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“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

Cheltenham Thursday St Patrick’s Day

Capt. Kneesup

Capt. Kneesup

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Are you sure you don’t want any? Aw go on, you’ll have some. Go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on GO ON!”

I have just read some unutterable drivel that suggests that the Turners Novice Chase, while not totally brilliant with only the four horses competing in a championship race, is somehow still great, (and thus excusable), because we will actually get a great match race between Bob Olinger and Galopin Des Champs, and neither will be bothered by some useless Brit nags.

No, Racing Industry Plc, it’s bloody awful. It’s the equivalent of no one turning up in the Olympics Finals – despite qualifying – because Seb Coe and Steve Ovett are competing.

That aside, the day went pretty well for everyone except the Clerk, who thought the BBC weather app was wrong when it said at 6:00 pm – RAIN. In the end, he put some 5mm water on the course after Tuesday’s racing, but God dumped a far greater amount on during the day. I wonder whether he was listening to the siren calls of the big Irish trainers demanding slower ground for Wednesday. We will never know, but he has been giving a kicking for his ground management.

For our part, I wish I had just recommended WHATDEAWANT e/w with STAGE STAR running too freely in The Ballymore. The same could be said for the very brave AHOY SENOR, who should possibly spend some time with Yogi Breisner, but who was backable e/w before the going changed and horses started coming out. I saw Scu in the morning and he was pretty confident of a decent run come what may. There was at least concealed in there the £11.50 exacta. McFabulous was a non-runner, Grand Roi PU and Gowel Road was a paying 7th in the Coral Cup. In the Queen Mum, I could not have been more accurate with my 1st and third winner and decent place. The Cross country saw us get an 8th and a PU and the Grand Annual was no better. Finally, we got to the race of the day for me and Facile Vega was hugely impressive at a massive price – I really thought she’d be no better than evens. The wildcard hated the ground, but it mattered not – I had had a cracking punt and we live to fight another day.

So onto Day 3 and as I have 30 minutes before its lights out in Cell Block H, here are my brief thoughts for Thursday.

1.30 Turners Novices’ Chase

GALOPIN DES CHAMPS 3pts Win

2.10 Pertemps Network Final

Gordon Elliott and Bottom Weight? I backed him at 10s and I can’t believe he’s still 8s.

WINTER FOG 1pt Win – DUNBOYNE 1½ pts e/w 

2.50 Ryanair Chase

I simply cannot see any credible challenge to ALLAHO. Perhaps the value lies in the Betting w/o market. That being the case I would have ELDORADO ALLEN at 13/2. Alternatively, do ALLAHO in a double with your selection from Bob Olinger or Galopin des Champs.

ALLAHO & GALOPIN DES CHAMPS 3 pts Win double

3.30 Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle

CHAMP 2 pts Win

4.10 The Cheltenham Plate

THE GLANCING QUEEN 2 pts win – ADRIMEL 1pt e/w

4.50 Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

DINOBLUE 3 pts win – MIGHTY BLUE 1pt e/w – HORS PISTE 1pt e/w

5.30 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase

COME ON TEDDY 1pt e/w – MISTER COFFEY 1pt e/w 

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