WHEN the big freeze sinks its teeth into the racing calendar and leaves us bereft of quality action, those of us who love this sport have no idea what to do with ourselves. It is why there is a desperation that this weekend’s Cheltenham Festival Trials Day beats the weather, whether it be tomorrow or Sunday. If not, what are we going to do? Clear the snow from the garden? DIY? Perish the thought…
The magnificence of the eight-race card at Prestbury Park is magnified by the fact it will be just the second turf meeting to get the nod in more than a week. (A huge herogram must go to officials at Ayr who made sure Wednesday’s meeting went ahead).
The defection of Bobs Worth (and doubts about Tidal Bay) in the Argento Chase have paved the way for Grands Crus to bounce back to form but Imperial Commander’s appearance is intriguing.
The rescheduled Grade One Victor Chandler Chase is the icing on the Trials Day cake and Sprinter Sacre should win doing cartwheels. It might be left to Kumbeshwar to provide some each-way joy for punters. He is as big as 33/1.
The Cleeve Hurdle will give Oscar Whisky another chance to prove his stamina over three miles while the mud-loving Reve De Sivola looks the big danger. Lovcen could be of each-way interest if returning to top form after an abortive couple of runs over fences although he has looked out of love with the game.
But the race of the day is the Neptune Novices Hurdle and the clash between The New One and Coneygree. The New One looked invincible at Warwick and gets the nod over his optimum trip.
The Triumph Hurdle Trial and an ultra-competitive Murphy Group Handicap Chase are other appetising morsels on what is a delicious card.
Cheltenham Trials Day will certainly provide punters betting on Cheltenham with William Hill plenty of Festival clues.
Who are your Trials Day fancies? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.