Through The Card: Cheltenham, Thursday April 20

There is jumps racing from Cheltenham on Thursday
There is jumps racing from Cheltenham on Thursday

Timeform take you through the card at Cheltenham on Thursday.

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14:05 - VERDANA BLUE (7) excelled herself upped in grade at the Cheltenham Festival, travelling strongly into contention as the field entered the straight and keeping on well to be beaten just three and a quarter lengths. That form gives her the edge over Dusky Legend on Timeform ratings and, with the possibility of more to come after just four starts over obstacles, Verdana Blue is fancied to resume winning ways and can continue the fine form of trainer Nicky Henderson.

14:40 - ANTARTICA DE THAIX (1) looked the pick on form and didn't need to improve to complete the hat-trick at Wincanton last time. It was still hard not to be impressed with the manner of her victory (jumping accurately and making all), though, and she has certainly made great strides in this first season chasing. She looks the one to beat despite top-weight in this second leg of the Placepot and can take her winning sequence to four with a defeat of Briery Belle.

15:15 - MIDNIGHT TOUR (4) returned to form with a good sixth in the Mares' Hurdle here last time, shuffled back before two-out and rallying well in the circumstances to get within 10 lengths of the very smart winner. She certainly showed enough to suggest she is up to winning a handicap from a mark of 135 and looks worth a small bet this afternoon. Meanwhile, THE ORGANIST (2) shaped better than of late when seventh in that same event at the Festival and is also considered for Placepot purposes, having run well at this meeting 12 months ago (fell when clear at the last).

15:50 - VIRAK (1) was disappointing when only fifth on his most recent outing at Ascot, but he has been given plenty of time to recover from those exertions and is beginning to look potentially very well-treated from a mark 13 lb lower than when second at Aintree last April. He is fancied to regain the winning thread in this fourth leg of the Placepot and is joined by COOLOGUE (2), who has now dropped to a mark just 1 lb higher than when successful on his reappearance here in October.

16:20 - SOLSTICE STAR (4) returned to form with a good second on his most recent outing at Uttoxeter, travelling smoothly in the leaders' slipstream throughout and keeping on well to be beaten just two and a quarter lengths. The front three pulled some 16 lengths clear of the fourth that day and, while a 3 lb rise in the weights makes life tougher here, Solstice Star can usually be relied upon to run his race at Prestbury Park (two wins and a second from five starts) and looks the one to beat.

16:55 - BOA ISLAND (2) looked slightly fortunate to regain the winning thread at Chepstow 12 days ago (reduced advantage when left clear at the last), but that still represented the best effort of his short career to date and he doesn't appear too harshly treated from just 7 lb higher in the weights. Indeed, there could yet be more to come now wearing cheekpieces for the first time and Boa Island is taken to follow up under Jack Sherwood. TEN SIXTY (5) was an impressive winner of his most recent outing at Newbury and is also considered in this concluding leg of the Placepot.

17:30 - GRANIA O'MALLEY (4) was a close second on her Southwell debut last month and could be capable of going one better now. Alan King's Pique Rock had possible excuses at Bangor and remains with potential, while Mark's Folly is a likely type on paper for a yard which gets first-time-out winners in this sphere.

Recommendation:

Win back MIDNIGHT TOUR in the 15:15 at Cheltenham

Placepot permutation:

14:05 - 7
14:40 - 1
15:15 - 2, 4
15:50 - 1, 2
16:25 - 4
17:00 - 2, 5

8 lines
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