy but, if you want to take a punt on something at bigger odds, Irish raider Winter Lion looks to have been over-looked around the 20-1 mark.
Nicky Henderson saddles the favourite in the 2m maiden hurdle, but his supposed second-string Thomas Campbell (4:30) looked potentially smart when winning a Kelso bumper in the spring and, again, should be backed each-way (trading at 6-1 overnight).
The Yeats gelding appeared to relish the good ground when pulling 14 lengths clear at the Borders venue. Fourth home Daklondike (beaten 20 lengths) shaped well on his recent hurdles debut and, though he clearly has more on his plate here, the four-year-old can go well under Nico de Boinville.
Finally, Cyrius Moriviere (5:40) should be backed in the concluding conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle.
Ben Pauling’s charge carries top weight, but was a smart novice last term and remains on a fair mark (136). Recent Chepstow winner Wishfull Dreaming clearly warrants plenty of respect, but I would much prefer to side Cyrius Moriviere at almost four times the price (7-1 from 8-1 on Thursday evening).
3:20 Cheltenham: Valhalla; 5/1 Paddy Power
4:30 Cheltenham: Thomas Campbell; 6/1 Skybet
5:40 Cheltenham: Cyrius Moriviere; 7/1 Ladbrokes
The 10th edition will be produced in full colour for the first time and includes:
- Foreword by top National Hunt trainer, Charlie Longsdon
- In-depth analysis of Paul’s 40 Leading Prospects for the season
- Additional ‘Horses to Follow’ from Ireland
- Stable Round-Up (Horses to Follow from more than 60 stables from around the country)
- Horses to Follow from several leading jockeys - Jamie Codd (Champion Irish Point-to-Point rider), Jane Mangan, Nick Scholfield & Harry Skelton.
- Q&A with industry experts - Graham Cunningham (RUK / C4), Tony Calvin (Betting Journalist), Frank Keogh (BBC)
***PUBLISHED END OF AUGUST***Order your copy now – Just £9.95