Cheltenham Festival tips from horse racing expert Jeff Garlick
In his latest weekly column for the Harrogate Advertiser Series, racing expert and renowned tipster Jeff Garlick previews Tuesday and Wednesday's action and shares his selections.
Sadly, next week’s Cheltenham Festival takes place in front of empty stands, writes Garlick.
I have attended every year since 1978 but, like everyone else, will be glued to the TV to watch all 28 races over the four days.
The meeting starts on Tuesday with the Skybet Supreme Hurdle. Irish horses are traditionally strong in this race with Appreciate It being a short priced favourite.
Soaring Glory won the Betfair Hurdle in good style and is worth backing each way to beat Appreciate It. Metier is the one for the forecast.
The Arkle Chase that follows is another Irish/English battle. Sishkin represents Nicky Henderson whilst Energumene is from the all-conquering Willie Mullins’ yard.
Of the two I prefer the Irish raider but will be taking them both on with the Dan Skelton-trained Allmankind.
The feature race is the Champion Hurdle where two mares dominate the betting. Epatante won the race last year whilst the Irish raider Honeysuckle won the Mares Hurdle.
That race was over 20 furlongs and proven stamina may be the key to Tuesday’s race which will be run at a blistering pace. Honeysuckle is my nap selection on Day One.
I fancy Roksana to beat the Irish hotpot Concertisa in the Mares race and Happygolucky to win the Ultima Chase for Kim Bailey.
Houx Gris has been laid out for the Fred Winter Hurdle by Paul Nicholls and I just fancy him to win from Glorious Zoff. Galvin hails from the yard of the suspended Gordon Elliott and looks the one to beat in the finale.
The Champion Chase is the feature race on Wednesday with Altior trying to win the race for the third time.
The Irish won’t hear of defeat here for Chacon Pour Soi but I fancy another from the Emerald Isle, Put The Kettle On. This Mare won the Arkle last year and is unbeaten in two course visits.
I actually fancy Irish-trained horses to win every race on Wednesday starting with Bob Olinger in the Ballymore Hurdle. Monkfish is considered the banker of the meeting in the Brown Advisory Chase and Sir Gerhart can win the Bumper, both for trainer Willie Mullins.
The Coral Cup is always competitive and Korhari will go close but You Rave Me Up has been well backed and this small stable are experts at getting a horse ‘ready’ for the Festival.
The Cross-Country race could be the last time we see dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll on a racecourse. I fancy his compatriot Shady Operator to win this race.
The Grand Annual Chase could see The Shunter try to win a £100,000 bonus following his win at Kelso. He had a hard race in Scotland and his Leopardstown conqueror A Wave of the Sea just might beat him again.
The races on Thursday and Friday will be covered in my next column.
Garlick’s Cheltenham Goodies: TUESDAY - 13:20 Soaring Glory; 13:55 Allmankind; 14:30 Happygolucky; 15:05 Honeysuckle; 15:40 Roksana; 16:15 Houx Gris; 16:50 Galvin.
WEDNESDAY - 13:20 Bob Olinger; 13:55 Monkfish; 14:30 You Rave Me Up; 15:05 Put The Kettle On; 15:40 Shady Operator; 16:15 A Wave of The Sea; 16:50 Sir Gerhart.