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Cheltenham Festival Placepot – 16th March Day 2

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Selections

1:30pm Ballymore

JOURNEY WITH ME should appreciate this more galloping track and has done very little wrong over hurdles for Henry De Bromhead. WALKING ON AIR lacks experience, but he could not have been more impressive at Newbury and the 2nd has franked the form since. 

2:10pm Festival Novices’ Chase

BRAVEMANSGAME has been floorless over fences and is one of the best British hopes of the week, though AHOY SENOR should be much more suited to this track than he was at Kempton and may get closer. GAILLARD DU MESNIL beat Bravemansgame in the Ballymore last season and could also be involved.

2:50pm CORAL Cup

Always the most difficult race on the Wednesday placepot, this race requires a few darts. GOWEL ROAD looks just the type to appreciate this step up in trip and a strong pace so he could have more to come, as could GUARD YOUR DREAMS who won the International here in December. COMMANDER OF FLEET was 2nd to Minella Indo in the Albert Bartlett 3-years-ago and looks to have been laid out for a festival handicap for his shrewd trainer. THE BOSSES OSCAR hasn’t taken to chasing, but he ran well off a big weight in the Pertemps final last season and is worth considering in a race like this. Festival form can be all important so THE SHUNTER could go well back over hurdles having won the plate a year ago.

3:30pm Champion Chase

SHISHKIN and ENERGUMENE produced the best race of the season at Ascot in January, and it will be a huge shock if one or both don’t finish in the places.

4:10pm CROSS-COUNTRY

The loudest cheer of the week will come if TIGER ROLL can deliver a 6th festival success and he looks to have a favourites chance. PRENGARDE has been the talking horse and the form of his victories at Compiegne makes him an intriguing runner. Whilst SHADY OPERATOR probably has the fewest questions to answer and looks a solid place chance.

4:50pm GRAND ANNUAL

BUDDY RICH doesn’t win that often, but he is a solid placepot horse and looks sure to run his race. SKY PIRATE won this carrying top weight 12-months ago and should go well with conditions to suit. EMBITTERED was beaten favourite in this race last year but was going well when he fell and looks likely to go well again on a 6lb better mark. ELIXIR DU NUTZ was a grade 1 winning hurdler and looked very impressive at Kempton last time, he must surely be better than a mark of 143.

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