WE'RE underway at Cheltenham for the greatest show on turf, so let’s try and pay for those expenses with these four for the festival…
EASYSLAND (CROSS COUNTRY)
Now is the time that I become very unpopular! I think the cross-country prize is destined for France, and the great Tiger Roll will be beaten. There, I said it. I was at Cheltenham in December when Easysland, just a 5yo then, beat stablemate and Cheltenham regular Amazing Comedy by an easy seven lengths. Subsequently been purchased by JP McManus, the now 6yo has shown he stays the course well, won his prep race at Pau and looks to be the toughest challenge Tiger Roll will have faced over this course. He has fell a few times in France as he is an economical jumper, sometimes too low, but the Cheltenham course would not be as tough as some of those over the channel and this could be the start of him dominating this event for a few years.
A PLUS TARD (RYANAIR CHASE)
The most empathic winner at last year’s festival, winning the Novice Hcap Case by sixteen lengths over the same trip, he has taken his form to a new level this season by beating leading Champion Chase hope Chacun Pour Soi comfortably at Leopardstown over two miles over Christmas to land his first Grade One. Although he has speed, this two and a half mile trip looks his optimum and is worth following in against the likes of last year’s winner Frodon and also Min to give Rachel Blackmore and Henry de Bromhead another festival success.
MINELLA MELODY (MARES NOVICE HURDLE)
It could be a good Thursday afternoon for the De Bromhead/Blackmore combination as I think they’ll take the mares novice contest courtesy of Minella Melody. She landed the Solerina Hurdle in good style back in January, a race that both Limini and Laurina landed on route to festival success and was won last season by stablemate Honeysuckle. Minella Melody is three from three over hurdles and in a year that Willie Mullins, who has dominated this contest, doesn’t appear to have a standout candidate the prize can head back to Knockeen.
GOSHEN (TRIUMPH HURDLE)
Goshen was very useful on the flat, rattling ff a soft ground hat-trick for John Gosden and could have developed into a cup horse on the level. However, has joined Gary Moore for a jumps career ad has won all three hurdles starts by an aggregate of 68 lengths. 68 lengths!!! And that form has also stood up. His first victim (beaten 23 lengths) followed up next time, then got slammed again by 18 lengths when they met as Ascot while those he smashed at Sandown, 34 lengths and upwards have combined for three wins and some fair place handicap form. His recent Ascot victory was boosted when the runner -up (eleven lengths behind) turned a competitive Ascot handicap into a procession last month. It looks a hot dicidion this year, but Goshen looks the one to be on.
Visit Betfred.com for the the best odds on the 2020 Cheltenham Festival