THE EXPERT: ALAN ALGER
As someone who likes to find some each-way value, I can often find myself swerving the obvious, even if it’s staring me in the face as a good bet.
Thursday looks like a day not to complicate things.
There are a handful of horses towards the top of the markets that I feel warrant some investment with our tenner.
Pat Benatar (ask your parents!) sang ‘Love Is A Battlefield.’
To paraphrase, Cheltenham is also a battlefield, and BENATAR , Gary Moore’s six-year-old named after the singer, really takes the eye in the opener at 13.30. I’ll stick £2 on him to win.
Do not ignore the each-way claims of BIGMARTRE in the same race.
The Pertemps Final looks set up for LOUIS’ VAC POUCH , and I want to include him in a small each-way multiple.
UNOWHATIMEANHARRY has to be backed in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the prices, considering he was a 5/6 favourite for the same race last year and conditions will be more to his liking this time around.
GUITAR PETE will surely make up for his Ascot spill and at least make the frame in the Plate at 16.10.
And, finally, BAND OF BLOOD looks laid out for the 17.30 by his shrewd trainer Dr Richard Newland.
I’ll back the five of them in 10 different 40p each-way trebles with the remaining £8.
THE TIPSTER: TOM SUTTON
After clawing back some losses yesterday, I’m going to start with a 50p each-way patent.
Up first is WHO DARES WINS in the 14.10. He came third in last year’s Coral Cup and has had decent success since returning from the Flat season. He should definitely stay the trip and has an each-way chance here.
The next one is THE STORYTELLER in the 16.10.
The seven-year-old won nicely on debut over fences and has had credible performances at both Punchestown and Leopardstown. Again, he is proven over this distance and well in with a shout.
The final one comes in the Mares’ Hurdle (16.50), where I really like MARIA’S BENEFIT . A 30-length demolition at Taunton was followed with a Grade 2 triumph over the Irish at Doncaster. The ground is a slight concern but she should be right in the thick of it.
I’m going to put the other £3 on a win double.
SHATTERED LOVE in the 13.30 is four from five over fences and has already claimed a Grade 1 at Leopardstown, while Jack Kennedy also has a perfect record on board.
I also fancy UN DE SCEAUX to claim a third Ryanair – and ninth Grade 1 – in the 14.50.
He’s the best horse in the race by a distance and his Cheltenham record speaks volumes.
THE PUNTER: TOM CLEE
We got our first win on the board yesterday, though we’ve still got some catching up to do.
SAM SPINNER has very good form in deep ground, which bodes well with rain forecast overnight, and has got better and better as the term has progressed.
He ran impressively in the Long Walk Hurdle, which is a good pointer for the Stayers’ Hurdle (15.30), and is tough and genuine. He should take a lead and stay there, so I’m trusting him with £4 on the nose.
Despite carrying top weight, PENDRA has strong form in heavy going and will handle the big field in the 17.30.
This 10-year-old gelding loves Cheltenham, finishing runner-up in this race last year, and, with Derek O’Connor in the saddle, can go one better this time out for trainer Charlie Longsdon and owner JP McManus.
I’m backing him £2 each-way with another couple of quid on the each-way double.