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Marb

Cheltenham 2020. My four key horses plus others of interest.

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My first key horse is in the Arkle. I reckon (1) ESPRIT DU LARGE will be a live hope for trainer Evan Williams and owner Mr and Mrs William Rucker. They rightly have not ran him again since he battled well and got up late to win at Sandown. That was his third run over fences. He is now rated 155 and has what it takes to win this years Arkle. A best priced 12/1 at present.

Non Runner . Pertemps Hurdle - I had to reassess this race after my initial fancy Ronald Pump was taken out after being clobbered by the British handicapper. The horse who now interests me is the Nick Williams trained (2) ONE FOR THE TEAM. He has hardly put a foot wrong in his limited career over hurdles but goes in this race unexposed and rapidly improving. A standout 20/1 with Ladbrokes is worth having each way.

My third key horse who is very much a value selection in the Stayers Hurdle against a short priced favourite in Paisely Park is called (3) EMITOM. A decent novice hurdler, he really bounced back to form last time winning handsomely by about 8 lengths on heavy ground.

I actually think he might be even better on better ground. I mentioned him on the main forum when people were asking for each way alternatives and said he was a big price at 50/1 for the Stayers before the Rendlesham Hurdle. He is now best priced 10/1 for the Stayers and is a realisitic contender. Warren Greatrex reckons he will keep improving. That's good enough for me.

Non Runner. Tony Martin has a very unexposed and improving horse in the shape of (4) AT THE ACORN (Kim Muir - most likely target). He put in a good run in Ireland when winning in January and then finished in sixth place behind some good yardsticks the last day. Quite simply very well handicapped for a trainer who likes to land a punt. Watch out bookmakers!

Now other horses of interest...

Ultima Chase - VINNDICATION hasn't done a lot wrong over fences and he is a worthy favourite for the Ultima in my book. He sustained an injury so has been off the track a few months, but has an excellent record first time or 'running fresh'. I am happy to have him on my side in this event.

Kim Muir (or Ultima Chase) - QUARENTA could go very well for trainer Jonjo O Neill and owner Martin Broughton. This combination have had winners throughout the years. This horse has the credentials to run a massive race especially if the ground comes up soft.

Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle - I thought PALMERS HILL looked like he would improve for the run a few days ago. He definately has the scope to go on again from that. He is not overlooked in the betting.

The bookmakers already have him at 14/1, but rightly so. He is another live chance for Jonjo O Neill and Jackdaws Castle. I can't stress enough he is no certainty but will do for a fun bet in this race.

Finally, I might chance MIGHT BITE in the Cross Country and PRESENTING PERCY in the Gold Cup, as it is always nice to see top class horses bounce back.

Betfair Hurdle 7th OAKLEY could run a big race in either the County or Coral Hurdle, but is entered in the Imperial Cup the weekend before, so we will see if he runs in that first, then what engagement he takes up at the festival. There is a bonus for any horse who can win the Imperial Cup and at Cheltenham.

Brown Stable Plate - DRUMCONNOR LAD is a last time out winner in Ireland. He recently changed stable to Tony Coyle and is entered off a mark of 135. I could see him running well. He could out run odds of 33/1 on the day.

Good luck everyone.

Updated 10th March 2020 at 1:13 PM by Marb

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