At 14/1, Private Malone stands out as the value bet in this three-mile novice chase. Never outside the top two in his five career starts, he looks to have been dismissed by the bookies despite an impressive seasonal début at Haydock.
He travelled like the best horse, jumped well and got his nose in front after the last, but was then outstayed by a match-fit opponent and lost in a photo. Today’s favourite Minella Rocco was well-held in third, though market confidence suggests he’s improved for the run and he’s one who will appreciate this longer trip.
The trip and Cheltenham’s hill will guarantee this is the selection’s toughest test to date, but his task is made easier by escaping a penalty and therefore receiving plenty of weight from Paul Nicholls’s Vicente – a winner here at The Open meeting – and Onenightinvienna, who was last seen beating the well-fancied Fletchers Flyer at Exeter.
Fletchers Flyer re-opposes and is another who escapes a penalty, so looks a good thing in that particular rematch. Despite his talent, Nigel Twiston-Davies’s Blacklion keeps getting beaten and his jumping errors make him easy to oppose.
1pt win Private Malone @14/1, Cheltenham 12:00Leave a comment