I think today was the first time I have taken extended place odds (6 about Simply The Betts) and not have my selection finish one place out of the money. I hope you too bet him with Skybet.
Long term readers who had 20/1 about Defi Du Seuil for this year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase ought to get a wee bit back tomorrow when he goes for a repeat win in the Shloer Chase.
He has a tougher task than last November, facing the 2020 Arkle winner, and Rouge Vif who romped home like a much improved horse last time – three weeks ago here at Cheltenham.
Arkle winner Put The Kettle on has won twice here and is improving. She gets 10lbs from Defi too, and given how soft the ground has gone, must be Defi’s main danger. Her trainer De Bromhead had been on the cold list until Holymacapony won today (Saturday).
I mention the ground because the connections of Rouge Vif feel that he is at his best on goodish ground. Jockeys today were saying it was quite hard work at Cheltenham even before the rain brought a going change (soft from good to soft). There is only light rain forecast between now and this race tomorrow, so it might not get worse. Still it’s hard enough to beat a multiple grade one winner when you have everything going for you, and Rouge Vif does not.
The ground won’t bother Defi at all; it ought to help as his stamina is not in doubt. We just need to hope that his Queen Mother Champion Chase run in March was simply an off day.
The 1.50 would just have been a watching race for me until I saw the price available about Yala Enki. 7/1 is too big given that his yard is far and away in the best form versus the other trainers in this. He has a wee bit of class about him (7th of 16 in last year’s Gold Cup) and the advantage of one of the best staying chase jockeys riding in Bryony Frost. The ground will be fine too.
Big River has run well at two festivals, but was pulled up in this last year, has a dicky heart, and doesn’t always jump cleanly. Six of his seven wins came at Kelso (Ayr the other). West Approach has forgotten how to win, and Discorama might also be on the way to that sort of badge too. Seems to run well often but it’s two years since he has won.
The improver Captain Drake could prove his main rival in receipt of a stone, with the excellent young Brian Carver taking off 5lbs more. But at 7/1 Yala Enki EW looks like a solid bet.
Good luck. Usual warning applies: don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.
Yala Enki EW 7/1. Bet365 1.50 Cheltenham
Defi Du Seuil win only 15/8 Skybet 2.15 Cheltenham
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