14:50 Cheltenham Wed 13 March 2019
Grade 1 winner over hurdles and returned to form with a better run at Naas last time after a poor run of form towards the back end of last year. Has a bit to prove at this sort of trip but has won here and handicap mark isn't insurmountable.
Produced a career best effort when winning a Fontwell Grade 2 last time. Not the strongest race for the Grade and 2lb higher here but he's run well on each of his three starts since wind surgery. Needs another chunk of improvement to land this.
Excellent fourth in this race last year but he's disappointed in two starts since. Has his first start since wind surgery and has run several of his better races here including a novice hurdle success; not one to rule out if he can bounce back.
He's two from seven over hurdles since switched to this yard, his most recent success a 3m Clonmel win when odds on. Beaten favourite in follow up bid at Punchestown when making jumping errors; needs first-time cheekpieces to sharpen him up.
Impressive Triumph winner last year but has gone backwards in five starts since, four this season. Doesn't shape like a step back up in trip will help but yard capable of readying one for this meeting and booking of Russell could be significant.
3m Grade 1 winner at Punchestown in 2015. Lost his way at the end of last season and showed little over fences when last of four at Gowran last month but he's interesting on his previous run when only 1½L down to Presenting Percy over hurdles.
Aborted his chase career despite three wins including a course success and ran well in the Cleeve Hurdle on trials day. Ran okay on first start since wind surgery but he's better over further than this and opposable on balance.
Won when odds on at Navan (2m5f) in Grade 2 company last season but struggled when upped in class towards the end of last season. Wouldn't appear to be among the trainer's leading chances but plenty of rain would help his cause.
Looked potentially smart last season but hasn't been in the same form this time around, tailed off at Leopardstown and beaten by lesser fancied stablemate Tiger Roll and Navan last time. Testing conditions would suit and he's relatively low mileage.
Recorded a belated hat-trick with Wetherby win on seasonal return and has run well in three starts since without getting his head in front. 3m winner on his only start here but tends to need to lead to be at his best and that won't be easy in this.
Showed a game attitude when winning this race last year from 5lb lower and while he's disappointed subsequently, he came into last year's race in similar form. While Walsh prefers Uradel, he's not out of this if he can bounce back.
Champion Bumper winner and fourth in the Supreme in 2017. Has bounced back to form in this sphere after a disappointing chase career. Doesn't look well-handicapped after his 6lb rise for his Uttoxeter success in January and others preferred.
Benefited from a strong gallop when held up at Ascot last time, hanging on gamely to make it four wins from his last six start. 5lb higher in a deeper race leaves him with questions to answer but yard in flying form and he's low mileage.
Showed some smart form in maiden hurdles and not beaten all that far by leading Supreme chance Klassical Dream when dropped in to Grade 1 class last time. Handicapper hasn't taken a chance with the opening mark but entirely unexposed.
Hasn't won since a maiden hurdle success nearly two years ago but has run some fair races in big fields including a seventh in this last year. Handicapper not really relenting though; has second start since a wind op.
Justified favouritism in a novice hurdle at the Showcase meeting and while he's gone up 7lb for that, he won with enough in hand to suggest he's still well-handicapped. Softer going is the big question mark after several wins on a sound surface.
Won each of her first four career starts including three course wins but has finished beaten favourite on three subsequent efforts and pulled up at Sandown on seasonal return. Can refuse to settle and has questions to answer at present.
Quickly aborted his chase career after falling here in October but got back on track with a better effort at Newbury last time out when only narrowly denied. 4lb higher here but still feasibly handicapped for a yard in form.
Won in better style than the winning margin suggested at Chepstow last time when justifying favouritism. This is clearly tougher and 8lb higher now but the step up in trip looks certain to suit. Could run well.
Won the novice handicap chase here two years ago and has acquitted himself well on each of his three course starts. Not at his best at trips short of his best recently and lurks on a dangerous handicap mark.
Has won twice this season at similar trips but hasn't been at his best in three career starts around here. 5lb rise for his latest success means others are probably better handicapped.
Narrowly denied in the Cesarewitch on the Flat and gives the impression he could well be on a nice mark in this sphere. Left with too much to do last time at Leopardstown but it was an eye-catching run and he's the pick of Walsh. Back up in trip.
Showed promise last season and has gone from strength to strength this campaign, rattling off four in a row. Showed a game attitude when getting up last time and only nudged up 3lb for that success; going the right way.
Won her first two starts over hurdles for this yard and only narrowly denied having looked like the winner at Leopardstown last time (3m). Handicapper hasn't missed her but could go well at big odds. Wears first-time tongue-tie.
Only has one win since 2016. Shaped well enough on her return but well beaten last time and the handicapper is refusing to relent, despite him finishing well beaten. Back in trip and others have more obvious claims.
Last Year's Winner
|T: W P MullinsJ: M P Walsh|
Uradel (13/2), Vision Des Flos (9/1), Brio Conti (10/1), Apple's Shakira (10/1), Cracking Smart (12/1), Ballyandy (14/1), Canardier (14/1), Tully East (16/1), Highest Sun (16/1), Killultagh Vic (16/1), Dancing On My Own (16/1), Farclas (16/1), Erick Le Rouge (16/1), Lil Rockerfeller (20/1), Scarpeta (20/1), Bleu Berry (25/1), Knight In Dubai (25/1), Calie Du Mesnil (25/1), Joke Dancer (25/1), William Henry (28/1), Wicklow Brave (28/1), Oscar Knight (33/1), Diamond Cauchois (33/1), Burbank (40/1), Monbeg Theatre (66/1), Eragon De Chanay (66/1)
- Tully East
- Bold Plan
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