The Rest Of The Cheltenham Card – Tuesday

1.30pm

The roar of the crowd is something to hear when the tapes go up for the first race of the four days, but finding the winner won’t be quite as easy to predict. As I have already suggested Tellherthename in a podcast I did I cannot desert him now, with Ben Pauling describing him as his best ever novice. He has plenty of speed to call upon as needed and although likely to try to make all, he can be produced from off the pace if something else goes off at a suicidal gallop. An easy winner at Huntingdon last time out, he arrives at the top of his game, and although the Irish will be difficult if not impossible to beat, he looks to have an each way chance.

Tellherthename each way 25/1 Coral, Unibet, and Boylesports

2.50pm

Our first handicap of the week and one that has seen winners at prices up to 28/1 in the last decade, though interestingly seven have succeeded at 10/1 or less. This is not a contest I have too much interest in to be honest, so I have reverted to the historical stats to try and find the winner, so wish me luck. In the last 15 years, it is noted that 14 have been priced at 40/1 or less, and horse who completed last time came home in the first six, all were aged six to 11, none had run in the last 15 days and none were rated higher than 151. Sadly that only gives us a shortlist of 15 (losing eight) so our next stop has to be their handicap marks, though be warned, such methodology cannot make allowances for improvers! To my shock, only TWO of my remaining horses have ever won off their current marks or higher, and both are priced as if they have no chance. Eklat De Rire is a very lightly raced 10-year-old with just the 11 career starts, eight of those over fences, and with three wins at Punchestown, Naas, and Wexford, the latest in 2021 off a mark of 152. Lightly raced since, he showed signs of a return to form when second at Fairyhouse last month, and racing off a mark of 146 this afternoon he looks overpriced at 33/.1 and will be carrying a little of my cash each way – just in case. For anyone interested, Lord Du Mesnil is even better off at the weights having won off 149 (rated 140 here), but he has less excuses for recent efforts than the suggestion.

Eklat De Rire each way 20/1 Bet365 and William Hill

3.30pm

Words cannot express my disappointment at the absence of Constitution Hill, but that apparently opens the way for State Man to make his mark for the Willie Mullins stable. The fact that they didn’t ever look for an alternative engagement for last season’s nine-length second shows us all how highly they regard the seven-year-old who has won all bar two of his starts over hurdles since arriving from France (and one of those was a fall two out at Leopardstown when in contention), but at odds-on it may be worth taking a risk on Gordon Elliott’s Irish Point. Don’t forget his handler also trains Zanahiyr who was four lengths behind today’s jolly last year, yet word from the stable has it that Irish Point is seen as different gravy and at 9/2, if we can find a bookie paying a quarter the odds (shop around) we at least get our money back if he hits the places.

Irish Point each way 6/1 most bookmakers

4.10pm

From odds-on to odds-on next when Lossiemouth looks all set to add to the Mullins tally at this year’s Festival. Plenty had been suggesting she should take on State Man in the Champion Hurdle but this looks easier pickings up against her own sex hence her skinny price. She is the one they all have to beat, but she has her first race beyond two miles and a furlong here, and surely her opponents will look to at least test her stamina? Add in bigger prices for more reward just to hit a top three spot and I will take a risk to small stakes on dark horse Lantry Lady instead. One of a small but select team for Henry De Bromhead, she is very much an unknown quantity after two wins from two starts at Gowran Park over the minimum trip. Her mother was an unraced half-sister to Annie Power so the added half mile ought to bring about plenty of improvement, and at 20/1 I can see her getting involved in the finish, and possibly even coming home in front. 

Lantry Lady each way 20/1 Coral and Boylesports

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