Cheltenham Festival: Upswing weighted to strike

Upswing looks a typical Jonjo O’Neill plot horse and makes plenty of appeal at 9/1 in the the Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival today (5.30)

The eight-year-old who was a useful staying hurdler and prior to being pulled-up last time out in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow had shown progressive form in four starts over fences.

He posted a career-best performance on his penultimate outing when chasing home Sausolito Sunrise in a competitive 17-runner contest at this venue.

After held-up at the rear by jockey Barry Geraghty, Upswing made steady headway three from home bfeore staying on strongly after the last to go down by just 1 1/4 lengths.

Sausolito Sunrise, from whom Upswing was reiciving just 5lb, has also gone on to land a valuable handicap chase at Ascot and is now rated 163.

That gives the form a strong look and suggests that Upswing is ahead of the assessor off a mark of 139.

O’Neill also has a good record with his staying chasers at the meeting, and has already tasted success this year with Minella Rocco and had Holywell run very well to finish second.

He is sure to have Upswing spot on for the big day, and with Derek O’Connor in the saddle everuthing looks in place for a huge run.

Daily Sport recommended bet: 2pts each-way Upswing (9/1 bet365 – BOG, 1/4 odds 1,2,3,4,5)

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