#8POINTSTOPLAY – CHELTENHAM SPECIAL – FRIDAY 13TH MARCH

Leaderboard Chelt day 4

Cheltenham Gold Cup Day, who’s excited?

Yesterday (St. Patrick’s Day at Cheltenham) proved a lucky day for the #8PointstoPlay tipping blog  with Sire Du Berlais (8/1), Milan Native (11/1) and Simply The Betts (3/1) all landing. Ronald Pump (20/1) and The Storyteller (11/2) both ran huge races also to place leaving the blog 56.13 Pts in profit on the day. The #8PointstoPlay tipping blog currently sits on +70.57 points for the 19/20 season.

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 at it again.

Colm Finlay - ProfileColm Finlay #8PointstoPlay score: +142.5pts 

3.30 Cheltenham – Delta work (5/1) 8pt win

This selection is all about the extra two and half  furlongs extra, the Gold Cup is above all the 3m chases that these horses have been running in all year long. It’s mad to say it about a King George winner but I have serious stamina reservations about horses like Clan Des Obeaux and Lostintranslation. Kemboy’s solid enough but he has been put in his place twice now by Delta Work. The defending champ garners serious respect.

My brain still can’t fathom Tramore as a prep track but it works for him and he’s got solid credentials. There is also a certain reprieve type narrative I can visualize in my head where I can see Willie Mullins talking about how its been a tough week (by his standards) but the gold cup has made it worthwhile….But no..That visualization is not as strong as me seeing Gordon Elliot running up the side gallop to welcome home Delta Work. He has to be the hardest trainer to interview in the immediate aftermath of a win. He just seems to be so far away from wanting to chat to any TV camera’s its kind of funny. Probably the opposite to a Willie Mullins or a Nicky Henderson. In fairness to Gordon if you can’t really enjoy the big wins there is no point in being in the game.

Now a bit more to Delta Work other than my visualizations because nobody cares about them and I’m not going to get myself a column in the Racing Post called “Colm’s Visualisations” Time to flesh out why the Gold cup will be coming back to County Meath.  Delta Work reminds me so much of Bob’s Worth. When Bob’s Worth was beating Sir Des Champs those few years ago it was the pain he was inflicting on others when the hill presented itself in all its glory. The fact of the matter is Delta Work only done his best work at Leopardstown between the last fence and the finish line. He’s progressed well beyond Where he was back at Down Royal at the start of the season when last year’s RSA was looking like another bad renewal.

Al Boum will be there too but I think Delta will outstay the lot. They’ve been finishing so tired all week, this will be an absolute slog. Delta Work.

Andrew Blair WHite ProfileAndrew Blair White #8PointstoPlay score: +34.43pts 

4.10 Cheltenham – Shantou Flyer (6/1) 4pt ew

The most rock solid each-way horse of the whole festival, who brings rock solid credentials to the table. To be honest, I think I could ride him around Cheltenham and get around safely so hopefully David Maxwell can do the job! His best form comes at this track and he is terrifically likeable veteran, should go well.

Thomas Coyle - ProfileThomas Coyle #8PointstoPlay score: +11.38pts 

3.30 Cheltenham – Presenting Percy (12/1) 1pt ew

I think the year has been geared up to tomorrows race bit to find with Delta Work this year but there’s something in my head telling me today’s the day he’ll do that.

4.50 Cheltenham – Gino Trail (22/1) 1pt ew

Won on first start for this yard was second in this in 2018. He could still have a couple of pounds up his sleeve on old form.

5.30 Cheltenham – Ilikethewaurthinkin (15/2) 4pts win

Was my nap on the preview night and I can’t find a reason to change my mind. Gavin’s horses have run respectable this week and I always thought this was his best chance of a winner. The JP owned son of Yeats was good enough to win 2 at last year’s Galway Festival and there was a lot to like about the way he stayed on in Leopardstown the last day. It’s come down to the last race for my nap but there’s no other horse I’d rather be on for the get out stakes race.

Jason Kiely - ProfileJason Kiely #8PointstoPlay score: +11pts 

2.10 Cheltenham – Christopher Wood (33/1) 1pt ew

Looks to have been sparked up by a wind op last time out and if it continues to help him I could see him being at least placed in this.

3.30 Cheltenham – Clan Des Obeaux (15/2) 3pt ew

In a hugely open and exciting race I am choosing to stick to my guns here. CDO is still only and 8 year old and looks very good last time out, he is the first in the betting of the English and I think Paul Nicholls could have a few winners tomorrow.

Barry Doyle - ProfileBarry Doyle #8PointstoPlay score: +3.63pts 

3.30 Cheltenham – Clan Des Obeaux (15/2) 3pt ew

Dual King George winner who appears to be over looked in the market. The Nicholls horse was my selection in the race last year but he comes here a fresher horse this time around after skipping Ascot.  Clan Des Obeaux is by far the best jumper in the field and will be ridden cold. Should be delivered late by Harry Cobden. Strap in!

2.50 Cheltenham – Janadil (12/1) 1pt win

Three from three this season, which included back to back handicap victories saw his rating rise 29Ibs. Experience has proven the attribute for Albert Bartlett winners in recent years and Janadil won’t lack in this department. Expect him to relish the step up in trip. Should be ridden handy.

2.50 Cheltenham – Five O’Clock (15/2) 1pt win

Well related French import, who has followed a similar route as Martin Pipe stable predecessors (Don Poli (Won) and Roi De Francs (Started Fav). On the magic mark of 145, Five O’Clock looks an RSA type for next season and should relish the hill. Expect him to go close.

Alan DoyleAlan Doyle #8PointstoPlay score: -25pts 

2.10 Cheltenham – Moon Over Germany (33/1) 8pt win

Chance is taken that he could exploit his hurdle mark.

The Rooster - ProfileThe Rooster #8PointstoPlay score: -48pts 

2.10 Cheltenham – Allmankind (9/2) 8pt win

3 from 3 over hurdles. Won the trial for this race at Cheltenham in November. Big chance for the Skelton team.

Ronan GroomeRonan Groome #8PointstoPlay score: -59.37pts 

2.10 – Stolen Silver (12/1) 2pts win

Huge eyecatcher in Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, making serious amount of ground from the back of the field having been caught behind a wall of horses. Earlier form with Chantry House and Edwardstone reads very well now and unexposed 5yo has plenty more to offer.

2.50 Cheltenham – The Cashel Man (25/1)  2pts win

Ignore last run, a three-runner race which turned into a tactical affair. Earlier form behind favourite Thyme Hill is much better reflection of his capability and if he can run as well as that, he’ll be right on the premises.

3.30 Cheltenham- Clan Des Obeaux (15/2) 2pts win

Not far away in last years race and comes into this years renewal a better and fresher horse. Seriously impressive in King George and every chance he can give his trainer, a master with a staying chaser, a fifth win here.

5.30 Cheltenham-  Five O’Clock (15/2) 2pts win

Very impressive winner of the Michael Purcell Memorial at Clonmel, a very good guide to this race in recent years. Looked like a horse who would not have been out of place in a Grade 1 then but mark of 145 was too good an opportunity for connections to miss a handicap option. Bounds of scope and will love trip and ground.