So 2019 is now in full effect and the countdown to Cheltenham is well under way. All jumps fans up and down the country and over the irish sea are marking off the days till the magical moment in march when the first roar is heard all around the Cotswolds.
Now unlike last year we seem to be heading in to this festival week with a few favourites leaving us wondering if they warrant the short prices they will undoubtably go of at. With such horses as footpad now having 2 runs and only managing second at best to the enigma of samcro and what race he can run.
Last year the Irish came in their thousands as always but this time it was the superstar Samcro they was chanting about and for good reason, having gone all season unbeaten including at the festival only blemish being a fall at 3 last at punchestown late April but this year it seems no one can figure whats gone on and why. With no win from 3 starts now can he handle the pace of the champion hurdle distance? Is he more a starter now? Would it be worth trying him over fences? Only Gordon Elliott knows it would seem at the moment!
THE CHAMP IS HERE!
Speaking of Cheltenham champion hurdle route 2 time winner Buveur D’air who put samcro firmly in his place at Newcastle in the Fighting fifth solidifying his place as favourite to make it 3 Champion hurdle victories in a row, then just a month later on boxing day loses out to stable companion Verdana Blue going down just by a short head as 1/4 favourite. Can he bounce back from this and fight of what seems to be another Mullins filly in Laurina breathing down his neck in the ratings and ready to take on the boys and claim and vital 7lbs.
Now last year the gold cup qas dominated by two greats of the game but this year neither winner Native River or runner up Might Bite have been able to land a mark. Both have run the in the Betfair chase one by the legend Bristol de Mai but it was Might Bite finishing last that stood out as Native River plugged on well for 2nd. With the cobwebs blowen off alot was expected of both but again it was Native River who was the only one to come out of the race with some respect finishing 3rd behind Clan des obeaux and the impressive Thistlecrack. Prestening percy whos yet to run will come over believing he has a solid chance of taking the Gold cup back to Ireland.
SEVENTEEN & COUNTING
It would seem the only certainties in life at the moment are taxes, death and Alitor running clear of any one who lines up with him. Likely to go unbeaten upto and beyond the festival and laying down a marker for becoming one of national hunts true greats!
Bring it on we say and dont forget to catch us on our youtubechannel were we discuss the festival and more.