Katie Walsh: Honeysuckle is simply the best
The Betway ambassador previews the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival 2022 and makes her picks for each race on the card.
It doesn’t feel like five minutes ago that I was writing my first blog of the season and here we are, writing the first of the week at Cheltenham. I’m excited to be back in England at Cheltenham, which is the pinnacle of the jumps season. We’ve had a great season but it’s all winds up to these four days at Prestbury Park.
We’re going to have some highs and we’re going to have some lows, by word, we’re going to have some racing, some stories and some entertainment this week. Buckle up!
Dysart Dynamo is my selection in the Supreme. He’s class and very straight forward and I think that the fact Sir Gerhard has gone to the Ballymore gives him an even bigger chance. He’s always been highly thought of, and I think it’ll be 1-0 to Ireland after race one.
The Arkle isn’t as strong as it has been in previous years, but Riviere D’etel has been grand this season. She gets the mares’ allowance, which will make a huge difference at this level. She’s tough, game and jumps for fun, which might be the sticking point for Blue Lord, who I just don’t think jumps slick enough yet.
Vintage Clouds won the Ultima last year and he had a nice prep run last time out. He’s got no weight on his back, thanks to Frodon keeping all the weights down, and loves the course. He won the race last year, so we know he operates around there, and he could just go close again.
We’ve all spoken about Honeysuckle in great depth over the past couple of seasons, and there isn’t much more you can say about her. She’s simply the best and I hope she proves that by winning a second Champion Hurdle.
Rachael missed out on the electric atmosphere last year when she won it, but I hope she gets a second bite of the cherry this year, with the crowds undoubtedly going wild if they come home in front. And they should, as I say, she’s simply the best.
The Mares’ race doesn’t look as one sided as it has in some years; it’s wide open. I haven’t been in love with the way that Telmesomethinggirl has gone through this season, but she’s clearly been trained for the race.
She’s worth of being taken on though and there are some good mares in this field, including Stormy Ireland .
Mrs Milner , who won at the Festival last year, is another that may have gone under the radar slightly.
I would love to see Sea Sessions win the Boodles for Ross and all of the yard. We’re all super excited to be heading over with a horse who has a grand chance of finishing in the prize money.
She’s done nothing wrong all season and Ross has reported that she’s travelled over well and has pleased him. Look, it’s a hard race to win and the hardest festival to win at, but we’re going over with a chance and that’s what we’re looking forward to.
Jamie Codd joined the Betway Twitter Space on Sunday evening and he seemed happy enough to be on Run Wild Fred in the National Hunt Chase.
There’s only seven runners in it this year, but it’s a very classy affair. Run Wild Fred has done nothing wrong this season and has bags of experience and I think he’ll probably give punters a winning favourite in the last race.
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