VERDANA BLUE is a Great bet.
She’s been in sparkling form in recent weeks with impressive wins at Kempton and Wincanton.
The decent ground is just what she needs and I’m expecting her to stretch her hot streak in the Unibet Greatwood Hurdle.
1.50 CHELTENHAM: Stake a Claim in this hot little novices’ chase.
CLAIMANTAKINFORGAN wasn’t far off the best novice hurdlers last season and he made a winning chase debut at Uttoxeter.
That experience gives him a big edge over several of his main rivals including Defi Du Seuil, Lalor and Pingshou.
My fancy has run well at the last two Cheltenham Festivals so he shouldn’t have any problem with the track. He has the potential to be among this season’s top young chasers.
Dynamite Dollars was also successful on his first try at chasing. He has plenty to find with Claimantakinforgan on their hurdling form.
2.25 CHELTENHAM: SCEAU ROYAL should make up for lost time in the Shloer Chase.
He missed the Cheltenham Festival through injury but his form earlier in the season was good. His only defeat in five starts after switching to fences came at this meeting when failing narrowly to give North Hill Harvey weight.
That form was turned around in some style in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown and Alan King’s ace has the potential to develop into a top two-miler.
Brain Power will get it all together one day but he is proving expensive to follow.
His distant second behind Footpad in the Arkle was the only time he completed the course in his last four runs and that has to be a massive worry.
Le Prezien came good when winning the Grand Annual at the Festival. He had a nice spin when second in the Welsh Champion Hurdle and he’ll expose any fitness weaknesses in Sceau Royal.
Templegate’s TV tips
- 1.50 Cheltenham – Claimantakinforgan
- 2.25 Cheltenham – Sceau Royal
- 2.40 Fontwell – Robert’s Star
- 3.00 Cheltenham – Verdana Blue
- 3.30 Cheltenham – Seddon
2.40 FONTWELL: ROBERT’S STAR is the one to be on in the Sun Racing Southern National.
He always looked likely to do well in chases and he struck when returned to fences in May. The sharp track did him no favours at Stratford last month and the step up in trip is just what he’s been waiting for.
Doing Fine stays really well. He was fourth in the Scottish National and he probably found the 3m1f distance too short when well beaten at Cheltenham last month. The visor he wears for the first time could easily sharpen him up.
Mighty Leader shoulders top weight but the soft ground is more of a worry than his hefty burden.
Wizards Bridge has been successful on his last two visits to this track. He’s sure to do better than when well beaten over hurdles on his seasonal return.
3.00 CHELTENHAM: VERDANA BLUE should make hay while the sun continues to shine.
She is not far off top class on decent ground and she’ll get her conditions today.
Her seven-length defeat of Old Guard at Kempton last month was mighty impressive and heavy downpours didn’t stop her following at Wincanton last Saturday. Nicky Henderson’s mare is climbing the weights but I reckon she’s up to the job.
Western Ryder was a smart novice last season. He wasn’t quite up to the task in Grade 1s but he should make his mark in handicaps.
The ground might be just a touch quick for him over this trip today. In-form pair Le Patriote and Silver Streak both have solid claims.
3.30 CHELTENHAM: SEDDON made my list of horses to follow for this jumps season.
He won well on his bumper debut and he ran a lot better than his final finishing position of 12th in the Champion Bumper at last season Cheltenham Festival.
There was a lot to like about the way he won on his first try at hurdling earlier in the month and that should have knocked the fizz out of him.
Elixir De Nutz ran his best race yet when runner-up at the last meeting at this track. He has plenty of potential and Colin Tizzard has his team in great shape.
Itchy Feet is a perfect two out of two over hurdles and his Kempton defeat of Grand Sancy is decent form. Hs 5lbs penalty makes life a little tricky.
Unbeaten Anytime Will Do is more of a threat.
1.15 The Dellercheckout
1.50 Claimantakinforgan (nb)
2.25 Sceau Royal
3.00 Verdana Blue (treble)
12.25 Silver Sea
12.55 Try Again
1.30 Plus One
2.40 Robert’s Star (nap)
3.15 Sky Full Of Stars