The Betway ambassador reveals her fancies for every race on Thursday at the Cheltenham Festival, including the horse with whom she won the Champion Bumper.
13:30 MARSH NOVICES’ CHASE
The Marsh Chase looks a real cracker on paper. Maybe I’m letting my heart get involved, because I’m starting to like Faugheen’s chances. It would be the story of the day if he were to win.
The reports are that he’s in great form at home and he’s a freak to be at this level at his age. He’s been here and done it and he’ll have that edge in class and experience over most of them.
14:10 PERTEMPS NETWORK FINAL HANDICAP HURDLE
In the Pertemps, I’ve got to side with my old friend Relegate , who gave me such a thrill when we teamed up to win the Champion Bumper a couple of years ago.
She’s class and we know she acts around the track and will love the step up to 3m. She is a Graded performer running in a handicap and was a real eye-catcher last time.
14:50 RYANAIR CHASE
I love A Plus Tard for the Ryanair. Every time I watch his races back, he is so impressive and is obviously still improving. He could be a proper superstar.
I think he’d have gone close if he’d have run in the Betway Champion Chase and this looks a lot easier than that assignment, so you’d have to fancy him under Rachael Blackmore, who is absolutely flying.
15:30 STAYERS’ HURDLE
Again, it’ll be some story if Paisley Park wins the Stayers’ Hurdle, and I think he will.
I can’t see him getting beaten. He’s just the best there is over 3m and it’s the one race at the Festival where one horse can win on a regular basis. All he has to do is jump round and not suffer any problems and he’ll be winning his second title.
16:10 BROWN ADVISORY & MERRIBELLE STABLE PLATE HANDICAP CHASE
The green and gold colours have been successful at the Festival so many times and I think we’ll see another winner for JP McManus as Blazer lines up in the steel plate.
He’s been lightly raced this season but has shaped with promise both times. He’s due a big win and this could be the right race for him under Mark Walsh.
16:50 MARES NOVICE HURDLE
The Mares’ Novice Hurdle is an open-looking affair, but you’ve almost got to stick with Willie Mullins’ horses as his record in this is outstanding.
Despite being beaten last time, Dolcita moved like a good horse and will surely put that experience to good use. She’ll have learned a lot and has a top rider in Puppy [Robbie] Power on her back.
17:30 KIM MUIR CHALLENGE CUP
The last race of the day is a cracker, isn’t it? The Kim Muir is a real stamina test and again, it’s a race that pays to have the better amateurs on board.
Paul Nolan, who doesn’t bring horses over to Cheltenham unless he really thinks they’ll go close, has booked the services of Patrick Mullins for Fitzhenry , and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him staying on up the hill.
He was so unlucky at Leopardstown when he was the winner everywhere bar the line and he can gain compensation on the biggest stage here.