Cheltenham 2023 – Day 2

Ballymore Novices Hurdle

Hermes Allen (165) looks a class act. His quick silver jumping and easy wide margain victories over course and distance and in the Challow Hurdle came with comditions not in favour. He is not the highest rated here but looks to ooze class and it’s hard not to fancy him.

The best horse on all form is Gaelic Warrior (169), but he has a tendency to jump right and got beaten off of 129 at last year’s festival. He is difficult to fancy as he jumps right but the ground has come in his favour.

Good Land (162) looks like he is going to the correct race and is improving.

Champ Kiely (161) also looks a decent horse capable of better. Something that is definitely true of Impaire est Passe (160). He is a big raw horse but all the vibes are massive for his chances. 

However, I have forgiven American Mike (165), for a poor show at Navan and last time out he was running over two miles with conditions against him. Prior to that he was a fine winner of a good maiden at Down Royal and he has course form. The ground will suit him and he stays well. At 40/1, he is the value each way selection.

While Geri Colombe looks a very talented horse with a great jumping style, he does appear to be a bit green also and that could find him out in the Brown Advisory. This is a poor renewal and the addition of Adamantly Chosen (159) is interesting as an each way play. He should be capable of more and over this trip he should have the scope for that improvement. 

If Sir Gerhard plays his hurdle figure (167), I think he can win. I wasn’t as disheartened as many of his Beginners Chase win but he does lack experience.

Stage Star (159) is another with an each way chance.

The ground has gone against Camprond for the second year in a row but he is well in again by 10lbs. Fils d’or (+13) and Icare Allen (+14) interest me and I am still a fan of last years juvenile form which most others seem to have abandoned such patronage. I think these three are great each way bets in the Coral Cup.

Champion Chase

I have followed several Cheltenham previews this year, all that seem to revolve around the theme of a quality Champion Chase. I couldn’t disagree more. I think it is poor renewal, with a third favourite that couldn’t win a Grand Annual off of 153 and let Dads Lad put 13 lengths between them off the same mark. 

That horse is Editeur du Gite (160), who won a farce in the Clarence House. Edwardstone (163) should have won that day when Energumene (174) didn’t appear to show up. 

It’s pretty straight forward in my opinion, Energumene wins again and could have a hefty gap between him and the rest.

The rain has come for Delta Work once again in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase. He will be very hard to beat and will beat Galvin, hos stablemate. Franco du Port is great value too. He has always threatened to have a big day and his French exploits aid his chances courtesy of their fences. 

As stated in the Ultima section, the BHA have gone easy on certain horses from Britain and last year’s Grand Annual winner, Global Citizen (+21), has a huge chance to win again. He is 11 but older horses have a good record in this. Couer Sublime (+8) is a classy runner and his stablemate, Dancing on my Own (+13) is also fascinating.

The best bumper this season was at the Dublin Racing Festival won by A Dream to Share. I think this horse is exceptional. If he can go on the ground he will win the Champion Bumper unless their is a freak horse in this. 

On the ground, Chosen Witness could run a big race too. 

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