Nicholls ‘As The Key With Mee

It’s a Sunday feast for racing fans with eight fixtures as well as the added interest of ITV’s first day on our television screens with their new and exciting team of presenters.

Nicholls ’As The Key With Mee
There’s no Irish raider at Cheltenham on Sunday but there is some good and competitive racing with £60,000 up for grabs in the two and a half mile handicap chase in which As De Mee is picked to score for Paul Nicholls.

The champion trainer this week spoke about his fear of Colin Tizzard as he hopes to retain his champion crown that he secured from the challenging Willie Mullins last year and if As De Mee can pick up the lion’s share of a race like this it will certainly help the Ditcheat maestro.

Free Fall

Turning seven on Sunday, As De Mee was a winner around Aintree last time over the National fences when winning the Grand Sefton in good style with five-lengths to spare over Seefood and it’s a run that could see him open to more improvement.

Back here at Cheltenham in November he was eighth and well beaten by Taquin Du Seuil but in truth that was probably a better race on softer ground.

The slight drop in class and the slightly better ground can play to his strengths and continue the good run of his trainer…

…who surpassed his quickest century earlier in the week.

Big Winner For Lil
2015 World Hurdle winner Cole Harden and 2015 Tolworth Hurdle winner L’ami Serge feature in the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle also at Cheltenham but it is Neil King’s stable star Lil Rockerfeller who looks the obvious bet.

Without a win in four starts since winning a Grade Two at Footwell back in February, Lil Rockerfeller still boasts the best recent form of these as he was second behind World Hurdle favourite Unowhatimeanharry last time at Ascot and prior to that, this week’s Christmas Hurdle winner Yanworth was the only one in front of him at the same venue.

There is no shame in going down to either of those and now the son of Hard Spun has the chance to get his head back in front under Trevor Whelan at odds of 11/4.

Picking Up Where He Left Off
Willie Mullins’ fantastic end to 2016 can roll into the start of 2017 as he sends one runner to Tramore for their feature race, the Download The Free At The Races App Chase.

Alelchi Inois should have what it takes in this listed contest.

The eight-year-old is a fan of a nicer surface and he shouldn’t have any issues in that regard as the Clonmel Oil winner faces four rivals. Mullins had potentially earmarked the cross country races for Alelchi Inois and he’d be a fairly high profile recruit to that sphere but for now this €30,000 contest looks well within his grasp.

There’s no doubt he was a fortuitous winner of the Clonmel Oil but Outlander has obviously franked that form and he should be too good for Roi Des Francs, while his Grade One winning stable companion Clarcam looks to have gone off the boil a bit in recent times.

Recommended Bets:
As De Mee – 2.00 Cheltenham
Alechi Inois – 2.15 Tramore
Lil Rockerfeller – 3.10 Cheltenham

*Prices correct at time of publication.