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L I V E 2 4 -SE V EN


MIGHT B I T E


LOOKS SHARP ENOUGH FOR GOLD CUP GLORY! Racing columnist James Daly gives his definitive tips at this year’s Cheltenham Racing Festival


The Gold Cup this year looks far from vintage, with the exception of the classy Might Bite, who has won his last five races on the bounce, including the Grade 1 King George VI at Kempton over Christmas. Trained by Nicky Henderson, the talented horse has his quirks (a tendency to veer off a straight line) and so will need to be on his best behaviour to get up the hill at Cheltenham, after a three and a quarter miles, in what could be testing going. He is, however, reasonably priced at 7/2 and if all goes to plan between now and the Friday of the race in March, he looks the one to back on the day.


Native River, who won nicely at Newbury in February and will be a fresh horse is certainly worth an each way saver, along with Definitly Red, an improving nine year old from the Ellison yard who will be staying on at the end.


The Irish contingent includes Road to Respect, who is consistent but may not be quite good enough. Indeed, the Irish look to be coming up short in this year’s race after last year’s triumph with Sizing John.


The first day of the meeting sees the Champion Hurdle as the feature race. It has however, a very short priced favourite and the likely winner in Buveur D’Air against potentially a lot of also rans. My Tent or Yours might be worth a small each way investment but as an 11-year-old, is hardly improving and it looks all rather one-way traffic. The more interesting race on the Tuesday is the Arkle Chase, where improving 5-year-old Saint Calvados could spring a surprise against the Mullins trained Footpad. Saint Calvados was very impressive in the Grade 2 Kingmaker at


Warwick in Mid February, jumping quickly and accurately and putting the race to bed a long way out. At around 7/1 he could be extremely good each way value and get the week off to a good start.


The Wednesday of the meeting sees the Queen Mother Chase run over 2 miles on the old course. Visually very impressive at Newbury, when winning the Game Spirit in February, Altior looks a banker unless the horse’s wind operation catches up with him. Fox Norton (if running) might be worth a small each way investment in the race as he has won over course and distance and was placed in the race last year. The Glenfarcas Cross Country chase on the same day is likely to be a JP McManus benefit, with Cause of Causes clearly laid out the race. 3/1 ante post could be a big price.


Thursday is probably the best racing of the week. The Ryanair Chase is fairly wide open but the one to be on is Waiting Patiently, a tidy winner at Kempton last time out, making it five from five. Trained in the north, the seven-year-old is generously priced at 7/1 and looks a bet to nothing to be in the first three. The Stayers’ Hurdle forty minutes later, sees Sam Spinner put to his toughest test. A front running 6-year-old with an inexperienced jockey (around Cheltenham) on board is probably not ideal but the horse has the form in the book and could just be good enough.


Other horses to look out for during the week include Apple’s Jade, Samcro and Presenting Percy.


See you there!


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