Cheltenham 2017 – Day Two Preview & Tips
The Cheltenham Festival is where champions are crowned but for novices, it can be the springboard to a wonderful career.
In the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle that begins racing on Wednesday, that springboard could be in use.
Beware of the Wolf
Neon Wolf is already three from three since exporting the Irish point-to-point fields and joining Harry Fry and he will relish this step up in trip to claim Grade 1 honours under Noel Fehily.
People seem to be either in the Neon Wolf camp or not. I am firmly in it. For some, this race will come too soon in his career to have the experience of the likes of Bacardys, but Neon Wolf looks to be way above average and can lead them home to defy that relative inexperience.
He has got age on his side which is a plus and Harry Fry knows what it takes to have winners here at Cheltenham having overseen Rock On Ruby’s Champion Hurdle campaign and then trained Unowhatimeanharry to win the Albert Bartlett here last season.
Fry’s confidence, as well as that of Noel Fehily, has to be a big plus.
Elliott To Have A Good Day
A few inclusions in the Coral Cup have made this probably the most competitive handicap of the week.
Tin Soldier was rerouted from the Martin Pipe and course winner Peregrine Run now reverts to handicap company having had the option of the Albert Bartlett. However, the selection remains Tombstone.
This horse was coming in to Cheltenham under the radar until his Gowran Park victory over Jezki, and regardless of the ground that day, if people think that Jezki can give Unowhatimeanharry a race, well then you have to think that Tombstone is very well treated in handicap company.
Tombstone is set to go chasing next season and it’ll be interesting to see how he fares on that road, but connections did consider the option of supplementing him for the Champion Hurdle and if he’s held in that sort of regard (would have cost £20,000), he has to a major player here.
Elliott has won more than his fair share of bumpers in Ireland this season and Fayonagh was probably one of the most impressive of the lot, on what was her second win, but first for Elliott.
She absolutely skated clear of a decent line up at Fairyhouse and won by 20-lengths in a manner that suggested she could even revert to win on the flat.
Someday is a good horse and he too will give the Irish a run for their money but Fayonagh is talented and shouldn’t be a double figure price for a trainer who hasn’t had many runners in the Champion Bumper but knows exactly what it takes to win these type of races.
Neon Wolf (2/1) – 1.30
Tombstone (9/2) – 2.50
Fayonagh (10/1) – 5.30
*Prices correct at time of publication.