Daryl Carter Tips

Cheltenham Festival Focus: 16/1 advised Sir Gino is now banker material

Daryl Carter.
Daryl Carter was over the moon with Sir Gino

It's week 12 of Daryl Carter's Cheltenham Festival Focus column, and he looks back on a bonanza week of action but sees no reason to get involved in anything else just yet...

  • Sir Gino is the best Juvenile I may have ever seen

  • Where is the form to say Jeriko can win the Supreme?

  • Don't fall for Jonbon again

  • Watch Coaching Carter Episode 2

Festival Focus recent column runners

It's been a good week for the Cheltenham Festival Focus followers. The unfortunate news that Allaho will miss the festival now means that our 14/115.00 selection, Envoi Allen, has moved into 4/15.00 second favourite for the Ryanair behind the ground dependant Bandbrige.

Sir Gino - tipped at 16/117.00 in week one - bolted up at Cheltenham (discussed below) and is now 6/42.50 favourite for the Triumph Hurdle. News broke that Irish Point will head to the Stayers Hurdle, and he is now into 4/15.00 (from 14/115.00) or 7/24.50 NRMB and second favourite.

Jeriko Du Reponet (discussed below) remained unbeaten at Doncaster but has eased to 8/19.00 for the Supreme Novice. Under Control 50/151.00 ran second to Ashroe Diamond and is now 33/134.00 for the Mares Hurdle.

Sir Gino one of the best Juveniles I've ever seen

On Saturday January 27, Sir Gino bridled his way to victory in the Triumph Hurdle Juvenile Trial at Cheltenham by 10 lengths over Burdett Road and looked like a sensational prospect.

This was a spectacular overall performance. He jumped far better than he had at Kempton on his British debut, travelled powerfully through the race, sat in second off the leader who set a fair tempo and finished under minimal pressure to win going away at the line.

The raw ability to potentially be a top-class performer was evident at Kempton, but this performance proved he was in a league of his own, at least on this side of the Irish Sea.

Sir Gino was a flip-flopping favourite with Burdett Road throughout the day, but moments before they set off, Burdett Road took favouritism with punters. However, the dreams many had for the popular Burdett Road of winning the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival were dashed in under four minutes and 14 seconds.

The former Royal Ascot winner was left trailing at the finish line as Sir Gino made his previous turn of foot look like nothing but a wheel spin as he knighted himself as the new Triumph Hurdle favourite with the Betfair Sportsbook at 6/42.50.

The form looks solid, but for the second time, Sir Gino was in his own parish. The time stood well with the competitive races on the card to add to his outstanding Festival claims.

From the first hurdle to the finishing line, Sir Gino was 3.5 lengths quicker than Lossiemouth's Grade 2 International victory.

His final 2m circuit was around 4.5 lengths slower, suggesting they went quicker early on, and he was around five lengths slower from two out to the finishing line.

Sir Gino was half a second quicker than Lossiemouth from the back of the last to the line.

The circuit time was no more than average on good to soft ground (slightly slower ground according to times) for all hurdle races on the card.

Still, this outstanding Juvenile achieved his feat under hand and heels riding, never asking for maximum effort and never seeing a stick drawn - the same as Lossiemouth, it must be said.

However, the bare facts are that he has beaten a horse rated 101 on the flat and 137 over hurdles by ten lengths on the steel. Coupled with the time figure, we are looking at a Juvenile who has surpassed the 150 mark on his third-lifetime start. RPR ratings will not be published until Monday, but I expect this to be given a conservative 152, but I have it as a 153 performance.

If I am correct, that would have been a performance good enough to win all Triumph Hurdle races in the last 10 years other than the 2015 renewal (Peace And Co 159 trained by Nicky Henderson) and six pounds ahead of the previous six winners.

Again, if I am correct, Sir Gino is probably Britian's best hurdler outside of Constitution Hill - not such wild claims when 11-year-old Not So Sleepy (rated 158) is the second best according to BHA ratings in the 2m division.

Sir Gino is a serious horse, there's no doubt about that, and finding the chinks in his armour on the back of this performance is nearly impossible, particularly given this came over the festival course and distance. He rates banker material for me in the Triumph Hurdle.

As for Burdett Road, he is now out to 12/113.00. While that might be tempting for some, he could be any price to turn the form around for me.

He jumped better here than he did previously at this venue and had no excuses. I am sure - as one Twitter follower commented - that people will be sucked in now he is an "each-way" price, but I firmly feel the win part is off the table, which means he is around 9/43.25 for two places, and that doesn't seem a price worth taking seven weeks in advance.

At Doncaster, Juvenile Wodhooh continued her unbeaten streak over hurdles to make it five from five and beat Newbury rival Max Of Stars again. She is now 20/121.00 for the Triumph Hurdle. However, after writing the above, she could be any price for that race, and it wouldn't interest me, but a lovely horse nonetheless.

Will the real Jeriko please stand up - or has he

Jeriko Du Reponet scrambled home at Doncaster in the Grade 2 Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle to almost identically follow in the footsteps of 2022 winner, Jonbon. He never looked comfortable on this quicker surface, even with the slow gallop.

Jeriko Du Reponet is a good jumper, but in the main here, he was sloppy and to the left at a couple, and Mark Walsh had to throw the kitchen sink at him to get the job done. He was desperately trying to hang left, and if not for the presence of the eventual third Fiercely Proud, he would have likely hung this race away and moved violently across the track.

There's no need to go into deep with the time figures here. This was the third slowly run affair Jeriko Du Reponet has been involved in. In fact, it was the slowest of all three 2m races on the card.

With that, you would usually take comfort in the fact that he should at least be quicker three out to the line than those other races, but that's not the case. Ashroe Dimond was identical, and he was only four lengths quicker than the Juvenile Wodhooh, who won on the bridle.

This must go down as a huge disappointment, particularly with two lengths covering the first three home and only five back to The Kalooki Kid. The runner-up Lump Sum had no more than 120-125-rated form before this run, and Ben Pauling's Fiercely Proud only scrapped home at Taunton over Ryan's Rocket a 50/151.00 chance there again, providing 120 form.

Good horses, yes, but not Supreme Novice hopes, and Ben Pauling certainly wouldn't have Fiercely Proud held in the same regard as 25/126.00 Supreme Novice hope Tellherthename.

Despite the victory for Jeriko Du Reponet, this is undoubtedly a backwards step, at least on the form book, and he is yet to register any form in the mid-high 130s, let alone the 150 plus it typically takes to win a Supreme Novice.

Stop living and dying by your ante-post bet

I saw cries from people on Twitter suggesting a "stronger run race will suit him much better". I also noticed comments saying, "This race will do him good as he had to fight".

To both of those, I would say a stronger run race could also find him out. There's also no evidence for those claims. And good horses get the job done regardless of the pace of the race, perhaps like he did here, but typically far more comfortably.

When looking for Cheltenham Festival winners, we are looking for top-class horses, the best of the best. You can't look at Sir Gino and Jeriko Du Reponet and put them in the same bracket. They're stratosphere's apart.

One is a festival winner, and the other could easily be an average 140-rated horse. The comments from Nicky Henderson at Newbury when he said, "I hope the ante-post prices are right because I have ten more at home" are starting to ring true.

Will Jeriko Du Reponet put up a performance worthy of his price in the Supreme Novice Hurdle betting market - now 8/19.00 - no, because he will head straight there.

I beg people to stop talking through their pockets, have an open mind, and not be swayed by your summer ante-post dockets.

The bare facts are that Jeriko Du Reponet has zero form in the book to suggest he is a Supreme winner and no electric time figures. Even if this year is a below-par Supreme Novice Hurdle, he hasn't even run up to 140, and many others have.

At the same time, he is still unbeaten and now heads straight to the festival that leaves possibilities, albeit very faint, in my mind. We have him in the book at 12/113.00, and that's fine for now, but if the Supreme was tomorrow, I couldn't back him with any confidence unless something came to light about this performance.

The Novice Hurdle scene continued over at Cheltenham, and we saw Gidleigh Park remain unbeaten and take the scalp of Lucky Place in the SSS Super Alloy Novices' Hurdle Grade 2.

This race may read as a Baring Bingham trial, but it's proven more of a pointer for Albert Bartlett. Gidleigh Park is 14/115.00 for the 3m contest and 9/110.00 for the Baring Bingham.

He is a lovely horse and will make a smashing chaser, but he lacks a turn of foot, evidenced by the move Lucky Palace was able to make coming to the final hurdle. I would only have Gidleigh Park down as a potential festival winner on this evidence if it's the 3m race. The circuit time was average, but the finishing effort was prolonged. Not for me.

Jade De Grugy oh so tempting at 4/15.00 - top price

After an effortless victory at Fairyhouse, I was mega impressed with Jade De Grugy, who is now 4/15.00 for the Mares Novice Hurdle. She cruised through a steadily run race and arrived at the second last around 23 lengths behind the following Maiden Hurdle winner, Western Diego.

However, she showed a bright turn of foot to make up significant ground from the back of the second last to the line. She held far too much closing speed for her rivals and put them to bed effortlessly. She is now top-priced 4/15.00 with the Betfair Sportsbook, and her form stands up well.

She will head to the festival, and the Mares Novice looks like a three-horse race. I was tempted to put her up today, but I think she will be a fair price on the day.

West goes right

Last Wednesday at Fairyouse on January 24, Mirazur West shed his Maiden tag with an 11-length victory. He looks like a big talent. He lit himself up jumping the first but was in a different league to these rivals.

The issue with Ferny Hollow's brother is that he jumps out to the right, and it's pretty pronounced. He did here, at the second, third and fourth, which is a good hurdle to look back at with the behind-camera view. The second-last and final flight also show how much he is off to his right.

Undoubtedly, he is a massive tallent with a huge engine, but he will lose so much ground if heading to the Supreme for which he is 14/115.00.

At Doncaster on Saturday January 27, Kerryhill won the Grade 2 River Ron Novices Hurdle by seven lengths in excellent style. He has not been entered at Cheltenham. Runner-up Welcom To Cartries was a clear second and a useful horse, but his Albert Bartlett price of 33/134.00 doesn't appeal. He could be a force over fences next year, though.

Ginny needs Destiny for Turners victory

Ginny's Destiny followed in the footsteps of Stage Star to win the Timeform Novices Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday January 27, jumping soundly on the sharp end of the pace and finishing strongly. This was a good performance, and Paul Nicholls holds him in high regard, suggesting post-race he is every bit as good as Stage Star and will return for the Turners in March, for which he is 9/110.00.

Ginny's Destiny is a good, strong horse who does everything nicely. Still, he is vulnerable to something special - like a Gaelic Warrior or Il Est Francais - so I expect Nicholls will be watching the Irish Arkle with more interest than usual next week. He has every right to have a crack at this.

Ashroe Diamond won the Grade 2 Rose Mares' Hurdle at Doncaster on Saturday January 27 in good style. Compared to stable mate Gala Marceau, who went off odds-on, she was unfavoured in the market but did the job well. Ashroe Diamond is a grand horse placed against the boys and unbeaten against the mares over obstacles. She is worthy of her 4/15.00 for the Mares Hurdle.

It was an excellent performance from Under Control - our 50/151.00 selection for the Mares Hurdle - to finish second, suggesting a move up in distance will suit her well. However, the performance of Lossiemouth an hour later probably put pay to our chances in March in this division. Still, she looks fairly handicapped if remaining on 137 - admittedly, no good for our bet.

Lossiemouth simply stunning in the International

As fans, we all want to see the big clashes. However, the aftermath of Lossiemouth's emphatic victory on Saturday, January 27, in the Grade 2 International Hurdle confirmed that only the fans cared about such things.

Lossiemouth should be taking on Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle 14/115.00, but she will head to the soft option for the Mares Hurdle 4/51.80. That's a shame, but fair enough.

She was brilliant; she did this effortlessly, cruising through an averagely pace-run race and sprinting clear on the bridle. She is top class, and it will take a darn spectacular effort to beat her in March with the move up in distance no issue at all.

Betfair go NRMB on the Stayer's Hurdle

Paisley Park 14/115.00 NRMB is becoming a good yardstick for the Staying Hurdle division. His second-placed effort in the Cleeve Hurdle on Saturday January 27, at Cheltenham was his third in succession to three different rivals.

Here, he was narrowly touched off a head by Grand National winner Noble Yeats, who clung to victory in the dying strides and is now 8/19.00 NRMB.

Along with Noble Yeats, this division saw Monkfish 10/111.00 NRMB thrown into the mix earlier this week with a victory at Gowran Park.

The Stayer's Hurdle division seems like a pick-n-mix at this stage. Every man and their dog wants to have a crack. Still, while Paisley Park is a solid marker, five lengths separated the first six in the Cleeve Hurdle, and it's tough to say any of these would be good enough to win the main event.

I am still firmly in the camp of the young legs of Irish Point 7/24.50 NRMB, who holds pressing claims against his elders with so much untapped potential.

Don't fall for Jonbon all over again

Jonbon fluffed his lines in the Clarence House Chase but still emerged with plenty of credit in defeat to Elixir De Nutz.

This race was riddled with jumping errors from nearly all runners, including the winner, but none more so than Jobon's almost race-ending mistake at four out. He recovered remarkably well to battle on at the finish, only to be headed again inside the final half furlong.

This has always been my worry with Jonbon, and those who have followed me for some time will now see what I have meant for the past 12 months.

Jonbon's biggest asset as a Novice was his foot-perfect jumping, which seems to have gone to pot this year. He is now jumping out to the left, even on a left-handed track, and losing concentration. His engine is sizeable, but not that of his biggest rival, El Fabiolo.

Jonbon's only way of beating El Fabiolo was through his jumping, and this season, that aspect has gone backwards, which is evident here. So how does he bounce back from a hard race like this in seven weeks and turn the form around with El Fabiolo? I don't believe he ever will.

Now, the discussion you will hear in the coming weeks is how well Jonbon did to recover from such an error and be beaten only a neck. To that, imagine if Elixir De Nutz was El Fabiolo and ask yourself what the beaten distance would be because it certainly wouldn't be less than the five lengths Jonbon already has to find with El Fabiolo when jumping soundly.

Capodanno ran out an easy winner of the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday January 27 over The Real Wacker and Novice Stay Away Fay.

It's hard to say too much about this race, and it's unlikely to have much bearing on the Gold Cup. Capadanno only has a Ryanair entry, and he is 10/111.00, but the shorter trip could put too much pressure on his fragile jumping.

While Novice Stay Away Fay fared well, a switch back to the Old Course for the Brown Advisory 6/17.00 would be a concern, and he still would make more appeal for a National Hunt Chase 12/113.00. He is rock solid wherever he goes, though.

We lost Datsalrightgino in the Cotswold Chase. A horse with a very bright future who unfortunately suffered a fatal fall in his first race after a remarkable Newbury Gold Cup win. Thoughts go out to connections at this tough time.

Read Daryl Carter's Sunday Tips Here


Back Salvator Mundi to win the Triumph Hurdle @ 14/115.00 1pt NOW 14/115.00

Back Sir Gino to win the Triumph Hurdle @ 16/117.00 1pt NOW 6/42.50

Back Irish Point to win the Stayers Hurdle @ 14/115.00 1pt NOW 4/15.00

Back Envoi Allen to win the Ryanair @ 14/115.00 1pt win NOW 4/15.00

Back Jeriko Du Reponet to win the Supreme Novice @ 12/113.00 1pt NOW 8/19.00

Back Better Days Ahead to win the Albert Bartlett @ 33/134.00 1pt NOW 66/167.00

Back Indiana Dream to win the Turners Novice Chase @ 10/111.00 1pt

Back Flooring Porter to win the Brown Advisory Novice Chase @ 14/115.00 1pt NOW 25/126.00

Back Mighty Bandit for the Triumph Hurdle @ 8/19.00 1pt win NOW 20/121.00

Back Mystical Power to win the Ballymore @ 25/126.00 1pt win NOW 8/19.00

Back Corbetts Cross to win the National Hunt Chase @ 20/121.00 1pt NOW 7/18.00

Back Mystical Power to win the Supreme Novice Hurdle @ 14/115.00 1pt NOW 7/24.50

Back Grey Dawning to win the Brown Advisory @ 10/111.00 1pt now 7/18.00

Back Under Control to win the Mares Hurdle @ 50/151.00 1pt win now 33/134.00


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