Hermes Allen one of Paul's best chances of the week
Fancies Greaneteen to be placed in Champion Chase
Captain Teague's work has been very good ahead of Champion Bumper
Superboost! Paul to train one or more winners today - now 3/1!
Paul Nicholls' Ditcheat Diary - Cheltenham Special Day 2
One of my best chances of the week
13:30 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle - Hermes Allen
He showed next to nothing at home when he joined us and surprised me when he bolted up on his debut at Stratford. He has quickly developed into a top class novice, landing the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury last time in tremendous style on attritional ground. The form of that race has been well franked since then.
Hermes Allen is unbeaten over hurdles, looks fab, worked stylishly on Saturday morning, can handle any ground and the trip is not an issue as he will stay three miles in due course. I'd say he is one of my best chances of the week.
Keeps improving but has it all to do here
14:50 Coral Cup - Red Risk
He surprised me a bit when he won at Newbury late in November off a mark of 136 before running a cracking race when he was just chinned in a photo finish in the Lanzarote at Kempton on deep ground.
Red Risk keeps improving but needs to improve again because he is quite exposed now and probably has it all to do off a stiff looking handicap mark of 147.
Much fitter now and I can see him being placed
15:30 Champion Chase - Greaneteen
I couldn't be happier with Greaneteen who is much sharper now after a below par run at Newbury a month ago when I left him under cooked. I think you can put a line through that run when he was too fresh and the ground was quicker than he likes.
Greaneteen pleased me in an away day at Lambourn recently, is much fitter going to Cheltenham and will appreciate some ease in the ground. He ran very well when finishing a close fourth in the race two years ago and I can see him being placed again.
Best when fresh and is going nicely at home
16:50 Grand Annual - Thyme White
He's talented on his day as he showed when winning easily at Ascot in October but he is not the most consistent and never got involved back at the same track next time in November.
He is definitely at his best when fresh so I've given him the winter off and he is going nicely at home now though he doesn't want the ground too soft so that is a concern.
All class and his work has been very good
17:30 Champion Bumper - Captain Teague
He is a beautiful horse, all class and won his Point-to-Point impressively in Ireland on very soft ground before joining us. He looked smart when landing his bumper comfortably at Plumpton just before Christmas and has earned a shot at the Cheltenham bumper.
His work has been very good, he looks great, and he is sure to benefit from the experience of running in the Champion bumper. I can't wait to see him over hurdles next season.
Best Chance: 13:30 - Hermes Allen.
"He's unbeaten over hurdles and has a live chance in a strong race."
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