Mark Howard Publications Ltd

4 winners for Cheltenham Festival Update

12-March-2024 18:47
in General
by Admin

Thank you very much to those clients who emailed on Tuesday following an excellent first day for the Cheltenham Festival Update. The winners included Slade Steel (Advised @ 6/1), Gaelic Warrior (Advised @ 7/2), Chianti Classico (Advised @ 7/1) and Corbetts Cross (Advised @ 2/1).

Gaelic Warrior silenced his critics in no uncertain terms with a dominate display in the Arkle Trophy. A dual Grade 1 winner beforehand, the ex-French gelding outclassed his nine opponents by upwards of eight and a half lengths. Any concerns about his jumping on a left-handed track soon evaporated with Paul Townend's mount fencing beautifully throughout and, having got a lead from the front running Matata, he hit the front after the second and readily sauntered clear. He may not be straightforward and can get worked up in the preliminaries but he is a top-class horse with huge ability. 

Corbetts Cross was similarly impressive in the National Hunt Chase for J.P.McManus and Emmet Mullins. Still very much in contention when running out at the last in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle twelve months ago, his chasing career hadn't gone as smoothly as his connections would have hoped earlier in the season but the seven year old put it all together on the day which mattered. Taken wide by Derek O'Connor, he jumped superbly and was always toying with his opponents. Pulling away after the second last, the Gamut gelding wouldn't have looked out of place in the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase. It won't be long before he is winning at the highest level over fences.

Not surprisingly, the Irish dominated day one with 6 victories. Congratulations to Kim Bailey who won the Ultima Handicap Chase with Chianti Classico. Twice a winner earlier in the season, he maintained the excellent record of novices in the three miles event. Always to the fore, the seven year old jumped well and stayed on strongly in the homestraight. Bailey sent out Happygolucky to finish second in the race a couple of years ago and this ex-pointer is a similar type. Granted luck, the winner could be lining up in the Grand National one day.

While it proved a good day for Bailey, one of his former neighbours in Lambourn, Nicky Henderson endured a more demanding opening afternoon with five of his six runners pulling up. Luccia produced a career best finishing third in the Champion Hurdle but the remainder ran abysmally. Fingers crossed the Seven Barrows representatives over the remaining three days perform much better.


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