2.05 Cheltenham Festival: 25/1 Shadow Catcher can put his rivals in the shade

Gordon Elliott’s Shadow Catcher will relish the the better ground and big field and looks massively overpriced at 25/1 to give Ireland another success.

The gelding was a decent sort on the flat – winning three times – and made a winning debut over hurdles when accounting for Darroun by 1/2 a length at Punchestown.

He travelled really strongly that day and kept on well for pressure when taking up the running after the last to get the job done nicely and had some useful sorts in Argocat and Edeymi well behind in third and fourth.

The ground was very testing that day, and I am convinced he would have won far more easier on better going.

He then ran a blinder when a 1 1/2 length second to Hisaabaat in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown, racing keenly but travelling the best until making late mistakes which cost him dear.

That race was not run at a pace to suit and he had subsequent Triumph Hurdle winner and Champion Hurdle third Countrywide Flame a further 1 1/2 lengths back in third.

Things then didn’t go to plan in the Triumph Hurdle at last year’s Festival, where he raced too keenly, saw too much daylight out wide and was given too much to do before finishing 12th of 20 to Countrywide Flame, and it was a similar story at the Punchestown Festival when he finished 7th of 13 to Hisaabaat.

Since then he has had just two outings and it’s clear that his handler has brought him along steadily with this race in mind.

The five-year-old was not knocked about or put into the race at any stage when 14th of 28 to Abbey Lane at Leopardstown on his first run after 273 days on the sidelines and was then given a spin on the level at Dundalk last month as his final prep for this.

That run should have put him spot on for this, and the drying ground will certainly be in his favour.

To me he is going to be a much better horse on it and it’s interesting that connections are also now fitting him with the blinkers for the first time at a time when he seems for once to be going to get the conditions he needs to be seen at his best.

I certainly don’t think he should be a 25/1 shot for this, and at the odds on offer he rates cracking each-way value.

Daily Sport recommended bet: 3pts each-way Shadow Catcher (25/1 Paddy Power – BOG, 1/4 odds 1,2,3,4,5, Hills – BOG, 1/4 odds 1,2,3,4)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *