Peace And Co - 13:30 Cheltenham
Nicky Henderson comes here with three strong juveniles as he attempts to win this race for the sixth time. Hargam arrives on the back of an easy victory at Musselburgh last month, while Top Notch has made short work of some fairly useful fields so far. Both sit in the shadow of Peace And Co, however. Few announcements this season were quite as spectacular as his thrashing of Starchitect (fourth in Wednesday's Fred Winter from a mark of 133) at Doncaster on his British debut. Peace And Co then overcame a fiddly test here on Trials Day, winning despite a steady pace. He lives on his nerves a little, so the likely faster pace here can only suit and his form claims are outstanding. The biggest danger may be Beltor, who has taken his fairly useful Flat form to new levels over hurdles, winning the Adonis at Kempton impressively by five lengths from All Yours (Fred Winter fifth) last time.
Value At Risk - 14:40 Cheltenham
There is a notion, which has been borne out so far, that the Irish novices are stronger this year. In general, it's probably true, but in this particular race British hope Value At Risk offers better value than the likes of Black Hercules, No More Heroes or Martello Tower, none of which would be among Ireland's best.
Value At Risk himself started in Ireland, reaching a very smart level in bumpers (third in Punchestown's Champion event) for Philip Fenton before moving to Dan Skelton. Everything Skelton has done with him since would suggest that he's seen as the best to pass through that up-and-coming yard to date. He was sent off favourite against Foryourinformation (useful) and Jack Frost (well touted) at Newbury on his hurdling debut and routed them both, before he was backed as if defeat were out of the question on Trials Day. As it turned out, Ordo Ab Chao got the better of him on the day, though Value At Risk ran as though undone by the steady pace and ready for this sort of test. He's certainly bred for it, by Kayf Tara and related to Battlecry among others, so we think Value At Risk can provide the first of what we're sure will be many big-race winners for Dan Skelton.
Holywell - 15:20 Cheltenham
We wouldn't claim to have the key to this year's Gold Cup, but we think we can see the value. The likes of Many Clouds and Road To Riches appear to have reached their correct price, while too many unknowns remain over Bobs Worth and Djakadam to be confident of them being overpriced. There will come a point at which Silviniaco Conti, the outstanding candidate on form, becomes too big to resist, but in the meantime side with Holywell. This dual Festival handicap winner has had a typically low-key build up, but looked back to his best with blinkers re-applied when winning last time out at Kelso in fine style. The Gold Cup is the race he's been waiting for, both literally and figuratively, and we can see Holywell completing a very different Festival hat-trick to that achieved by Bobs Worth when he won the 2013 Gold Cup.
Timeform UK SmartPlays
All at Cheltenham
Back Peace And Co in the Triumph Hurdle
Back Value At Risk in the Spa Novices' Hurdle
Back Holywell in the Gold Cup