Pageant Focus: Championship Races

Breeders Cup 2022: Keeneland picks

Unibet Champion Hurdle Problem Trophy – 2m 87yds – Grade One

That is an open and shut case. Structure Hill ought to win it at a canter. He’s a mercurial jumper, and we’ve not seen the most effective of him but in response to those that know him effectively. His Supreme win final yr captivated the minds of the gang and we’ve watched him progress and saunter to victory in each Grade One put in entrance of him. He might overtake Evening Nurse in Timeform rankings if he wins by a margin that makes him the most effective hurdler ever.

Second place additionally seems like a misplaced trigger for the remainder of the opponents. State Man was imperious in final yr’s County Hurdle and has readily adopted up the shape by successful the Irish Champion Hurdle, and being Eire’s greatest likelihood of taking over Structure Hill. He’s a proficient particular person, however he may run right into a celebrity.

So, third place, for the remainder of the runners will really feel like a giant win, who can fill it? Vauban was the most effective juvenile horse final yr by successful the Triumph and the 4-Y-O Hurdle at Punchestown in nice model. He’s completed behind State Man twice since then and shouldn’t be too discouraged in defeat. He might want it a bit firmer than it appears to be like to be, however he’s nonetheless a very good horse in his personal proper.

I Like To Transfer It was again to successful methods within the Kingwell Hurdle after stepping up and hating the journey within the Relkeel. He gained round C&D by successful the Greatwood Hurdle, and would put up a very good likelihood to complete third. Nigel Twiston-Davies has all the time been candy on this horse and this race could have been at the back of his thoughts after his Greatwood win.

The subsequent greatest horse is First Road who can be out of his depth, in addition to Pied Piper who obtained beat by greater than 85 lengths by State Man over Christmas.

Verdict: Constiution Hill; He wins. Finish of. 1/3, greatest value typically. The most effective guess of the race is to do a trifecta or to complete precisely third. I feel that coveted Bronze medal will go to I Like To Transfer It, an incredible win within the Greatwood and a very good horse total to have in your aspect. In case you fancy a small each-way poke, he’s 16/1 with William Hill and Boylesports.

Betway Queen Mom Champion Chase – 1m 7F 199yds – Grade One

This might be some of the thrilling races of the week because the fallout from the Clarence Home will probably be settled. Can Editeur Du Gite upset once more or can Energumene and Edwardstone reverse the outcome?

Final yr’s winner Energumene carried out effectively within the Hilly Method at Cork. He going off short-priced for the Champion Chase by the point of the Clarence Home. Then he blew out and abruptly appeared like a no hoper. However the New Course is a galloping monitor and it didn’t appear like it suited him. He liked the Previous Course and the tender floor final yr, and it appears to be like like historical past might repeat itself.

Edwardstone was the one to take out the race. Tom Cannon didn’t know easy methods to deal with Editeur Du Gite however classes had been learnt down the hill and Edwardstone rallied to no avail. Provided that it’s a shorter journey over the Previous Course, Edwardstone will swimsuit it a bit higher, given his dominant Arkle win and Tom Cannon will journey him a bit in another way to beat Editeur Du Gite.

Earlier within the season, Editeur Du Gite modified his ways to be assist up, and failed spectacularly. Then he went again to front-running and has gained two on the bounce. He loves Cheltenham, and has an incredible document, which can have helped him within the Clarence Home, however you sense that Cannon and Paul Townend will journey in another way to beat the front-runner, but when Editeur Du Gite goes off at a fast gallop, he could take all of the beating.

Gentleman De Mee could have been underestimated available in the market. He gained effectively on the Dublin Racing Pageant, and reversed the shape from Christmas in opposition to Blue Lord. And with the latter going to the Ryanair, Gentleman De Mee has free reign to set a entrance working tempo together with Editeur Du Gite. However regardless of being a Grade One winner, he’s but to match the standard of Energumene and Edwardstone.

Honourbale mentions for Captain Guinness and Funambule Sivola who’re on the backside of the market. Captain Guinness has all the time been unfortunate at Cheltenham, and has first rate type in all his different races. Funambule Sivola completed second in final yr’s race, and gained his prep race, the Recreation Spirit, in comparable style. Each might run a giant race.

Verdict: Edwardstone; He appears to relish Cheltenham, as was the one to take out of the Clarence Home. Tom Cannon will probably be using to catch Editeur Du Gite and to carry off to Energumene. Greatest value is 7/4 typically.

Every-way: Funambule Sivola completed second in final yr’s race in deep floor, which isn’t his common floor choice. Ran one other good race within the Recreation Spirit to bounce again, and is a giant each-way swing at 40/1 with William Hill and BetUK.

Ryanair Chase – 2m 4F 127yds – Grade One

This race has the banker of the week for a lot of. Shishkin returns to the monitor to place proper what went flawed on the Pageant final yr. There have been upset groans from sure corners of the horse racing world when Nicky Henderson introduced he would step up in journey. Nevertheless it has labored an absolute deal with. His Ascot Chase run was dominant and highly effective, to put down a marker for the race. Even at odds-on he’s the banker.

Blue Lord obtained beat within the Irish model of the Champion Chase, the Dublin Chase, and has been stepped up in journey. It’s going to attention-grabbing to see how he handles the journey, however appeared like he wanted it, regardless of shedding by seven lengths. He’s not probably the most convincing, however given what he did at Christmas, he might shock Shishkin.

Conflated ought to go for the Gold Cup. However as a result of the truth that Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, has solely ever gained the race, he’s sponsored since 2008, as soon as, Balko Des Flos, he needs to win it once more. Conflated isn’t the most effective favored horse, however he gained the Savills Chase, and has been stored contemporary since. He appeared like he wasn’t going to beat Allaho, he would possibly fall brief to Shishkin.

Fury Street is the opposite Gigginstown runner who appears to be like to be fitted to the race. Stepping down in distance, however completed behind Galopin Des Champs on this yr’s Irish Gold Cup. He’s been overwhelmed recurrently over three miles, however his first begin of the season came to visit 2m 4F. Actually his document over 2m 3F – 2m 5F is three wins, two seconds and one third. So the Ryanair will swimsuit Fury Street right down to the bottom.

Janidil gained the Crimson Mills Chase in good style, and was second behind Allaho final yr. Smooth floor is his choice, and he’ll love the present floor to try to chase down Shishkin. Though he’s a Grade One winner, he could not carry out to Grade One degree, however can definitely contest for locations.

Verdict: Shishkin; Ought to be a dominant winner and 2m 4F is his journey. He’ll proper the wrongs of final yr and he appears to be like 100% again to his greatest. Greatest value is 4/6 typically.

Every-way choose: Fury Street drops down in journey, and can relish the prospect. He’s obtained an incredible document over 2m 4F, and needs to be the Gigginstown primary for this race. Every-way value of 8/1 is obtainable with Boylesports, William Hill and BetUK. The straight forecast of Shishkin/Fury Street would pay fairly effectively.

Paddy Energy Stayers’ Hurdle – 2m 7F 203yds – Grade One

All the time aggressive and this yr’s renewal isn’t any totally different. There’s a ‘will he, gained’t he’ in regards to the antepost favorite, and the French could steal it from the UK and Irish’s noses.

Blazing Khal. Is he going to run? As of writing, it’s all stations go, which is a reduction. Just one run this season, and it was convincing. His course type is incredible after two wins in two novice hurdles final season. He’s spectacular and Charles Byrnes has his greatest likelihood of a Pageant winner with him.

Marie’s Rock is one other ‘will she or gained’t she’ as Nicky Henderson decides between right here or the Mares’ Hurdle. If the bottom is tender, she’ll go to the Mares’ Hurdle, if firmer she’ll come right here. In any other case, she is an excellent mare and even when she does step up in distance, she’ll be onerous to catch, given her run within the Relkeel put her into the image for the Stayers’.

Teahupoo was the one who beat Honeysuckle. Very a lot the Bond villain of racing. However he’s a proficient stayer after a 15 size romp on deep floor at Gowran Park. I query the type of the race, because it wasn’t the very best high quality of races. However Grade One type, and beating Honeysuckle, should imply he’s a troublesome horse.

Residence By The Lee has come on leaps and bounds since final yr’s race. He couldn’t get a run by way of the sphere, however he’s learnt from that and that was seen with the race at Navan. Halfway by way of, he was let go by J J Slevin and appeared as if he might burn out. However he stayed on rather well, and backed it up over Christmas. He’s an eyecatcher for positive.

Flooring Porter has disillusioned this yr, and it hasn’t been an incredible watch. However the twin winner of the Stayers’ Hurdle hasn’t all the time been excellent. Final season he had three runs with no win when he gained the 2021 version. His type was PF2, and nonetheless gained the race. It appears that evidently Cheltenham is a monitor he loves and he may show the market flawed.

Gold Tweet was a shock within the Cleeve Hurdle and opened the French’s eyes that they might win at Cheltenham. They’ve two within the race, however Gold Tweet is the most effective likelihood. The type of the race might be a query, however a C&D win all the time helps, particularly these from the continent.

Verdict: Residence By The Lee; He was my first antepost guess of the yr, and with two wins underneath his belt, plus course expertise, he might run a mighty race with Blazing Khal, if he goes, and Marie’s Rock, if she goes. 6/1 with William Hill is a pleasant value.

Every-way choose: Dashel Drasher is an effective performer over 3m, and has completed second thrice this season and he fits Cheltenham effectively. He hasn’t run too badly on his runs, and will sneak into the locations at 25/1 normal value.

Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup – 3m 2F 70yds – Grade One

The largest race of the season. All the long-lasting names have gained this race, and have been immortalised ever since. This yr appears to be like to be some of the aggressive Gold Cups we’ve got had for some time.

Galopin Des Champs appears to be like unbeatable. Visually, he’s spectacular. He’s leaping higher than he did final season, but when he does put in a leaping efficiency like he did the earlier season, he gained’t win. Improved on leaping and an incredible Irish Gold Cup win behind him, to some he’s the most effective guess of the week.

Bravemansgame ‘is the most effective since Denman’ stated Paul Nicholls. He won’t be Denman, however he’s Paul Nicholls’ greatest likelihood of a Gold Cup since Silviniaco Conti. A incredible King George winner, all the time proves to be a race the place winners of the Gold Cup come from, he’s been stored contemporary and will cap a stellar season for the crew at Ditcheat.

A Plus Tard’s blow out within the Betfair Chase was a giant shock to everybody. His absence has been much more surprising. It’s an extended lay-off, however the indicators are constructive down in Waterford for the de Bromhead’s, and hopefully comes again to type.

Noble Yeats gained the Grand Nationwide. He was the left subject choose in the beginning of the season. His Cotswold Chase run was good. He dealt with the monitor effectively and ending in behind Ahoy Senor and Sounds Russian, he can overturn the shape and land yet one more large prize.

Ahoy Senor gained the Cotswold Chase after being written off his first two begins of the season. His first race at Wetherby was poor, and his King George run was as effectively. He was an out of doors likelihood, however he shocked everybody, when everybody doubted him. It’s clear he loves Cheltenham, and if he’s happening the day, he’ll be onerous to cease.

Stattler gained final yr’s Nationwide Hunt Cup and might keep for days. Two seconds, 3m and underneath, has proved that he needs additional and 3m 2F can be a very good journey for him to compete at. He appeared like he would’ve overwhelmed Galopin Des Champs over additional final trip and might get the higher of him right here.

Protektorat blew out within the Cotswold Chase, however coach Dan Skelton admitted he made a mistake in his coaching. He may have been skilled for the race since then, and a 3rd in final yr’s race could make him the each-way play.

Minella Indo is getting older however assistance on effectively to win the New 12 months’s Day Chase at Tramore. After two good runs within the Gold Cup, he could have run previous his greatest. Hewick can be the best story to win the Gold Cup for Shark Hanlon. It appears to be like like he might win wherever, even America. He would make the Gold Cup a fairytale.

Verdict: Stattler; Stayers win the race. Stattler would outstay everybody within the subject, and will simply go for the Nationwide sooner or later. He’s has an incredible likelihood, and if Danny Mullins will get the journey then he would give his stablemate a troublesome race over a testing journey. 10/1 is nice value from William Hill

Every-way choose: Ahoy Senor; Loves the monitor and will very effectively win the race if he units the tempo. He did nothing flawed final trip and Lucinda Russell will hope for the same efficiency once more. 14/1 is a normal value.

Author: Patrick Thomas