Through The Card: Cheltenham, Wednesday March 15

It's day two of the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday
It's day two of the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday
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Timeform take you through the card for day two of the Cheltenham Festival, providing recommended bets and a Placepot permutation.

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13:30 - NEON WOLF (11) has quicker ground to deal with here than when running out a very impressive winner of the Rossington Main at Haydock last time but looks a potentially top-drawer novice and is definitely one to keep on the right side of. Bacardys should appreciate the step up to this trip and is respected, but it wouldn't be a bit surprise to see WILLOUGHBY COURT (14) also get involved. Ben Pauling's runner was an impressive winner of a Grade 2 novice at Warwick when last seen (a race which is working out well) and should be well suited by this stiffer track and slightly longer trip.

14:10 - Might Bite looks the leading staying novice chaser this season but this will be a much different test than when he was in the process of bolting up in the Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton over Christmas. He will face stiff competition for the lead here from the likes of Acapella Bourgeois and Marinero, and it remains to be seen whether Might Bite will relish this kind of race, which can turn in to a real slog, even on quick ground. ALPHA DES OBEAUX (2) bled last time and also has something to prove, but his clear second to Thistlecrack in last year's World Hurdle is hard to ignore as a piece of form and he could be capable of substantially more over fences at this sort of trip if all is well. There are some doubts about whether WHISPER (11) will be completely suited by this sort of test, too, given that his best hurdles form over three miles came at Aintree, but he should be thereabouts on form, nonetheless.

14:50 - Probably one of the toughest races of the week. Tombstone has some eye-catching form (including a fourth in last season's Supreme, which has worked out very well) but does look one to try and get beaten given the openness of this race and his popularity in the market. PEREGRINE RUN (15) clearly wasn't suited by the soft ground at Warwick on his last start, and based on the pick of his form this season (which is undoubtedly his beating of Wholestone in a Grade 2 here in November) he is on a fair mark. HARGAM (20) (third in the 2015 Triumph) has looked increasingly laboured this season but has dropped to a competitive mark as a result and first-time cheekpieces could easily spark him back to life.

15:30 - A bit easier to solve than the preceding leg. DOUVAN (1) already looks the best chaser in training and probably has even more to offer. He won't have to be at his best to win this race, and can make it three from three at the Festival, adding to wins in the Supreme and the Arkle.

16:10 - CANTLOW (7) has been the latest in a long line of horses to be revitalised by the switch to Enda Bolger and this code of racing, and he was a clear-cut winner over this C&D in December. He was beaten here in January but still ran really well, having been hampered at at a crucial time and only being beaten by one he was giving lumps of weight away to. He should be hard to beat if things go more his way this time around.

16:50 - Another very tricky race to crack. This will be much different to the races that NIETZSCHE (15) has been contesting in the North recently, but he has been progressing well despite shaping as though he'll be much more at home in a strongly run race, which this certainly will be. Paul Nicholls has won the last two renewals of this race, so his first-string DOLOS (5) is worthy of plenty of respect. Dolos hasn't been that convincing on his last two starts, but he showed plenty of promise in the early season, winning a Chepstow juvenile by seven lengths before placing in a French Grade 1, and will be a player if returning to that sort of form. PROJECT BLUEBOOK (2) was a little disappointing when a beaten favourite at Musselburgh in February, but had looked an exciting prospect prior to that and is worth another chance following a break.

17:30 - Carter McKay was impressive an Naas last time (though his awkward tail carriage is a little off-putting if you are backing him at short odds) and is the choice of Patrick Mullins, so should go well. It was hard not to be taken by Cause Toujours' win at Warwick on his debut, and he could be a threat.


Recommendation:

Win back Cantlow in the 16:10 at Cheltenham

Placepot permutation:

13:30 - 11, 14
14:10 - 2, 11
14:50 - 15, 20
15:30 - 1
16:10 - 7
16:50 - 2, 5, 15

24 lines

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