Cheltenham festival 2018 day 2 robin goodfellow’s racing tips daily mail online red or green apples

Samcro is perceived as the banker of the week for many and it is difficult to knock his claims given he destroyed a grade 1 field in the deloitte hurdle in style at leopardstown. That was the third of three wide-margin hurdles victories this winter and he boasts a potent combination of speed and stamina allayed with a sound hurdling technique.

He will clearly be very difficult to beat, but there look some decent novices in opposition, not least NEXT DESTINATION , who has looked a very useful operator in his own right this winter.

In the face of samcro’s brilliance, there is a chance next destination is in danger of being underestimated despite being unbeaten in all three hurdles, the last victory achieved in grade 1 company. He too boasts a sharp turn of foot for a stayer, usually travels smoothly and jumps well and represents a stable who have won four of the last 10 renewals.


Black op could prove the pick of the home contenders as he was unfortunate not to win on trials day when flattening the last before being picked up late on by santini.Last year he boasts plenty of class and possesses the all-important course experience.

Four of the last nine winners of this event ran in the flogas chase won by monalee at leopardstown last month and given that runners from the previous year’s albert bartlett novices’ hurdle have won the RSA five times from 20 attempts, henry de bromhead’s seven-year-old makes plenty of appeal.

Monalee jumped and raced with great enthusiasm at leopardstown, showing no ill-effects of his fall at that venue over the festive period, and he displayed a terrific will to win to fight off a host of challengers. The only slight reservation is his stamina over the trip on really deep ground. DOUNIKOS, fourth to monalee that day, looks one rival likely to appreciate a war of attrition as he was doing all his best work at the death and appears to be crying out for a test of stamina. He has been re-routed from tuesday’s NH chase, which suggests connections feel he has a touch of class too.Last time

Presenting percy posted a terrific effort behind gold cup aspirant our duke in the red mills chase at gowran. Outspeeded after the last, he wasn’t knocked about and is trained by pat kelly, a master of preparing a horse for the big day.

Ruth jefferson and her staff have performed with great dignity and no little skill since the death of her father malcolm this year and the decision to return to hurdles with MOUNT MEWS could prove an inspired decision.

Connections have wisely aborted a chasing campaign which was stuttering and stumbling even if the selection was trying to mix it with the likes of black corton and wotzizname at ascot and doncaster respectively. There is also a school of thought that mount mews may appreciate coming back in trip given he had the pace to finish second to pingshou in an aintree grade 1 hurdle over two miles last spring.

Wednesday’s test on very soft ground should be ideal and he makes plenty of appeal.Last year topofthegame belied his inexperience to land a competitive sandown handicap last time and his stamina will be a valuable ally on wednesday afternoon. Ben pauling is another trainer with a strong hand and le breuil and red indian have been targeted at this handicap, while river frost, beaten eight lengths in this race 12 months ago, could be a live one at a price.

Rarely can this race have seen so much drama before the tapes have even been released with hot ante-post favourite altior undergoing an 11th-hour scare and douvan making the field against all the odds.

The former has also suffered with a wind issue this season and in recent history there have been 106 horses which have undergone a similar campaign to him and only one has won — riverside theatre, trained by nicky henderson. Any breathing issues could well be exploited by the gruelling conditions and, at his price, he is reluctantly overlooked in preference of MIN.Darren lehmann the latter’s fitness is seemingly assured and he has looked a smart chaser in waiting this winter, not least at leopardstown last time when he was imperious.

The joker in the pack is undoubtedly douvan, who was an enormous disappointment in this event last year when sustaining an injury. The fact that ruby walsh has remained loyal to him above min could be construed as a tip in its own right and, although he has undoubtedly been tricky to train, if the fire still burns he remains a huge threat.

The redoubtable CAUSE OF CAUSES is an incredible horse, as his festival record over fences reads 2111, statistics which are virtually unparalleled in the modern day. He has built a terrific association with jamie codd who has been onboard for all three successes and the duo routed a decent field which included bless the wings and auvergnat in this event 12 months ago.

The 10-year-old boasts a sharp turn of foot for a stayer and that was again in evidence last year as he came readily clear of his rivals, so he could well take all the beating again.Last time stablemate tiger roll is compiling a similar festival record and is shortlisted once more.

Auvergnat didn’t appear to quite get home last year, but he made a series of niggling errors which may have contributed to him fading from the home turn. He still travelled powerfully throughout for a large percentage of the race and confirmed his wellbeing at punchestown with a creditable defeat of josies orders in the traditional prep for wednesday’s race. The last samurai is being prepared for another tilt at the grand national, but if he takes to these fences he is a huge player.

The ability to see out the trip in deep ground will be paramount on wednesday and, given he has finished strongly under similar conditions on his last two starts, LISP could prove the answer to one of the toughest races of the week.

As a relative of thomas campbell and coeur de lion, this type of examination should be ideal for a powerful galloper who did everything wrong at haydock, when he pulled too hard in a small field, yet still ran a blinder behind turning gold.Darren lehmann the selection should enjoy more cover in this bigger field and looks a big player.

Both nube negra and look my way have tackled triumph hurdle favourite apple’s shakira at this venue and look huge contenders given they have track experience and have had good preparations.

The former tanked through a minor contest at doncaster and clearly boasts plenty of ability, while look my way was a stayer on the flat and any horse that can cope with soft ground at ffos las shouldn’t find wednesday’s conditions beyond him. French import the king of may is another to consider as he too has finished behind apple’s shakira and impressed on his british debut at musselburgh.

Willie mullins has made this race his own since the turn of the century and CAREFULLY SELECTED could surprise one or two of his stablemates who have been installed at shorter prices.

From the same family as the talented lord sam, the selection has impressed in both of his bumper starts this term, having enjoyed success between the flags in ireland.Last time he boasted enough stamina to win over two-and-a-half miles at leopardstown at christmas, but didn’t appear to lack any pace when bolting up at naas over the minimum trip last month and his ability to see out the trip on bad ground will stand him in good stead here.

Fellow mullins contender blackbow enjoyed the best of a tactical affair with rhinestone at leopardstown. But the latter could well reverse the placings as he looked to be short of pace when the winner quickened and yet was closing all the way to the line. He is reported to be in good heart at home and should be on the scene. Acey milan has impressed this season and is respected but the prices of crooks peak, a course and distance winner, and mercy mercy me may offer more juice for the value seeker.

ALTIOR has overcome a minor blip with a hoof issue in the last 48 hours and overall his season has been far from what trainer nicky henderson would have planned — as he had to have a breathing operation as well.Darren lehmann

But the image I cannot get out of my mind when assessing his chance was the effortless way he brushed aside politologue on his comeback run in the game spirit chase at newbury.

I have plenty of respect for monalee in the RSA chase but I think he may find PRESENTING PERCY is a bit too good for him. Presenting percy is a horse plenty of people think is a gold cup candidate of the future. In fact, on his last run, he was just beaten by our duke, one of the leading candidates for this year’s big race on friday.

CAUSE OF CAUSES could be described as a course and meeting specialist as he has won well at the festival before. He is hard to oppose in the cross country chase while LOOK MY WAY looks fairly well handicapped in the fred winter juvenile handicap hurdle.

Cheltenham bankers footpad and buveur D’air gave the bookmakers a bloody nose on the opening day of the festival. And it could have been worse, about £4million worse for ladbrokes alone, if apple’s jade had won the mares’ hurdle!Darren lehmann

Punters began the day on a sour note as ruby walsh and hot-favourite getabird failed to land the curtain-raiser. However, their fortunes soon changed for the better.

Willie mullins-trained footpad was the first massive result to go in favour of the punters. Here at ladbrokes the 5-6 favourite was the best-backed horse of the day.

That was quickly followed up with another winning favourite in the form of coo star sivola in the ultima handicap chase. The final nail in the coffin for bookmakers, was a win for nicky henderson’s champion hurdle ‘good thing’ buveur D’air.

The biggest talking horse of the entire week runs on wednesday — the gordon elliott-trained samcro. However, we think he could be a hype horse and is a hype price too at 8-11.

Don’t get me wrong, he is a very good horse, but we have seen lots of odds-on good things getting beat in novice races over the years, including elliott’s death duty in last year‘s albert bartlett.Last time in the RSA, we are very sweet on patrick kelly-trained seven-year-old presenting percy. He will be very hard to beat. He won the pertemps last year and his run in the red mills chase behind our duke on heavy ground was very impressive. The feature race is the queen mother champion chase, one of the most eagerly awaited clashes of the festival.

The market has been shaken up with news that all is not well with altior. Henderson’s superstar was lame on monday and although he has been declared fit we have our doubts and will take him on. The one we do like here is willie mullins’s min. He may have lost a grade one at christmas, but that feels like a distant memory after he looked so impressive in the coral dublin chase in february.

We WILL be keeping cause of causes on side in the cross country chase. He has won the four-miler and the kim muir and we think he will etch his name into the history books.Last time

The ground won’t be a problem, he has been around the track before, and he keeps on improving. Willie mullins’s blackbow looked very good at leopardstown last time but there are others that take our fancy more in the champion bumper. I think the likes of felix desjy and acey milan could out-run their odds so we will be adding them to the list of ones to keep onside.

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