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EXPERT TIPS: CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL

Cheltenham Overview

Rail: New Course | Track Conditions: Soft

Best Bets

Rory Flanagan

BACK: 4. GALOPIN DES CHAMPS (WIN) for 6 unit(s) (Rated at: $1.75)

This has been my lock of the week outside of Corbetts Cross. GALOPIN DES CHAMPS gave the field their medicine last year looks set to repeat the dose, swatting aside Gerri Colombe and Fastorslow when races haven’t been an afterthought or used as a barrier trial first-up. This is his grand final, trained to the minute for this and a clean passage around he wins on the snaff.

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RACE 1 | SELECTIONS

9. SALVATORE MUNDI
5. MAJBOROUGH
12. STORM HEART
14. KARGESE

Betting Strategy

BACK: 9. SALVATORE MUNDI (WIN) for 1 unit(s) (Rated at: $6)

SALVATORE MUNDI ran behind Sir Gino who was favourite for this before his scratching. Those two rocketed right away from the field at Auteuil that day. He’s had a small setback in preparation for this so it’s a question of fitness but improvers imported from France look the right profile for this and he fits the bill.

BACK: 5. MAJBOROUGH (WIN) for 2 unit(s) (Rated at: $3.25)

MAJBOROUGH has only had two starts so there should be massive improvement to come from the G1 3rd last time. Clearly well-regarded by connections and was only reeled in after some untidy jumping late on when first-up for 10 months. Fitter, smarter, with gear added… they might not catch him.

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RACE 2 | SELECTIONS

1. PIED PIPER
14. FAIVOIR
6. KING OF KINGSFIELD
15. LEAU DU SUD

Betting Strategy

BACK: 1. PIED PIPER (WIN) for 1 unit(s) (Rated at: $7)

PIED PIPER absolutely loves Cheltenham and has always been in the finish at each start around here. He’s got a hefty lump of weight to carry but if he can manage it he’s the most likely winner with proven class edge and course form.

RACE 3 | SELECTIONS

6. GIDLEIGH PARK
2. CAPTAIN TEAGUE
10. READIN TOMMY WRONG
4. DANCING CITY

 

Betting Strategy

BACK: 6. GIDLEIGH PARK (WIN) for 1.5 unit(s) (Rated at: $4.5)

Not sure GIDLEIGH PARK enjoyed the muddling tempo here last time but still pulled it out of the fire to win well. He’s got experience at the course over the others and should have the street smarts to continue his winning streak. Prefer his prominent racing style over some of his rivals.

BACK: 2. CAPTAIN TEAGUE (WIN) for 1 unit(s) (Rated at: $6)

This is going to be a test of stamina so CAPTAIN TEAGUE should relish the task. History is against him, but he has course experience and knows how to get up the hill with plenty in the tank. His run in the champion bumper was enormous and it’s time for him to confirm that promise and go on with it after securing the Challow last start.

BACK: 10. READIN TOMMY WRONG (WIN) for 2 unit(s) (Rated at: $5)

Keep in play, set your own odds $5. I feel READIN TOMMY WRONG will be a mile back in the big field here and as such I’ll be angling for a bigger in play price than his current quote. He powered home to win last time but that was a field of 7, and not Cheltenham which has proven that it’s almost curtains for you if you’re worse than midfield this week.

RACE 4 | SELECTIONS

4. GALOPIN DES CHAMPS
3. FASTORSLOW
10. MONKFISH
6. GERRI COLOMBE

Betting Strategy

BACK: 4. GALOPIN DES CHAMPS (WIN) for 6 unit(s) (Rated at: $1.75)

This has been my lock of the week outside of Corbetts Cross. GALOPIN DES CHAMPS gave the field their medicine last year looks set to repeat the dose, swatting aside Gerri Colombe and Fastorslow when races haven’t been an afterthought or used as a barrier trial first-up. This is his grand final, trained to the minute for this and a clean passage around he wins on the snaff.

BACK: 10. MONKFISH (WIN) for 1 unit(s) (Rated at: $9)

Call me crazy but I can’t ignore the way Monkfish zoomed around Cheltenham like it was his backyard at his two starts here. He’s clearly not that same horse but what are they doing declaring for this race and not a weaker target? Must’ve retained his ability to a degree and been working well at home to even entertain a thought of entering this. I don’t think he can hold a candle to GDC… but as for some place value/without favourite money. Yes please.

BACK: 10. MONKFISH (WITHOUT FAV) for 1 unit(s)

1u 4 places market.

BACK (PLACE): 10. MONKFISH for 1 unit(s)

RACE 5 | SELECTIONS

1. BILLAWAY
5. ITS ON THE LINE
6. PREMIER MAGIC
3. FERNS LOCK

Betting Strategy

BACK: 1. BILLAWAY (WIN) for 1 unit(s) (Rated at: $5)

BILLAWAY, each way, all day. Every year he’s worth a shout in this and would’ve gone close without crashing out last year. Nabbed by the fav last time, and being 3x the price feels wrong.

LAY: 5. ITS ON THE LINE (WIN) for 5 unit(s) (Rated at: $5)

I think ITS ON THE LINE has too many quirks and chinks in the armour to justify his price, having only narrowly got the better of Billaway and Ferns Lock, but falling short of Premier Magic in this last year.
Can’t be having those odds and happy to take his three main rivals to turn him over.

RACE 6 | SELECTIONS

2. ALLEGORIE DE VASSY
1. DINOBLUE
4. BRIDESHILL
8. LIMERICK LACE

Betting Strategy

BACK: 2. ALLEGORIE DE VASSY (WIN) for 1.5 unit(s) (Rated at: $3.5)

ALLEGORIE DE VASSY was a big bet for me last year and I’ve not lost any admiration. I think she can go close again and is almost a lock to run top 2. Thought she’d be much, much shorter so very happy to play her each way to break even if she can’t reel in DINOBLUE.

RACE 7 | SELECTIONS

13. WATERFORD WHISPERS
5. QUAI DE BOURBON
9. ANSWER TO KAYF
6. BETTER DAYS AHEAD

Betting Strategy

BACK: 13. WATERFORD WHISPERS (WIN) for 3 unit(s) (Rated at: $3)

Thought this was just a two horse duel between Waterford Whispers and Quai De Bourbon. Happy to back that pair with a lean to WW for a better collect.

BACK: 5. QUAI DE BOURBON (WIN) for 2 unit(s) (Rated at: $3)

Thought this was just a two horse duel between Waterford Whispers and Quai De Bourbon. Happy to back that pair with a lean to WW for a better collect.

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