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Cheltenham Festival 2018 – Notebooks

Cheltenham 2018 Notebooks:

Supreme Novices Hurdle:
Summervile Boy way better than the rest, major mistake 2 out when losing his hind legs, did remarkably well to get back into contention and then fluffed the last as well; did incredibly well to win. A must player for the Champion Hurdle next year, if connections stick to hurdles.
Mengli Khan travelled as well as anything, would have preferred better ground, would be very interesting at Aintree.
Western Ryder stayed on nicely having been badly hampered 2 out, he’ll be interesting when racing over further or when sent over fences.

Arkle Chase:
Footpad benefitted from the suicidal pace set but still won with his head in his chest. He is screaming King George as he looks sure to improve further when stepping up in trip.

Ultima Hcap Chase:
Eamon An Cnoic travelled very well and led them a merry dance out front when the race started to get serious. Having only won over 2 ½ miles previously his stamina didn’t hold out and he then made a couple of mistakes and faded. He’s without doubt shown he’s better than we’ve seen and his current handicap mark and would be very interesting when dropped back in trip.
Singlefarmpayment ran really well to finish 5th having made a few significant errors. He needs to go left handed and can win a big when encountering slightly better ground.

Champion Hurdle:
Our only conclusion on the 2018 Champion Hurdle is that we don’t feel the 2019 Champion Hurdle winner ran in this years race, further adding to the credentials of Summerville Boy for next year.

Mares Hurdle:
Apple’s Jade disappointed here but she’s best when she’s had a recent run and looked too buzzy on her first run for a while, Whilst she’d be better when stepping back up in trip and would be a huge player for the Stayers Hurdle next year if aimed that way.
Indian Stream ran a really nice race to finish 4th having made a couple of errors and in a race where she had no real chance on form. She appreciates better ground, is capable of hurdles or fences and can win when getting better ground and racing at a more realistic level.

Ballymore Hurdle:
Samcro an impressive winner, we look forward to seeing what he can do next season, be it over hurdles or fences.
Black Op ran a cracking race in 2nd and will make a very nice novice chaser next season.
Next Destination ran in the wrong race, he’s a strong stayer and wants further; he’ll be interesting when stepped up in distance.

RSA Chase:
Presenting Percy was an impressive winner, he could perhaps progress into a Gold Cup contender next season. Monalee ran a cracker and was out stayed, better ground would see him to better effect.

Coral Cup:
Topofthegame is a huge specimen and will make a cracking chaser next season.
Stowaway Magic ran really well, just fading in the closing stages having not pinged the last, he’ll be interesting if aimed at Sandown in a race he came 2nd last year, especially if getting better ground, although he’ll potentially have t deal with Wait For Me again, the impressive winner of that race last year.
Voix De Reve travelled too strongly for most of the race, yet was still cantering round the home turn before fading. He’ll be very interesting if dropped to 2 miles a trip he’s shown his best form over.

Queen Mother Champion Chase:
Not much you can say about Altior, he’s simply top class. We’d love to see him given a crack at the King George on Boxing Day as he finishes his races so strongly. A pity Min came across such a good champion.

Pertemps Final:
Wait For Me our Ante Post bet had no luck in terms of preferred ground and even so having travelled very well out the back he made steady ground and cam to challenge coming to the last before fading. He landed a big gamble at Sandown at the end of last season and a follow up is very much on the cards if he gets better ground.

Mares Novice Hurdle:
Laurina absolutely hacked up and could be out of the top draw; she’s subsequently hacked up at Fairyhouse since.

The Gold Cup:
Great credit to Native River who handled conditions better than anything else, as well as being very good. Might Bite travelled superbly well and just didn’t stay as well as the winner, we’d expect him to turn the form on better ground. Road To Respect could have jumped better, he travelled very well but didn’t get home in that ground, perhaps a Ryanair contender next year. Anibale Fly ran a cracking Grand National Trial!!

Martin Pipe Hurdle:
Although beaten along way into 18th place in the end, Arthington ran a really nice race on his handicap debut, travelled really well until fading in the closing stages having got caught out wide. He’s only 5 so open to improvement and can prove better than his handicap mark.

Grand Annual Chase:
For a horse that’s better on decent ground Theinval ran a cracking race here and if getting better ground will surely be a major player in the 2 Mile Chap Chase at Aintree which is came 2nd in last year having finished 3rd in this as last years Festival.
Another who’ll be seen to better effect on decent ground is Dolos, who made a bad error at the 8th fence and looked beaten a long way out, but stayed on nicely past beaten horses. He has a nice handicap in him and we could see both go to Aintree with decent claims.

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