Tough start to the Cheltenham Festival for the Champ.ie #8PointstoPlay tipping blog. Sharjah came close to winning the season for our current leader but Colm Finlay had to settle for each way (second place) in the Champion Hurdle. As we enter Wednesday of Cheltenham, the #8PointstoPlay tipping blog currently sits 20.44 points in profit.
Barry Doyle (champ.ie), Colm Finlay (BetXS), Ronan Groome (The Irish Field), Andrew Blair White (Blair White’s Blog), Thomas Coyle (Trainer), Jason Kiely (Sporting Life), Alan Doyle (Aldorithm) & The Rooster go to war again.
Colm Finlay #8PointstoPlay score: +138.5pts
4.50 Cheltenham – Zoffee (20/1) 4pt ew
If you do a race check on the horses that he beat last time out, they’ve all collectively ran in about 80 different races in total and I think Zoffee handed out the biggest spanking of all their collective careers to date. Last year aside this race loves a 20/1 + winner too so going down the card betting wise is usually a strategy that pays dividends.
Hobbs wouldn’t be my favorite trainer of a juvenile hurdler by I can get over that at the 20/1 the horse generally is for the race.
Andrew Blair White #8PointstoPlay score: +14.43pts
4.50 Cheltenham – Theatre of War (12/1) 4pt ew
Ran a promising race last time out at Leopardstown when I’m front of fancied horse Tronador. His jumping has improved from run to run and both his trainer and jockey were very bullish about their chances – should run well and be involved in the business end.
Barry Doyle #8PointstoPlay score: +12.5pts
1.30 Cheltenham – Sporting John (7/2) 2pt win
Progressive son of Getaway who’s unbeaten in three starts over timber for Philip Hobbs. His performance on the clock at Ascot suggested Sporting John may be well above average. The extra 2 furlongs on soft ground will make him very difficult to beat.
2.10 Cheltenham – Allaho (9/2) 4pt win
Plenty questioned W.P Mullins decision to go for the RSA rather than the Marsh Novice Chase, myself included. However I’ll be sticking strong with Allaho.
Following his Albert Bartlett run, Allaho screamed staying novice chaser. The Mullins 6yo has taken to fences well and progressed plenty from his first run of the season at Christmas. On Fairyhouse evidence, the extra 4.5 furlongs should not be a problem. High class horse who should jump well and hold his position.
Will be bang there and I’m more than happy to take on Champ.
4.50 Cheltenham – Theatre of War (12/1) 1pt ew
75 rated on the flat for Keith Dalgleish but yet to win over hurdles since his switch to Gavin Cromwell. Co. Offaly will blow up tomorrow night should Shane Lowry’s horse come up that hill in front.
The son of War Command was eye-catching when finishing second, in what always proves a decent 3yo maiden at Christmas. Doesn’t look short of stamina and is proven to handle soft ground. Could be laid out for capable yard.
Jason Kiely #8PointstoPlay score: -5pts
4.10 Cheltenham – Easysland (3/1) 8pt win
Banker of the week. Clear cut winner her in December when beating stable mate Amazing Comedy. Obviously this race is a lots tougher and he will have to step up again. He has age on his side and is coming here to try and make it 7 in a row.
I really can see him taking on the Tiger.
Alan Doyle #8PointstoPlay score: – 9pts
2.50 Cheltenham – Franco De Port (8/1) 8pt win
Highly fancied for his first start in Ireland in Gowran and duly obliged where the bare 2m looked his minimum trip, has since then lost in Limerick when reported as unfit due to lack of home work, carefully ridden behind the highly classy stormy island, all points point to a strong run!
The Rooster #8PointstoPlay score: -32pts
2.50 Cheltenham – Protektorat (16/1) 8pt win
Returning to handicap company where he has nice course form. Interesting sort!
Thomas Coyle #8PointstoPlay score: -42.12pts
2.50 Cheltenham – Alfa Mix (9/1) 1pt ew
Gone up the ratings lately and has been purchased by the McManaus team since last run might be still on the rise.
4.50 Cheltenham – Theatre of War (12/1) 2pt ew
Nice run in Leopardstown the last day to probably get into the race and seems well in at the weights.
5.30 Cheltenham – Ferny Hollow (12/1) 2pt win
I think if the hood works the trick again he can give the favourite a race. Was hard on himself in a couple of races. Very professional the last day. Former point to point winner that should see it out up the hill.
Ronan Groome #8PointstoPlay score: -56.87pts
2.10 Cheltenham – Slate House (14/1) 2pt win
Grade 1 winner seems to be underestimated here off the back of a poor run but apparently has been working very nicely lately, so much so the Tizzards have convinced Robbie Power to ride him over the significantly shorter Copperhead. That is a big move and remember he was about to hack up in the BetVictor over this course earlier in the season before falling two out.
2.50 Cheltenham – Stratum (9/1) 2pt win
Comes here with a massive flat rating of 107 which suggests he can be very competitive off a mark of 145. Has run well in a good handicap hurdle at the Punchestown before so if he can transfer a decent portion of his newfound ability on the flat, he has to be a big player here.
2.50 Cheltenham – Traffic Fluide (28/1) 2pt win
Really catches the eye here coming off what was probably a career best performance, having looked likely to win Grade 1 Ascot Gold Cup but for falling at the last. If that race hasn’t taken its toll, he is well handicapped over hurdles here, off a 12lbs lower assessment compared to his new chase rating.
4.50 Cheltenham – Palladium (10/1) 2pt win
In a race full of improving, could-be-anythings, he looks a more solid option, having won his last two. Tough on his latest start at Sandown on soft ground and that should serve him well here.