2.05 Cheltenham - Garde La Victoire 2pts Win
Philip Hobbs could land his 100th winner of the season with Grade La Victoire who has enjoyed a in and out season for the Minehead yard, Looked a good prospect on his first hurdles start when beating 2013 Champion bumper runner up Regal Encore then followed up giving Gone Too Far a 11 length beating at Warwick eased up, Was beaten a neck around Cheltenham by the Neptune Investment Novice hurdle runner up Ballyalton then was 4th in the Tolworth Hurdle with Kempton not looking to suit as he was outpaced once the principles went for home that day, Ran no sort of race in the Supreme Novice Hurdle so was sensibly stepped up in trip for his most recent start where despite idling when in front he held off Vesperal Dream under a double penalty, Looks a fair race but i do feel this one has plenty more to offer at today’s distance and with the yard enjoying a great season lets hope the 100th winner comes at the home of national Hunt racing.
2.40 - cheltenham - Flying Award 2pt win 15/2
First thing to say is that having gone through every runner in this race, it is not the strongest contest in the world. To put it simply this is the only horse in the race where I have no doubts. Yes occasionally he hits a fence, but despite the odd blunder it never usually stops him running his race. This horse stays and is guaranteed to get the trip. He is the only horse with winning form over fences at this trip or further. He is proven at the class,time of year,left handed and on undulating tracks, and i have no concerns over the handicap mark or the big weight.There should be some strong pace in this race, and providing he doesn’t get detached, and gets into a good rhythm, has every chance of providing the trainer with her first winner at the course. (only 1 previous runner) Hopefully the others will run out of petrol and Flying Award will glide past them all after the last!
15.15 handicap hurdle Cheltenham - 1 Pt E/W Softsong 12/1
A real nice handicap at Cheltenham with many festival runners and likely sorts on show.Thomas Crapper appears after a tremendous run behind Dom Poli in the Martin Pipe at the festival and has his obvious chances as does the well treated Romford Pele but one I’m happy to side with the likeable and possibly well treated Softsong.James Evans is a very capable trainer, he trains a very small amount of horses but does very well with them, shown by his handling of Roc Du Guye, Trackmate and Neighbourhood.Softsong was a very decent flat horse who showed some good form over good and good to soft going and he improved again on all that form with an emphatic win at Doncastor in January first time out for James Evans (3rd won recently).He was entered at Cheltenham but did not get in and today may be a decent back up plan as he could well reach all potential and stake a claim for this.Liam Treadwell has had an inspired season and today could well another big day for him and James Evans.
4.05 Newmarket - Folk Melody 1pt Win 8/1
Charlie Appleby has wasted little time this season getting off the mark with a brace of winners from his first runners this month and with Folk Dance he has a filly who could make a big impression for Goldolphin during the summer months, Home bred being by Street Cry she made 1 appearance here last season and was a impressive winner of her maiden race, Broke smartly and was never too far away from the leaders she settled the race within seconds when asked to quicken, Looked good value for a bit further but wasn’t asked to race again with Goldolphin minding her ahead of this season where she should be a bit more the finished article, A decent field against her here but the CD experience will stand her in good stead and Mickael can maintain her unbeaten record here with conditions in her favor.
4.25 Cheltenham - Winged Crusader 1pt e/way 7/1
Having shown a high level of class in the training field he failed to show that on track failing to place in 3 bumpers last season. As with all Winged Love’s he has improved with age and fully lived up to his expectations this season taking a massive step forward over hurdles when upped in distance.He will make a splendid chaser next season and improving at a rate of knots at home making him a outstanding each way bet at the current odds available at 15/2 before he goes on to bigger and better races next season for the owners at Imperial Racing.
16.40 Newmarket - Obliterator 1pt win 5/1
A race that really heralds the beginning of the flat season and I hope that it will be going the way of the Irish in the form of Obliterator.Last year he absolutely hacked up in a maiden at the Curragh, but let’s not run away with this form as he did not beat much (only sixth placed Port Merrion has won since in a poor race).The promising signs has included that Ger Lyons put him away immediately after this, has entered him in a whole pile of top races including the 2000 guineas and Irish Derby, clearly the shrewd Ger Lyons fancies his charge and that on breeding today’s trip should suit.Jamie Spencer is booked and I’m praying he gets it right.