Cheltenham Festival News

A dozen horses who caught the eye in defeat at Cheltenham

By Danny Archer@dannyarchertv
Mon 20 Mar 2023

Danny Archer kept a close eye on last week's action at the Festival and nominates 12 runners to monitor over the coming weeks.

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Talent was clearly evident as he went off well-backed in the Boodles. However, he was just far too keen and looked in need of the run. I was taken by his jumping and if connections can get him to settle he is still one to keep the right side of.


Posted a career best to finish third in the Brown Advisory. I loved the way he jumped and attacked his fences and he lost nothing in defeat behind two smart rivals. He looks open to plenty more improvement.

Chemical Energy

Ran a huge race in the National Hunt Chase given he was badly hampered and plainly prefers quicker ground. He probably hit the front too soon, but has loads of scope and can improve further.


Huge eye-catcher in the Supreme given the amount of ground he had to make up in the closing stages. Given his flat speed, he would be a fascinating runner at Aintree, but he is well worth following wherever he goes next.

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Ultimately came up a bit short in the Ultima and had been laid out for that race. However, I was taken with the manner of the effort, given that was just his third run over fences for new connections. Hopefully the handicapper is not too harsh as there could still be a big pot in him.

Gaelic Warrior

Huge effort to fill second in the Ballymore given how hard he pulled. Think connections can stay over two and a half or drop back down to two, but he clearly has latent ability and is still maturing.

Magical Zoe

Has to go down as an unlucky loser in the Jack De Bromhead Mares' Novices' Hurdle given she was caught too far back in a race where it paid to be prominent. She flew home after being given a mountain to climb entering the home straight. Could be a very smart mare.

Mahler Mission

A case of what could have been when falling at the second-last in the National Hunt Chase. However, his jumping was electric up to that point and soft ground is clearly a key factor. He is not one to give up on.

Mr Freedom

His fifth in the Boodles can be marked up as his saddle slipped early and he was also struck into to during the race. He stayed on well in the closing stages and was one of the strongest finishers. A juvenile event is well within his compass.

Petit Tonnerre

Clearly talented, he is crying out for better ground and he could be a real player at one of the big spring festivals if there is good in the going description. Held up on this occasion, he did well to fill seventh in the County Hurdle and is not one to lose heart with.

Walking On Air

Was consistently denied a clear run at a crucial stage in the Pertemps and stayed on well up the hill to be fifth. He can still make his mark over hurdles and he could be an interesting one for Aintree.

Western Diego

Clearly has bundles of talent given he pulled ferociously, but was still in front at the furlong pole in the Champion Bumper. Badly hampered at that point, this was a huge effort in defeat and he will be a fascinating prospect over timber.

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