Weekend racing review: Cheltenham and Punchestown
Chad Yeomans reveals his standout performers from the weekend, including one winner who it it would be no surprise to see go well in the National.
It was great to see Happy Diva win the Gold Cup for Kerry Lee at Cheltenham on Saturday.
It was a tremendous race and those given great rides filled out the first three places.
Kerry Lee is still very underrated as a trainer and she’s shown on numerous occasions that, if she’s given the ammunition, she can really get the best out of a horse.
Talking of good rides, Robbie Power gave West Approach an absolute peach to land the staying handicap. It would be of no surprise to see him go well in the Grand National.
Thyme Hill won the rescheduled Ballymore Hurdle and is one to keep on the right side of. I can see him running in the Betway Challow Hurdle at Newbury in December before being freshened up with the ultimate target the Ballymore Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
It was great to see Faugheen win a Beginners Chase at Punchestown, but I do wonder how high he can go, given his age. It would be great if he could win a Graded chase for his connections.
Willie Mullins held all the aces in the Morgiana Hurdle, but his odds-on favourite Klassical Dream was the beaten horse after the young and improving Saldier took the race in impressive fashion.
They’ll both improve for the run, but I do think that the former is being trained for one race only and we’ll see him in a different light at Cheltenham come March.
I wasn’t particularly impressed with any of the trial races on Sunday and don’t think they’ll be yielding any Festival successes.
The honourable mentions go to two jockeys this weekend.
Jonjo O’Neill Jr gave Duc De Beauchene a beautiful ride in the opener at Cheltenham on Sunday and, in the Greatwood Hurdle, Tom Bellamy showed his class when timing Harambe’s run to perfection.
Ones to watch
This weekend looks set to pitch Altior against Cyrname at Ascot, and it’s going to be a race to savour.
I’d confidently say that Altior will get the better of his opponent and he is the one to be on.
Visit Betway's horse racing betting page.