3m½f (3m80y) (Old) mallardjewellers.com Novices’ Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2) (5yo+)
I’m going to take a flier on one of my favourite jumps horses, the legendary WOLF OF WINDLESHAM who’s been a winner for us many times in the past, but not since 2016. Remarkably for a 2m hurdler, he has defied years off the track to return his biggest ever Racing Post Rating in a 3m novice chase last time out where he jumped brilliantly – if that isn’t a sign of a class horse I don’t know what is. He picks up a penalty for that but he actually gets weight from a couple in this race and his fine record at Cheltenham must give him a big chance. Soft ground has never been what he wants but I think all negatives are more than factored into his 9/1 price and I can’t let him go unbacked. The punt revolves around whether he can give 5lb to The Big Breakaway on his debut over fences.
1pt win Wolf Of Windlesham @9/1, 13:15 Cheltenham, Sunday
2m½f (2m87y) (Old) Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)
We won this last year with 16/1 Harambe, who’s back for more and looks like he might go off the same price. He’s 6lb higher, without a prep run and had a crashing fall on his last start so I’m less enthusiastic this time round. I had a long shortlist for this race but PROSCHEMA looks the most solid bet in the race at 13/2. The Skeltons have an excellent record in handicap hurdles over these trips at Cheltenham and look to have targeted him for this. He traveled and jumped well behind the leaders on his last start and there was more than a hint of mark preservation going on as Dan Skelton never got serious with him until after the last. There’s a strong case for Proschema to be well hanciapped as he was rated 105 on the flat and that’d give me confidence he can run to 140+ over hurdles. He’s rated 131 at present and has beaten horses who have climbed higher in the ratings, so he’s got plenty of scope to improve.
1pt each-way Proschema @13/2, 15:00 Cheltenham, SundayLeave a comment