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Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Tips (5:30pm)

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Run over 3M 2F of the new course this race is restricted to amateur riders with 10 of the past 11 winners rated between 137 - 143. A good race for novices with the past four winners all fitting the bill. Gordon Elliott has a very good record in the race and 9 of the last 13 winners returned at single figures with only two of the last 20 winners returned bigger than 16/1 (Domesday Book at 40/1 in 2017 and last year’s winner Chambard at 40/1). Expect a maximum field of twenty four to face the starter.

Gavin Cromwell’s Stumptown bolted up at Sandown in February and looks a chaser going places. He’s a serious contender if running here (he also has a Ultima entry on day one). Recent money suggests this is his likely target mind. The Irish have a strong hand here including Willie Mullins’ Mr Incredible who was last seen when running a credible second in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow over Christmas. He’s been aimed at the Grand National but the lightly raced seven year old has an obvious chance if turning up here.

Gordon Elliott’s runners always merit respect in this race and he has nine entered at the initial stage including the novice Minella Crooner who’s already been nibbled at in the ante post market. He’s has two alternate entries but with novices having such a good record in the race would be high on the short list if turning up here. Elliott’s Dunboyne is another novice who arrives in good form (also has Ultima entry) whilst Death Duty ran well at Punchestown in the Grand National trial behind stable companion Coko Beach yet another would could feature. Another Irish trainer with interesting runners is Henry De Bromhead whose Royal Thief has this race as his only entry at the Festival. He sluiced up under Patrick Mullins at Punchestown in January and a reproduction of that effort will see him be thereabouts. De Bromhead also has his novice Amirite in the race and he too can’t be ruled out if taking this route.

Venetia Williams won this race last year with Chambard who’s back to defend his title off of a mark fractionally higher than last year. He’s yet to sparkle this season though. Charlie Longsdon has his string in excellent form this season and may saddle his JP McManus owned seven year old Guetapan Collonges who’s won two of his three starts this season including at Uttoxeter in a valuable handicap last time out for which he’s been raised 6lb. This is his only Cheltenham entry although he does have an entry in the Midlands National on the Saturday. He can run well if running here.

Jonjo O’Neill’s Iron Bridge has a hat full of entries this week but if turning up here would have each way claims having run a fine second at Warwick last time. Jonjo may have better claims mind with his Monbeg Genius who’s chasing a four timer having crept up 15lb in the weights. He’s a progressive lightly raced novice who very much fits the bill for this race who can make a bold bid to wrestle the first prize away from the Irish.

Nicky Henderson has entered an ex Paul Nicholls inmate in Next Destination but at time of writing we hadn’t seen the ex smart chaser for 730 days and he has two other entries at the Festival. An open race with the announcement of whom the top amateurs are riding likely to affect the betting (Jamie Codd especially who’s won this event four times). The Irish have several with claims but I’ll take the upwardly mobile Monbeg Genius to score for Jonjo O’Neill at a working man’s price each way.

Punters Lounge Tip: Monbeg Genius 12/1 EW 1/5th 12345 at >BetVictor - Click Here To Bet

by The Brigadier

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  • StevieDay1983 changed the title to Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Tips (5:30pm)
  • 2 weeks later...

Mr Incredible - I think it is fair to call him a bit of a monkey as he has been reluctant to race in the past. His rider has said that he really should be going for the Midlands National on Saturday, but Patrick wants to become just the 3rd jockey to win all 3 races at the meeting so he is running here instead. He seemed to be on a going day last time at Warwick when staying on for 2nd behind Iwilldoit. If he repeats that effort then he is a big player here, but the drop down in trip might not be ideal.

Annual Invictus - Has won over fences here, back in October 2021 over 2m4f, but he hen seemed to go the wrong way over fences and this season he has gone back over hurdles to great success winning here in November and at Newbury last month. If he brings that form back over fences he'd be an e/w chance in this, but that could be a big if.

Beauport - Won a Listed Race at Carlisle on chasing debut in October, but his jumping hasn't been as good since at both Haydock and here on New Years Day when a 20L 4th to The Real Whacker. Clearly nothing of his class in this and a stamina test might suit him more based on his hurdles form.

Farinet - James King is a very good booking for a horse who has disappointed on his 2 starts including over course and distance on New Years Day and was then even worse at Ascot last time. On his seasonal return in December though he was a very good winner of the Welsh National Trial at Chepstow and he wouldn't be the first horse from the yard to bounce back to form at this meeting.

Rapper - He was the winner of that course and distance race on New Years Day and he is only 5lbs higher here. He ran OK at Sandown last time over a slightly shorter trip and the fact that a very good jockey in Alice Stevens is able to claim 3 is no bad thing either. Horses in 1st time headgear tend to do well at this meeting and he has a visor on for the first time.

Dunboyne - Has had a very in and out season having refused to race in November at Punchestown and then winning over 2m4f a week later at Gowran Park. He then pulled up at Fairyhouse the following month, before bouncing right back to form in the Thyestes back at Gowran when going down a short head to Carefully Selected. Jamie Codd has won this race 4 times and if he is on a going day then it is easy to see him going close.

Coeur Serein - Was 8th in the Pertemps Final here last season and he has only had 4 races over fences going into this. He pulled up here first up in October, but did better when a close 2nd at Chepstow in December. He then disappointed at Doncaster later that month before going to Newbury and winning a 3 runner race last month. Can run well although doesn't strike me as a likely winner.

Slipway - We know he stays well as he won the Highland National at Perth last April. He then had a break and when he returned he added the Southern National at Fontwell to his CV. He was terrible when favourite last time though in the Edinburgh National. Gina Andrews is a top booking and if he bounces back to his Perth and Fontwell form then he has a solid e/w chance.

Defi Bleu - Very in and out and never seems to follow a good run with another. He was 2nd in the Cork National in November, but then ran 3 poor races before finishing 3rd in the Grand National Trial a Punchestown last month. Has an e/w chance if on a going day, but chances are he wont be.

Royal Thief - Won on his first start over fences back in October 2020, but was then brought down the following month at Punchestown. Clearly had issues since then because he didn't run again until January where he bolted up by 10L at Punchestown. He has been hammered in the handicap on the back of that though and is 15lbs higher here, but clearly he is very unexposed and he might be up to it.

Lord Accord - Ran in the Cleeve Hurdle last time, but was well beaten and ran OK in the Coral Gold Cup when 9th the time before. Won here at the October meeting and was a good 2nd to Frodon in the Badger Beer at Wincanton. Is capable of running well, but I suspect he might need better ground.

Punitive - Had looked fairly progressive prior to running poorly in the Thyestes last time. Had won over 3m5f at Fairyhouse the time before and was 2nd over 3m1f here at the November meeting. If he bounces back he's another that wouldn't be out of this.

Dr Kananga - Started life in points and was very impressive when winning a hunter chase at Hexham in May 2021. Struggled when going handicapping to start with, but then found his form and won easily at Chepstow and Sandown last February. Was an OK return over hurdles at Bangor in November, but was well beaten in the Becher Chase the following month and as no better in a Grade 2 over hurdles last month at Haydock. Would imagine he will try and make all, but will find it hard to do so.

Stumptown - Only 6, but has looked very progressive the last twice wining by 12L at Thurles in January and then by 7L at Sandown las month an the 2nd has franked the form since. Has gone up 12bs for that, but there could easily be more to come from him.

Fontaine Collonges - Was very disappointing when sent off favourite for the Grand National Trial at Haydock last month and he had run well on is previous two starts this season when he won at Haydock and was a staying on 4th a Kempton over 3m. Again he is another one who could easily go well if he bounces back to form.

Musical Slave - Did win at Exeter last time and does have Derek O'Connor on top, but this 10yo is more exposed than most here and he might struggle in a race like this.

Emir Sacree - Seemed to enjoy stepping up to 3m at Sandown last time when a good 3rd, but would need to find improvement from somewhere to land a blow in this.

Western Zara - 3rd to Punitive at Fairyhouse in December, but was poor last time at Leopardstown in December and whilst she does have scope for improvement she does need to find a fair bit.

Captain Cattistock - Landed the 4m race here on hunter chase night and has done well since going back handicapping including winning over course and distance in April. Run well this season without winning including finishing 2nd in the Edinburgh National last time. This is tougher, but he can go well.

Angels Dawn - Has run really well since going handicap chasing having finished a short head 2nd at Punchestown on New Years Eve, before winning at Down Royal the following month. She then unseated at 2 out when still in contention in the Grand National Trail last time and this progressive mare should have more to come.

Ballykeel - Finally got off the mark over fences last time at Fairyhouse, but whilst he was 1/2L behind Angels Dawn at Down Royal in January that one does look more progressive.

Coo Star Sivola - Has struggled in 3 runs so far for this yard.

Didero Vallis - 3rd in this last year and is 8lbs lower this year, but he looks badly out of form at the moment.

Verdict - This is one of the toughest races of the meeting and the shortlist is pretty big. Of the shorter priced horses I think Angels Dawn makes most appeal as she has a low weight here and looks progressive. There are quite a few here who if you forgive their previous run then would have a big chance and given Venetia Williams won this race last year with a 40/1 shot I give both Farinet and Fontaine Collonges good chances at big prices. I am just going to side with Rapper though. He is a course and distance winner on soft ground and didn't run badly at all down in trip at Sandown last time. I like the angle of the first time visor and Alice Stevens is very good value for her 3lbs claim.

Rapper e/w @ 25/1 with Bet365 6 Places

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