I’m not gonna lie, it was a poor day at the office on Tuesday with my Cheltenham Festival picks proving to be a let down.
Pingshou and Beware The Bear were both disappointing while Footpad just didn’t have the speed to make the places in the Champion Hurdle.
But I’m not one to sit around and feel sorry for myself. It’s time to get back amongst the winners and take it all back from the bookies.
Here’s how we’re going to get on the front foot…
Neon Wolf is a very worthy favourite in the first. He’s passed every test with flying colours so far and was impressive when winning at Haydock last time out. I just can’t see too much here to trouble him.
Bacardys looked a good winner of the Deloitte when he beat Bunk Off Early by a length, but that form doesn’t look as strong after the latter’s run in the Supreme. With Melon and both the Mullins’ mares getting beaten this might just be another one to avoid.
Shattered Love looks interesting with a 7lb allowance while Willoughby Court will be ridden handily, but I just think the Fry horse could be a superstar.
There’s no doubt Might Bite has looked very talented but I’m not sure if this the right race for him. His best performances this season have come on flat tracks and he’s a flashy, quick type who I think would be more suited to the JLT.
You don’t need speed to win an RSA. You want a really tough horse who will be staying on up the hill so for me that also rules out Whisper.
Alpha Des Obeaux on his hurdles form should be able to give this lot 7lb and a beating. But he’s had far from ideal preparation.
He hasn’t been seen since bursting a blood vessel at Leopardstown and still has plenty to prove over fences.
The one that I’ll be backing is Royal Vacation. Colin Tizzard’s opening day of the Festival was almost as bad as mine but I’m willing to give this one a chance at a price.
I really like the way he served it up to his rivals three out here last time round and if he’s still in with a shout going over the last, I like to think he’ll be the one charging up the hill to glory.
Divin Bere showed a great attitude when he won at Huntingdon last time out and has had his plate cauterised which might eek out further improvement.
However, it’s his stablemate Percy Street that looks really interesting. He was rated 98 on the Flat and will get genuinely good ground and plenty of cover which will suit.
He wasn’t a cheap recruit to the Seven Barrows yard and could be absolutely thrown in off a mark of 124 if he can start living up to some of the potential he’s already shown.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing