Sam Twiston-Davies kicked off Friday with a spectacular win on The New One in the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle. Village Vic tried his hardest to catch up with the evens money favourite but
unfortunately couldn’t catch up.
The NH season is officially back and what a wonderful sight it was to see horses galloping once again around Cheltenham track.
Carlito Brigante is one on watch for me. Davy Russell led the horse to a comfortable win but if Go All The Way and Kingsmere hadn’t fallen at the last then perhaps we would have seen a different result. Nevertheless Gordon Elliott’s winner is one to keep your eye on. Perhaps the trainer is looking to enter him in the Festival again, if so make sure you are there to back this fella.
Now, if there was one horse that really put the wow factor into Cheltenham, it is Action Master. At 20/1 Hughes’ horse steamed ahead and caused an upset in the Handicap Hurdle. No doubt this one had the biggest result of the day. If a horse can produce series of gasps around the track
then you know you have done your job as a trainer or jockey. Sam Twiston-Davies again performed well and almost reached the winning post in first position but Bryan Cooper proved too strong on the master of the race. Watch this horse go from strength to strength now.
Ruby Walsh finally got a win on Sire Collonges in the Bruton Knowles 150th Anniversary Novices’ Chase with the 11/8f Sea of Thunder finishing in second. Davy Russell rode the Flat horse well and pushed with all his might to beat Walsh. Despite not winning, Sea of Thunder
should be carefully watched throughout the season. Definitely one to back again.
However, the next race really did annoy me. Not because it was bad or anything like that, but because I was going to back the winner but put my money on someone else. Court Minstrel pulled off a stylish win in the Lemington Maiden Hurdle and with a SP of 6/1 I could have brought back
a profit! Never mind. Will definitely make sure I place my winning bet on him next time!
Sam Twiston-Davies continued his spectacular form again the following day (Saturday). He won the first race of the day, the Edward Gillespie Hands Over The Reins Novices’ Hurdle, on According To Trev at 6/1 beating 9/4 f Our Vinnie. What a fantastic name for a race – Gillespie will officially step down at The Open in November and it is lovely to see the racecourse praising the work he has done throughout his time at the track.
The Masterson Holding Hurdle looked to be a good race. Baby Mix was back at the track and sure is a favourite here. At 9/4 the horse was heavily backed but again failed to perform to high standards. The horse weakened towards the end of the race and I would like to have seen more push. But I will definitely keep my eye on this one in the future – has the ability to go far.
However the winner of the day was Balthazar King, a horse that loves this track more than anyone. Richard Johnson did immensely well to ride to victory and proved that he shouldn’t be doubted at this course. Hold On Julio was my choice and finished well in third. Galaxy Rock is another that enjoys the track but 2011 winner Balthazar King showed that he shouldn’t be messed with at Cheltenham!
It has been a great weekend for racing: Cheltenham is back with the Festival countdown already starting again and Frankel pulled off an astonishing 14/14 win. Simply the best? Well, I suppose he could be.
But all I can say now is…. Bring on The Open!!