Cheltenham Festival BEST EACH WAY – 15th March Day 1

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2:50pm Ultima Handicap Chase – VINTAGE CLOUDS

As a 12-year-old, age is not on his side, but a similar statistic would have applied against him 12-months ago, when VINTAGE CLOUDS produced a career best to win this race. He is only 1lb higher this time around and given that the 2nd Happygolucky obliged at Aintree on his next start, last year’s race looks to be a very solid piece of form. Saved for this race since, he has steadily improved this season, running his best race for some time when 2nd at Doncaster last month, beaten less than a length by Up Helly Aa King. That should have put him spot on for this race as he bids to emulate Un Temps Pour Tous and win this for a 2nd year in a row.

4:50pm Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – SAINT SEGAL

The Williams family have history in this race, winning it with Flying Tiger in 2017 and they look to have a solid chance this year in the form of SAINT SEGAL. A winner of 2 Juvenile hurdles already at Bangor and Warwick, his 2nd placed finish in the G1 Juvenile Finale hurdle at Chepstow over Christmas reads well given the form of the winner Porticello. Although any additional rain would be welcome, he has shown himself to be versatile and should handle the undulations of Cheltenham. A mark of 126 looks very fair in the context of this race and he is arguably the most well treated British horse in the lineup, which makes him good value at a double figure price.

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