Crack Away Jack to steal the Cheltenham TV limelight
With the Flat season now all but over, it is now time for the National Hunt to campaign to properly begin and it is Crack Away Jack that is ready to steal the headlines at Cheltenham.
In total, there are four races televised for the first of the three days of The Open meeting at Cheltenham, with Crack Away Jack making an exciting first start for Paul Nicholls after a move from the yard of Emma Lavelle.
Cheltenham 13:10 – Time For Spring @ 6/1
A wide open contest on paper, but the booking of Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey Sam Waley-Cohen in a race for amateurs looks a massive bonus for Time For Spring.
Time For Spring won on his only start over fences to date and this form has also worked well since, with the second and third from this race claiming victories in alternate races.
Cheltenham 13:45 – Crack Away Jack @ 7/2
There is the chance that Crack Away Jack may need the run on his first start since February after undergoing a breathing operation, but Nicholls can be relied upon to get the best out of the horse.
He is in a different class to this field if anywhere near his best.
Of the remainder, 2m may be the ideal trip for Tanks For That and he has each-way claims to give Nicky Henderson a third successive victory in the race.
Cheltenham 14:20 – Intac @ 12/1
Garde Champetre continues to compete with credit despite now being a 13-year-old and looks weighted to win this if still good enough.
However, with doubts about this and the potential firmish ground, Intac gets a tentative vote and should at least run into the each-way places if able to see out the trip on his first attempt over 3m7f.
Cheltenham 14:45 – Ericht @ 11/2
Steps To Freedom is likely to go off a short-priced favourite in the Cheltenham odds as he goes in search of a hat-trick of big successes, but may struggle under a double penalty.
Ericht may be making his debut over hurdles, but the fact he was sent off favourite for the Champion Bumper at the last Cheltenham Festival means he is clearly talented and can make a winning start over timber.