Foxhunter Chase – Cheltenham 2017 Day Four Tips
Having a 12-year-old as a 5/4 favourite for a race at the Cheltenham Festival doesn’t appeal to most.
When that horse is On The Fringe in the Foxhunters it seems to be a different sort of proposition. He has made this race his own over the last couple of years and has been an old favourite for Irish punters at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown in recent seasons. Can he do it again?
It has to be said that this looks to be a higher quality renewal of the Foxhunters. Wonderful Charm was once competing in Grade 1s and is a classy horse who is still only nine. Ask The Weatherman has been in a rich vein of form lately and warrants respect, while Aupcharlie is a big price considering he ran well in the race last year and seems to come here in better form.
So On The Fringe probably faces a tougher assignment as he looks to bring up his Cheltenham hat-trick. What can be said about On The Fringe though is that he looks to be in a much better place for this Cheltenham Festival than previously.
Last month he ran an absolute cracker behind Foxrock and he looked to be in fine fettle when going around Leopardstown last weekend.
It’s fair to say that On The Fringe probably came on for his run at Cheltenham last year and then absolutely bolted up around Aintree but he looks like he’s spot on for this Friday and Jamie Codd will deputise for Nina Carberry as he did at Aintree last season.
Not So Wonderful
If Wonderful Charm can be buoyed by his recent Hunters Chase victories and get into a rhythm with Katie Walsh, he really does look like a horse who could dominate this division for the next couple of seasons but his record around Cheltenham isn’t wonderful and that would be a concern.
The Foxhunters is a real old traditional race at the Festival and it would be some story if Stephen McConville’s Anseanachai Cliste featured.
He is a winner of eight on the bounce in Irish point-to-points and was the champion horse in the division last season.
This is a whole new level for the horse and all concerned but if he could make the first four and return to the winners’ enclosure, it would be a fantastic outcome for all involved.
On The Fringe is short and maybe too short for most, but he has been here and worn the t-shirt and is hard to oppose once again.
On The Fringe (5/4)
*Prices correct at time of publication.