Top 5 selections for the Cheltenham Festival with Ginger Joe!

cheltenham festival ante poste

With only 10 days to go, Ginger Joe brings you his top 5 selections for the Cheltenham Festival showpiece! You really do not want to miss these as Ginger Joe has an extraordinary
record at the Cheltenham Festival.

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3.05 Wellchild Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (GRADE 1) 19/03/2021

Win Bet:– CHAMP 5/1 BET365

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Dangers:- Al Boum Photo and A Plus Tard

The Cheltenham Gold Cup this year looks set to be a mouthwatering clash of the staying Chasers. AL BOUM PHOTO goes in search of his third Gold Cup, which would emulate the likes of Arkle and Best Mate if he was able to do so. Unfortunately for him the field looks much stronger this year than the previous two and my NAP of the Festival is the very exciting CHAMP, trained by Nicky Henderson. He has a fascinating profile and handles Cheltenham very well, showing a miraculous turn of foot to win the 2020 RSA chase beating ALLAHO and MINELLA INDO.

He had a breathing op following this and nearly took a whole year off before seeing a racetrack again. Much to connections delight he ran a belter in the 2 mile Game Spirit on his comeback which was a very unordinary prep for a staying chaser, however this really looked to have worked in CHAMP’s favour. It blew away the cobwebs of a quiet season, and also showed us how much pace he has when only going down to SCEAU ROYAL, a seasoned grade one 2 mile chaser by a length or two.

He would’ve very much needed this run and will come on leaps and bounds for this. There has often been a question mark surrounding his jumping even though he tends to get the job done. To improve he’s spent this season doing a lot of schooling work with Henrietta Knight which seemed to pay dividends, as he jumped with great enthusiasm and exuberance on his Newbury return. His turn of foot and his staying ability makes him my standout single selection for the entire week at his current price.

AL BOUM PHOTO is going to give his running whilst A PLUS TARD could be there main danger for place purposes, but that is all as I feel CHAMP’s destiny is written in his name!

3.05 Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle (GRADE1) 18/03/2021

Win Bet:- Thyme Hill 7/2 BET365

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Dangers:- Paisley Park and The Storyteller

The Stayers Hurdle is potentially going to bring us the battle of the festival with our selection THYME HILL taking on PAISLEY PARK for the third time this season in a battle which currently stands at one a piece. THYME HILL last year was the unluckiest loser of the festival when finishing fourth in the Albert Bartlett.

However he came out fresh and managed to beat PAISLEY PARK at Newbury by a couple of lengths in a race which was run to suit the the former Champion over our selection. No other horse has managed to beat an on song

PAISLEY PARK but THYME HILL dug in deep to win on the first occasion and was only caught on the line when the pair reopposed each other at Ascot in Heavy ground. PAISLEY PARK tends to hit a few flat spots and this will really play into the strengths of our selection.

At Cheltenham and I fully expect THYME HILL to be crowned champion in what would be a much deserved success! He is rapidly on the rise and is one of my bankers of the festival.

I’d like also like to mention THE STORYTELLER who has an excellent record at Cheltenham, and has been running very well in chase events in Ireland this year. Chasing form generally works out better than hurdle form and the 16/1 on offer shows excellent value for an each way punt.

2.30 Ryanir Chase (GRADE 1) 18/03/2021

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Win Bet:- MIN 6/1 BET365

If it were a case of picking a team captain, MIN would be mine. He has been an extraordinary horse for the Mullins/Ricci partnership and without the sites of a freak called ALTIOR he would’ve won a Supreme Novices hurdle and a Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

He finally got his festival win last year though, when he was crowned Ryanair Champion and he comes back to try and retain his crown and this time around as a 10 year old. He has won a sensational three John Durkan chases and was boarded by a different jockey on each occasion which is quite remarkable in itself and has shown no signs of stopping since.

He was pulled up quite quickly after a poor jump at one of the back fences in the Dublin Chase most recently but he came out of the race well and would’ve done him no harm in his bid to retain his crown. Patrick Mullins said that he was pulled up out of precaution and nothing else so its full steam ahead to Cheltenham.

He has the beating of a few of these previously and it will take some performance to stop an on song MIN. The 6/1 on offer represents huge value in a race where he stands out as the class act, and has much less question marks to answer for in comparison to many of these. He will be extremely hard to pass on the day and is my idea of the winner here!

4.15 Mrs Paddy Power Mares Chase (GRADE 2) 19/03/2021

Win Bet:- ELIMAY 2/1 BET365

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Danger:- Put The Kettle On

We have an excellent new addition to the Cheltenham Festival this year, with the first ever mares chase set to take place – and what a lineup we have been blessed with. We have the 2020 Arkle Chase winner PUT THE KETTLE ON leading the charge, and she will be trying to make it 2 from 2 at Cheltenham.

She steps up to two and a half miles this time around, which is likely to suit her well and she sets a decent standard here.

I do however feel she will find one too good in the shape of standout grey ELIMAY who has gone from strength to strength in each of her chase victories. She probably has the strongest individual piece of form to her name when she pushed Ryanair favourite Allaho all the way to the line when they met in January.

She jumps very well and looks like a straight forward ride, knows her job and still has plenty of value in her at 2/1 favourite. She is in many of my multiples and would go down as my banker horse for the Cheltenham Festival this year. Colreevy looks to be best of the rest but she looks a tricky ride and probably prefers going the other way round.

1.20 Ballymore Novices Hurdle (GRADE1) 17/03/2021

Win Bet:- BOB OLINGER 4/1 BET365

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We start the Wednesday with the hugely progressive 5 year old BOB OLINGER who is set to take his place in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle, a race that has produced some serious superstars of the game and I feel this year we will see another.

I’ve had my eye on him for a while now and he really caught the eye when running down last years bumper winner Ferny Hollow to within a length at Gowran Park in November.

He was given a rating of 147 for that but has since risen to 152 following his impressive win streak since. The heights of his potential are unknown at this point, but there are none that have travelled as smoothly as him this year and he will take all of the beating.

He easily brushed aside Blue Lord out of the Willie Mullins yard, who has been a big talking horse in his own right on the lead up to the festival, which boosts our selections form. His speed times have backed up all of his performances-  and with so much untapped potential left to be seen, it is hard to look past him at this point.

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