Well it has been quite the week and each day of the Cheltenham Festival has delivered more and more.
I thought the emotion might have peaked with Tiger Roll. I was wrong.
There’s something magical about Bryony Frost and Frodon. Throw in Paisley Park in the following race and we surely had the best Cheltenham Thursday of the modern era, and that includes AP McCoy’s last festival win in 2015.
Gold Cup day promises to be very special and there are plenty of betting opportunities, naturally. It is Cheltenham after all.
I have two selections in the County Hurdle. First of all, Crooks Peak is trained by a man who got off the mark yesterday and who has a good record in this race.
He has won it only once but has had many placed over the years and I am sure he will have had this in mind for the horse this term.
He won well after a break last time to ensure his place in here (for all he’d have got in without it) and he’s a bumper winner at the track. The yard wasn’t exactly flying when they sent this him to the Champion Bumper last year but are in much better form this time around.
Talking of trainer form, it will have been a trying first half of the year for Kerry Lee, but she’s picked up of late and that was highlighted by this horse’s run in the Betfair Hurdle. He’s won here before and a return to a more patient ride, which has seen him to best effect in the past, would make him very interesting at the prices.
I am a huge Lisnagar Oscar fan and think he’ll go very well here. But if I like him then the price about Rockpoint is too good not to take.
Experience counts plenty for this race and this second season novice has that in spades. He has been disappointing on two starts since his defeat of Lisnagar Oscar here, but was penalised for both.
Back off levels, he’s worth having on side, for all others have more attractive recent form.
I do fancy Presenting Percy, but I think putting him up at 4-1 is on a hiding to nothing. It is very difficult to argue he is value given what we haven’t seen this season.
Shattered Love, however, is a fair bet.
She has had a wind op off the back of a disappointing run last time, but I think that was more ground. She wants some dig and, for all it won’t be soft come race time, it will be softer than she’s had this year.
She is a festival winner from last season and a Grade 1 winner over three miles who deserves some each-way support.
Not an easy race to analyse by any stretch, but this horse looks a fair shout on his Fakir D’oudairies Cork form.
That horse was fourth in the Supreme at the start of the week and the selection should have a good chance in a handicap for the first time off 138.
He has, apparently, been wanting easier ground than he’s had on his last two starts and a test at this trip, which he should get here, will suit given his solid staying pedigree.