• Tue 18 Jun, 2024
  • 13:11 BST
  • 09:11 EST (BST-4)
  • 15:11 CEST (BST+2)

Fergie’s Cheltenham double

Paul Ferguson has two selections from the Cheltenham Festival for us on Tuesday; Brewin’upastorm at 2:10 and Imperial Aura at 4.50.

The Cheltenham Festival gets underway with what looks a fantastic renewal of the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, which should set the tone for the week.

I’m not sure that this year’s Arkle is anywhere near as deep, and despite slight reservations about his lack of experience, I think the race will be run to suit Brewin’upastorm (2:10) who is taken to provide trainer Olly Murphy with a first festival winner.

Fourth in last year’s Ballymore, he won twice early in the season (form worked out well), after which he was forced to miss his mid-season target (Henry VIII Novices’ Chase). Given plenty of time, the break isn’t a concern given his record first time out, and he will be held-up in a strongly-run race. If he can get into a rhythm in the early part of the race, Richard Johnson should be able to ride a patient race, and he could come home strongly up the hill.

Imperial Aura (4:50) is a similar sort of price in the penultimate race on the card, the Northern Trust Novices’ Handicap Chase. Regular readers of this column will know that I have long been a fan of this horse, and he ran a sound trial here in late-January, when runner-up off a 7lbs lower mark. The third has since advertised that form, and a big run looks on the cards.

In the concluding contest – the National Hunt Chase – the Willie Mullins-trained Carefully Selected could be a class above the opposition, if his jumping holds up. However, he is currently priced up accordingly, so we will stick for two selections on day one.

Tuesday’s selections:
2:10 Cheltenham Festival – Brewin’upastorm; 13/2 Unibet
4:50 Cheltenham Festival – Imperial Aura; 11/2 Ladbrokes

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