Timeform Shortlist: Cheltenham Festival, Wednesday March 14

The Champion Chase is the feature race from Cheltenham on Wednesday
The Champion Chase is the feature race from Cheltenham on Wednesday
Join today

Timeform's free Shortlist comes from Cheltenham and the second day of the 2018 Festival on Wednesday.

March 14 Shortlist CHELTENHAM 2.jpg

1.30 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (Baring Bingham) (Grade 1) (1) 2m5f26y

Timeform Top Rated:
165P 12. SAMCRO Gordon Elliott J. W. Kennedy
164p 11. NEXT DESTINATION W. P. Mullins R. Walsh
160p 3. BLACK OP Tom George Noel Fehily

Analyst's Verdict:
Samcro has passed every test to date with flying colours and should prove tough to beat once again. Fellow Irish raiders Next Destination and Duc des Genievres, who chased home the selection in the Deloitte, look sure to be involved in the battle for minor honours, with Black Op clear pick of the home team.


2.10 RSA Insurance Novices' Chase (Grade 1) (1) 3m80y

Timeform Top Rated:
175 10. PRESENTING PERCY Patrick G. Kelly Davy Russell
173p 9. MONALEE Henry de Bromhead Noel Fehily
172p 1. AL BOUM PHOTO W. P. Mullins R. Walsh

Analyst's Verdict:
The Irish have a very strong hand here with both Presenting Percy and Monalee arriving on the back of career-best efforts in deep races. The former's length second to Gold Cup hopeful Our Duke shades him the vote, with Al Boum Photo and Ballyoptic others to note.


2.50 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (1) 2m5f26y

Timeform Top Rated:
168 8. VOIX DU REVE W. P. Mullins D. J. Mullins
167 2. WILLIAM HENRY Nicky Henderson James Bowen (3)
166+ 10. MOUNT MEWS Ruth Jefferson Brian Hughes

Analyst's Verdict:
In a typically-competitive renewal, it could be worth chancing Voix du Reve, who looked very likely to land the Fred Winter here 2 years ago (travelling best when fell last) and may have bounced after an encouraging return at Leopardstown in December. William Henry is feared most after his Lanzarote victory last time, while Mount Mews, Topofthegame and Max Dynamite also command plenty of respect.


3.30 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) (1) 1m7f199y

Timeform Top Rated:
188p 1. ALTIOR Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville
187+ 4. DOUVAN W. P. Mullins R. Walsh
180+ 6. MIN W. P. Mullins P. Townend

Analyst's Verdict:
Altior looked as good as ever when returning from wind surgery to beat Politologue in the Game Spirit and can extend his unbeaten chase record to 8 if none the worse for a late injury scare. Douvan would be more than capable of mixing it with Nicky Henderson's charge at his best, but he hasn't been seen since a tame run in this race last year and a bigger threat may emerge from stablemate Min, even though Ruby Walsh sides with the former.


4.10 Glenfarclas Chase (Cross Country) (2) 3¾m37y

Timeform Top Rated:
177 11. THE LAST SAMURI Kim Bailey David Bass
171 5. CAUSE OF CAUSES Gordon Elliott Mr J. J. Codd
166§ 12. TIGER ROLL Gordon Elliott Keith Donoghue

Analyst's Verdict:
To say that Cause of Causes comes alive at this meeting would be a gross understatement and, following last year's ready win in this race, he is fancied to overcome concerns about the ground and make it a remarkable fourth Festival win in a row. The Last Samuri is the pick at the weights so is a huge threat if taking to this discipline at the first time of asking, with Josies Orders perhaps the pick of the Enda Bolger trio.


4.50 Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (1) 2m87y

Timeform Top Rated:
151 22. ERAGON DE CHANAY Gary Moore Joshua Moore
150p 6. ESPRIT DE SOMOZA Nick Williams Lizzie Kelly (3)
149p 4. ACT OF VALOUR Paul Nicholls A. P. Heskin

Analyst's Verdict:
Lisp shaped very well when third in the Victor Ludorum at Haydock last time, and would have gone close but for a late blunder. He appeals as the sort to excel in a big-field handicap scenario such as this, and remains capable of better for a yard that does well with its juveniles. However, the list of dangers is extensive, headed by Act of Valour, Nube Negra and The King of May.


5.30 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Standard Open National Hunt Flat) (Grade 1) (1) 2m87y

Timeform Top Rated:
140 21. ACEY MILAN Anthony Honeyball Aidan Coleman
137 1. BLACKBOW W. P. Mullins Mr P. W. Mullins
135 12. RHINESTONE Joseph Patrick O'Brien Barry Geraghty

Analyst's Verdict:
Plenty of unknown quantities as usual, but the one that makes most appeal is Anthony Honeyball's progressive 4-y-o Acey Milan, who is the pick on form and should relish the stiff finish. It often pays to follow Willie Mullins, the leading trainer in this race with 8 wins, with Blackbow and Tornado Flyer making most appeal of his quintet.


Shortlist key.png ArticleStripBanner26-MyTFTools1.png


Join today

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles