Open Meeting Cheltenham Look Back

Open Meeting Cheltenham Look Back Day One


ASTRACAD ran out a cosy winner. Supported in the betting market, he always looked likely to win from some way out. Ericht and Realt Mor finished second and third suggesting the form was decent for the class of the race. Whether any of them repeat the form, next time out, is anyone’s guess.


UN BEAU ROMAN raced behind the leaders for most of the race. Switched to his right in between the final two fences, he got his head in front on the line. A hard horse to predict, he was well-handicapped on this occasion. Pairofbrowneyes attracted plenty of pre-race support. He looked in tip-top form in the paddock. Leading from three out, he appeared to idle between the last two fences before running on strongly to be just denied. He has an excellent record on right-handed tracks on soft to heavy ground. Bally Longford ram a good race for his new stable. His form in Ireland suggests he has improved since arriving in the UK. Yet another to have shown his best form on right-handed tracks in Ireland. De Faoithesdream ran well for a long way while the well-supported Monbeg River may need an easier track (Ayr or Wetherby) in a lower grade. Sizing Codelco was another to attract market support. A mistake at one of the open ditches cost him ground and momentum


O O SEVEN, built for the job in hand attracted late support. He jumped well in the main, putting himself right when getting in close and never did he look like falling. Taking the lead turning for home he pecked on landing two out before jumping the last clear of his field. For whatever reason, he then hung to his right before straightening up a hundred yards from the line. His form on right-handed tracks reads, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 1, 2. Sizing Tennessee is useful on his day. His new stable may instil some consistency over two and a half-miles or a slightly shorter trip. His best FSF’s have come on soft/heavy ground. Rock The Kasbah struggled on the good ground. He staged a revival two from home having looked likely to be tailed off coming down the hill. Softer ground, blinkers and a different track (Chepstow, Haydock Park, Ascot), rather than a step-up in trip, should see him in a better light. Its´afreebee should be given another chance round a sharper left-handed track on soft/heavy ground. Barters Hill went into race a warm favourite. Unfortunately, he slipped a tendon off a hock and will be out of action for the near future. Prior to his departure, he jumped like an old hand.


PEREGRINE RUN won his fourth race on the trot. Having travelled and jumped in good style through the race, he found plenty for pressure on the run to the line. As with many over the three days, racing next to the stands rail proved the place. His breeding suggests this is his ideal trip and he will now have a break before retuning in the spring of 2017. Wholestone, raced close to the pace. His jumping let him down and ultimately cost him the win. Whilst he stays three-miles, he is effective at this trip. When, his jumping improves, he will win a similar graded event. West Approach made sure this was a true test of stamina. He jumped and travelled strongly on the pace only giving best on the run to the line. He stays three-miles and jumps for fun. Effective on good through to soft, he would be interesting in a three-mile handicap hurdle. Spiritofthegames ran well for a long way. Sure to improve, this may be as far as he wants to go. Baden was noticeably weak in the market with paddock inspection revealing he needed the race. However, his run has to be considered disappointing.


WILDMOOR BOY put up a fine front running performance. He enjoys the ground and came back gamely having looked in trouble when the runner-up loomed up at the final flight. Tudor City came from off the pace with a well-timed challenge at the final flight. Having looked likely to win, he appeared to see out the trip without perhaps, the resolution of the winner. Debece improved on his first run in a handicap. A good-looking horse, he will improve for two and half-miles. Softer ground will aid his cause. Kk Lexicon looks likely to win a similar event when returned to further while Sarpech’s mistake two out probably cost him a place. Air Horse One will need to settle if he is to win this sort of event while Magna Cartor would have placed but for his unfortunate mistake at the last.



WHAT A MOMENT finally put it altogether on the track. A horse that has promised and not delivered in the past, he travelled and jumped well though the race. Quickening after the second last, he pulled away from the gallant runner-up. If reproduced, he can win again. Profile suggests he may prove best left-handed. Troika Steppes ran a solid race in second to follow-up his win here in October. He is a good yardstick to the form. Fayette County blew a gasket pre-race. However, he ran well in the race itself and should find a handicap on softer ground. Capard King is best on soft ground round a flat track. Silvergrove ran disappointingly weaken right out of it a mile from home.

Open Meeting Cheltenham Day Two Look Back


DEFI DU SEUIL followed up Ffos Las win in good style. Jumping and travelling like a dream he led before the last hurdle and came away to win without coming off the bridle. He looks well above average. The Finale Hurdle at Chepstow may be his next port of call. Diable De Sivola ran a fine race racing with much more restraint. Whilst clearly outpointed by the winner, he looks capable of finding a decent race on a left-handed track. He too may go the Finale Hurdle although handicaps may be his place to shine. Dino Velvet looked booked for third place when coming down at the last. He will enjoy easier ground and one hopes he comes out of the race in good shape. He looks the right sort for hurdling. Wealth Des Mottes drifted in the betting. Beaten at the top of the hill, he eventually pulled-up. One has to assume he has a problem as he staggered on his way back to the stables. The racecourse vet failed to find any abnormalities.


THISTLECRACK win his second race over fences. Content to sit in behind Marinero for the first circuit, Tom Scudamore kicked on as the field went away from the stands. His jumping contained a mix of good, novice, and the odd mistake. He appeared to find the ditches a problem on both circuits and spent too much time in the air at several jumps. At no stage did he look like falling. There is no doubting the engine under his saddle while his stamina is assured. The runner-up came into the race a mid-130’s performer. One hopes Thistlecrack faces better horses at Newbury. His jumping will come under scrutiny in a bigger field against seasoned campaigners. The Feltham Chase followed by the Cotswold back at Cheltenham, may prove the way to go. For the stats followers it is worth noting no World Hurdle winner has gone on to win the Gold Cup. Marinero ran well enjoying less demanding ground than he has sometimes raced on. Ballycross, jumped poorly on occasions leaving the impression he failed to see the trip out. Aqalim appeared to dislike the ground underhoof.


A race decimated when Le Reve took out three of the field at the twelfth fence. VICONTE DU NOYER Spring something of a surprise when leading two from home and holding on gamely up the run-in. Racing without his usual tongue-tie, this was the first time he ran further than two and a half-miles. His profile suggest he is best on ground between good and soft while the win opens up new opportunities. Warrantor travelled well through the race challenging and running on well from the turn for home. A mistake at the top of the hill may have cost him the win. 2lb out of the weights he looks sure to find a staying handicap on soft/heavy ground. Indeed, he looks one to consider for the Welsh National. Minella Rocco ran a huge race in his first handicap. He took an age to go through the gears, making good late headway from the home turn, finishing strongly up the run-in. A rise in his handicap mark of 4lb will make life difficult. However, after eight runs he looks certain to improve further. Fourth Act improved from his Ascot run, he stays well and is another example of the good form of the Tizzard stable. If he can iron out mistakes, he will be gong close in similar events.

Upswing and Alvarado showed enough to suggest they can prove competitive in the season ahead. Shotgun Paddy would have been place but for bleeding from the nose after the second last jump. Doctor Harper ran well without staying the trip. The vet reported that the gelding had lost two shoes. Cogry was travelling well when caught up in the chaos at the twelfth fence.


TAQUIN DU SEUIL came back to his best in a pulsating finish. The rain-softened ground was a bonus. Despite some “Iffy” jumps through the race, he got it right at the business end. Landing in third over the second last, he responded to Aidan Coleman’s driving to get up close home. One imagines another run in the Ryanair will be on the cards following a possible tilt at the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at this track in December. Village Vic set a decent pace running his heart out on his favourite course. He usually runs well when fresh though the handicapper will not take kindly to his game effort. Buywise, as is his way, finished strongly up the hill having come from miles off the pace. He may well have prevailed had the ground not against him. Aso enjoyed the soft ground until a mistake at the second last cost him his chance. He can find a similar event on soft/heavy ground. He appears best on round tight tracks. Bouvreuil improved through the field to have every chance until hitting the third last. He almost certainly blew-up, before getting a second wind on the run-in. He is another that looks sure to improve. Thomas Crapper ran well enough to suggest he can find a Class Two handicap while Art Mauresque ran well until tiring on ground he disliked., 6lb higher in his quest for a hat-trick, caught the eye making progress from the fourth-last. As De Mee was found out in this higher grade while a mistake at the fourth last ended Frodon’s chances. More Of That disappointed once again. His trainer remains “bemused,” however, respected paddock-watchers felt he was short of fitness for a race such as this.


ANTEROS has useful form at Cheltenham and bounced back to his best with an easy win. He will need to defy a career high mark in the future. Corrin Wood ran well for his new trainer. He will still look attractively handicapped when reassessed. If building on this he can also return to chasing duty. Sea Light ran well for a trainer who is respected at Cheltenham. Valhalla indicated he could win in an easier grade, while Irish Saint showed enough to suggest he can still prove competitive when fit. Too soon to write off Fingal Bay while Allysson Monterg is one to note for a similar event. He was taken round on the inside, which would not have helped his cause. His effort can be marked up as he looked just in need of the run.


CLONDAW CIAN looked an improved performer when running out a game winner on his seasonal return. Lightly raced, he should prove competitive when reassessed. Reported to be going for a Pertemps Qualifier, with the Final in March in his sights. Solatentif travelled like a dream through the race. He looked likely to win turning for home before race fitness found him out on the run-in. Effective on good through to soft, he looks interesting going forward. Millanisi Boy looks to have improved. He is best on soft/heavy ground. Chasing may prove to be his next port of call. Red Infantry ran well. An in-form horse he gives the form a solid look. For Good Measure looks to need three-miles. Whist effective on soft ground he has run well on good ground. He has time on his side and is not one to give up on. Arctic Gold ran well and may prove best returned to a flat track.


IRISH ROE remains unbeaten. She may well have won had Graham Lee not had to switch in the closing stages. Effective on this ground she also handles good ground. Her trainer suggested she might go for the Bumper at Aintree in the spring next year. MY KHALEESI went for home once they turned for home. Running on well, she held on for the dead-heat. Her trainer reports she will go novice hurdling. Naranja should do well in staying novice hurdles, a remark that should apply to Oscar Rose.

Open Meeting Cheltenham Day Three Look Back


MOON RACER overcame his trainers fears the soft ground would blunt his speed. Always well placed, he led at the second last before easing away to win comfortably, from what looked, a decent field of novices. He goes well fresh and be kept away from winter ground. His chance for the Supreme Novices, whilst respected, would see the first eight-year-old to win since Like-A-Butterfly in 2002. Having made almost all the running, Mirsaale deserves credit for holding on to second place. He will prove one to consider in handicaps. Ballyandy ran well in defeat. One that will do well over fences, he left the impression, another half-mile will bring further improvement. Keep In Line ran well on ground that may not be his favoured. In addition, he failed to get the best of runs at the business end. He will be back for handicaps on better ground. Movewiththetimes is a chaser in the making. He looks a decent long-term prospect.


LE PREZIEN put in a disappointing round of fencing. He looked far from certain to win when the front-running Some Plan came down at the second last. If his jumping improves, he should prove a decent performer when sent over two and a half-miles. Hammersly Lake ran on for second place. He tries hard and can win again back in handicaps. Some Plan was going strongly and looked in control when departing at the second last. A stronger horse nowadays, he may have finished off his race, something he has not always done.


FOX NORTON followed up his handicap romp with an impressive win on his first start for his new trainer. Whilst his jumping needs fine-tuning, his engine will see him as a serious contender come Festival time in March. Simply Ned is a solid OR 158 performer. He made a couple of mistakes but saw his race out to finish second. He gives the form a sold look. Special Tiara had a stiff task on his seasonal return. Paddock-watchers felt he was not at his best. Ridden aggressively on unsuitable ground, his effort can be marked up. Module and Top Gamble will come on for their return to the track.


NORTH HILL HARVEY raced close to the pace through the before going on two from home. Hotly challenged on both sides, he hung on grimly up the run-in. This was a good effort, though life will be harder from now on. Built for chasing, a discipline he will encounter next season. Modus moved into a challenging position between the last two flights. Running on strongly he just lost out in a tight finish. He is now proven left and right-handed. Song Light travelled like a dream through the race. Ridden approaching the last flight, he kept on well without matching the pace of the first two home. He looks sure to find a handicap at some stage on soft ground. A Hare Breath ran a blinder on his return. A fragile horse, he can win a decent handicap over two and a half-miles. Post-race his trainer suggested he might go over fences at some stage. Winter Escape was never better than midfield on a disappointing return to action.


BEHIND TIME lost his maiden tag in his first handicap. On and off the bridle throughout, he took an age to get organised. Running down the hill, he came into contention. Moving into the lead approaching the final flight, he won with plenty in hand despite running around on the run-in. Behind Time will stay further and rate a good deal higher as he gains experience. Solomn Grundy won easily in March and looks another that is on the upgrade this season. He is suited to soft ground. Call To Order is improving. He will stay further. Ballyarthur ran well on his handicap debut. He may not have seen the trip out as well as the first three. He has the build of a chaser.


POETIC RHYTHM toughed it out under a strong ride. Having bolted up in a UK Point-To-Point, he should prove useful when sent over hurdles. Boreham Bill ran an excellent race from the front. A strong sort, he handles good and soft ground. Another to note going forward along with Imperial Eloquence, a stablechum of the winner. Allez Sea looked a shade unlucky in running; however, he carries his head at an awkward angle. The form looks decent on a line through his effort. La Cava Nostra attracted market support. A good-looking chap, he will leave this form being.

The five top horses on speed figures were, Taquin Du Seuil, North Hill Harvey, Clondaw Cian Fox Norton, and Peregrine Run.


Newsletter, my NH Guide and other publications can be ordered via