There is no doubt that at home on the gallops, the Mullins stable staff reckon Appreciate It is a high-class horse, as there was an almighty punt on the market yesterday, but he just didn't have it when the chips were down. His older half-brother (Danny Kirwan) is best over 2m4f, and perhaps he will be more suited by that trip, but so will the horse that pipped him on the post yesterday: Banbridge.
Who will start the fav, and likely winner of the "Turners" at Cheltenham over 2m4f will be decided in the Ladbrokes Novice Chase (I remember as the Dr PJ Moriarty) over 2m5f at 1:40pm today. Readers are already on Mighty Potter at 7/2, and he should win today. He easily beat today's rival Gaillard Du Mesnil over 2m4f in December, and as that horse is probably at his best over 3-miles, it is difficult to see a reversal of places today over this 2m5f trip. The other Mullins horse in the race, James Du Berlais is a bit of an enigma. It will be only his 4th run for Mullins today, and he clearly has something about him or he would not be in this race. He briefly showed his potential in the Champion Stayers Hurdle over 3-mile on 29April22 but, as he wasn't up to winning that, he's come chasing. Personally, I have the feeling that he will be best over 3-mile, and I suppose we will find out today. What we cannot overlook is that Mighty Potter was a Grade 1 winning novice hurdler, and you cannot find fault in his win at Fairyhouse LTO: so I'm surprised that he's not odds-on today, the 5/4 that's available looks good to me, and he will likely be the 2/1 fav for the "Turners" at 2pm today.
The following race is the Dublin Chase over 2m1f and I'm sure Mullins will be hoping his Blue Lord will win emphatically today (after stable companion Energumene was so poor last week). For me, anything less than a 10-length win will not be good enough.
The Irish Champion Hurdle is much more interesting, as I wrote on my blog immediately after his County (handicap) Hurdle win that State Man was a grade-1, 160+ hurdler, and here he is rated OR167 having won 3x G1's. Is he my selection today? Personally, I think his stable companion Vauban looks the better value. When the Mullins pair met on 29Dec, that was his seasonal debut, whereas State Man had already won the "Morgiana" on 20th Nov. So, at 5/1 he looks a stand-out wager, especially as the mare Honeysuckle looks to be on the wane. You have to remember that Vauban is just a 5yo and he will improve for his recent run, and he is maturing.
My wagers today? As I think Mighty Potter is almost unbeatable, I will put him in a double with Vauban.
For the Cheltenham Festival, I am also going to include a double on EL FABIOLO and MIGHTY POTTER
Cheltenham Festival Antepost Wagers
Arkle: El Fabiolo @ 9/4
and Turners: Mighty Potter @ 3/1 : £10 win double
Turners Nov Ch: MIGHTY POTTER - £10 win @ 7/2 (Paddy Power)
Cheltenham Gold Cup: PROTEKTORAT - £15 win @ 9/1 (paddy Power or Skybet)
Supreme Hurdle: Impaire Et Passe - £5 win @ 10/1 (Coral or Labrokes)
Ballymore Hurdle: Marine Nationale - £5 win @ 25/1 (Skybet or, Ladbrokes & Coral)
Broadway Chase: Thyme Hill - £5 win @ 8/1 (Bet365 or Skybet)
Broadway Chase: Thyme Hill - £5 win @ 7/1 (William Hill, NRNB)
Arkle: MIGHTY POTTER - £5 win @ 25/1 (Paddy Power)
Arkle: EL FABIOLO - £5 win @ 11/2 (Bet365)
Arkle: EL FABIOLO - £5 win @ 9/2 (William Hill, NRNB)
Total Staked to Date: £70
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