Sunday’s racing offers what are sure to be some of the finest races this side of Christmas, with high quality jumps action from Cheltenham and Punchestown.
Ruby Walsh ends his visit to England for now, as he heads back to Ireland to ride hurdling class-act, Hurricane Fly. If the pair can win the only Grade 1 of the day, it will make it 17 Grade 1 wins, beating the record of both Kauto Star and John Henry.
StanJames.com Morgiana Hurdle (Grade 1)
The Fly is currently 1/9 with Bet Victor to win the Morgiana Hurdle, which seems an absolute certainty for the top hurdler in recent years.
Mullins’ has 3 other entries as well as the favourite, however they and Akatara are battling for second in this one.
Dobbins Outdoor Catering Florida Pearl Novice Chase (Grade 2)
Walsh also mounts 11/10 shot Morning Assembley in the 1:40 who cannot be ruled out, however Don Cossack currently leads the betting at 10/11 with Bet365.
He looked phenomenal when winning by 20 lengths on his season re-appearance at Galway last time out and is the pick here.
Madigans Bars Craddockstown Novice Chase (Grade 2)
Defy Logic is the favourite in the first Graded event of the day at Punchestown after his very impressive debut over fences at Naas last time.
The 10/11 odds are very short, seen as Walsh rides second favourite Felix Younger, who is sure to run well. He is a course winner over 2m4f and is a good chasing prospect.
Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle (Registered As The Sharp Novices’ Hurdle) (Grade 2)
The 1:35 at Cheltenham features only four horses, but is sure to be a thrilling contest. Sea Lord is the 5/4 market leader for John Ferguson, after completing a six-timer at Kempton last time.
The Liquidator certainly cannot be ignored at 11/8 though and continues to improve with every race. He moves up in class again here but is certainly capable of a very big ride. Lac Fontana is Paul Nicholls’ entry but will need more to compete and Minellaforleisure needs to improve hugely.
Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices’ Chase (Registered As The November Novices’ Chase) (Grade 2)
Raya Star and Dodging Bullets will both bid to land the Grade 2 Novice Chase at 2.10 and it is Alan King’s entry who leads the betting.
Both ran well last time, but the favourite just gets the nod over Nicholls’ 7/4 shot. Ted Veale will also be there or thereabouts. He has had a big win here and is useful over hurdles.
Shloer Chase (Listed)
In the 2:40, jockey Jamie Moore is aboard SIRE DE GRUGY who is the short market leader. Paddy Power are offering 5/6 on Gary Moore’s 7-year-old, who has won 4 of his last 5 and may well be aimed at the Champion Chase.
McCoy is aboard Kid Cassidy who warrants respect, whilst His Excellency should also give a good account for David Pipe.
Fairlawne – Festival Jockey Club Fine Dining Bumper (Listed Standard Open NH Flat Race)
The last race of the day at Cheltenham is an interesting one and may cause punters some problems. Pipe saddles the favourite, Red Sherlock who is currently 3/1 with Paddy Power. He won on both outings last year and will need to improve again for this.
Another very interesting contender is CARNINGLI, who is a course and distance winner who has also won 2 out of 2 races. He is currently 4/1 with most firms and is well worth a bet.
Champagne At Tara, Gunner Fifteen and Cogry all represent decent value in what should be a fantastic race.
BETS OF THE DAY:
Cheltenham 2:40 – Sire De Grugy to win
Cheltenham 3:50 – Carningli to win or e/w
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