StevieDay1983 Posted March 2 Share Posted March 2 The 2023 Cheltenham Festival curtain raiser kicks off with the Cheltenham roar which is the first of 28 quality races spread over four days. The race is run over 2m 87 yards of the old course and some interesting stats about the race include that nine of the last ten runnings have been won by a horse who won their previous race whilst also nine of the last ten winners have run within the last 59 days. The leading trainer in the race is Willie Mullins who’s looking for his eighth victory in the race. Some of the big names that have plundered the prize over the years include Vatour, Douvan, Altior, Shishkin and last year a sensational performance by Constitution Hill who came home a staggering 22L to the good from stable companion Jonbon. This year’s renewal looks open enough at present with the ante-post favourite Facile Vega blotting his copybook at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown when losing his unbeaten run in finishing a well beaten 5th of 6. It has since transpired that the horse had an issue that day but it appears his trainer Willie Mullins is happy enough with him now. He’s smart and should go well but has a question mark hanging over him now. Mullins, as you would expect, has many others he could send here including Il Etait Temps who won the race that Facile Vega bombed out in at Leopardstown quite comfortably turning the form around with his stable mate who beat him an easy 4L previously over Christmas. Gaelic Warrior is another possible but he’s not a retain runner with a Ballymore entry also. Maybe the most interesting of the Mullins runners is Impaire Et Passe who’s unbeaten in three starts looking good when landing the odds in a grade 2 at Punchestown in mid January. Owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede in the double green silks he could be anything. Irish trainer Barry Connell has stated in the past that his Marine Nationale is the best horse he’s ever had any dealings with and that is a statement that stands up well with the trainer having ridden some good ones over the years. He is unbeaten in four starts, two bumpers and two novice hurdles. He hasn’t run since early December which is maybe a problem with the majority of the winners of this race all having come into the race having run within the last 59 days. Connell stated after his latest win that he was going straight to Cheltenham so it’s not as if he’s been injured or anything. He’ll be fresh and I can see him going well. Joseph O’Brien has his former smart flat performer High Definition entered. He was last seen unseating at the 4th in the race win by Il Etait Temps at Leopardstown but will need to brush up his jumping to trouble the judge. The best of the home challenge appears to lie with Paul Nicholls’ Tahmuras owned by the Noel Fehily Racing Club last seen winning the Tolworth Hurdle and Olly Murphy’s Chasing Fire who’s looked good in his three starts and remains unbeaten. Nicky Henderson, who has taken this contest three times in the last seven years, has his smart unbeaten mate Luccia entered. She looked very good when winning at Exeter recently but surely she’ll head for the mares novices’ hurdle for which she will be at short odds. Facile Vega can be given another chance but this is hardly the ideal preparation for him so it may be worth playing the unbeaten Marine Nationale who has been laid out for this. Punters Lounge Tip: Marine National @ 7/2 NR NB at >Betfred - Click Here To Bet by The Brigadier Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.