Cheltenham Festival Friday Preview – Football & Racing News – Star Sports

I thought yesterday was good, but to then win two Grade Ones on the same day at the biggest meeting of the year just can’t be beaten. I don’t know what the magic dust has been – what is going on here is what we all try to do, it’s just it rarely happens, writes HARRY SKELTON.

It’s a huge team effort. We have incredible staff and it’s a big family operation. I really couldn’t be happier, it’s the stuff of dreams.

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SALVER – 1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m1f

The doors are now wide open with Sir Gino out. I think Salver is a nice price and Gary Moore hasn’t put a foot wrong all year. He’s a good stayer and doesn’t mind the soft ground.

The other I like the look of is Ethical Diamond, he ran very nicely the last day for Willie Mullins. Those two could run well at a nice price.


L’EAU DU SUD – 2.10pm BetMGM County Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap) 2m1f

I’ll be riding L’Eau De Sud. We’re very happy with him having had a good run the last day. I think with that run under his belt he might just have stepped forward a little bit. He should enjoy the ground and the trip won’t be an issue – we’re hopeful of a big run from him again. I wouldn’t swap him for any others!

We also run Faivoir who ran an absolute belter last weekend in the Imperial Cup. I wish I could have another go at that. He’s come out of the race fine, he won the race last year and he deserves to take his chance.


GIDLEIGH PARK – 2.50pm Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered As The Spa Novices’ Hurdle) 3m

I think Gidleigh Park looks interesting, I’ve been impressed with him, but I just hope he settles on his first start over three miles. He’s a good horse, though, so I’ll side with him. The Irish have obviously been very good but out of the top two I’m not really sure who has the better chance.


GALOPIN DES CHAMPS – 3.30pm Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) 3m2½f

It’s all about Galopin Des Champs in the Gold Cup. He’s absolutely rock solid and has been very impressive in his last two starts. Yes, Fastorslow has beaten him twice but that seemed to be at the right time of year at Punchestown after a hard Gold Cup last year, and first time out this year when I would have said Galopin Des Champs was in need of the race.

He holds a fantastic chance this year for the second time and is the most likely winner for me. Corach Rambler could be the best each-way shout. He’ll be dropped in, he stays really well, and absolutely loves it around Cheltenham.


FERNS LOCK – 4.10pm St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase (Class 2) 3m2½f

David Christie knows how to ready a horse for these big races, which is why I’m siding with Ferns Lock. He was impressive on soft ground the last day where he stayed on easily. He’s got quite a high rating for a lightly-raced horse and looks to still be quite progressive.


DINOBLUE – 4.50pm Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase (Registered As The Liberthine Mares’ Chase) (Grade 2) 2m4½f

Dinoblue is very much the one to beat here. She’s got a very high rating and is a classy mare who looks to be head and shoulders above the rest so, providing she has a clear round, she’ll take an awful lot of beating.


JAY JAY REILLY – 5.30pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle 2m4½f

We’ve got Jay Jay Reilly here and we think he’ll enjoy the ground. Having won the Lanzarote this year, the handicapper has had his say since then, but he seems to have an each-way chance in this one.

Of the others, I think Gordon Elliot’s Better Days Ahead has got some good form in the book having chased down Slade Steel in December. Gordon normally has a good record in these races, so I’d side with him as another each-way chance.


Good Luck






Author: Eugene Morris