J P McManus Holds Strong Hand in Cheltenham Handicaps
Owner J P McManus is sure to play a significant part in many of the handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival in two weeks time as several of his horses appear to have been laid out for certain races.
Garde Champetre is sure to be a warm order to land a hattrick of victories in the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase ( Cross Country Chase ) despite having to shoulder top weight of 11s 12lb. As short as 7/4, William Hill, Paddy Power, Boylesports and Victor Chandler are a top price 9/4.
The novice Quantitativeeasing has several entries but off a rating of 139 the 10s 10lb the horse has been set to carry in the Coral Cup may turn out to be too tempting. The 16/1 with William Hill is a stand out price but the 12/1 ( with a run ) available with Bet365 may be a safer proposition.
Sunnyhillboy is no bigger than 10/1 for the Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase on the Thursday but the horse has several entries and although connections are leaning towards this event the 7 year old will struggle to get a run off 10s 10lb.
The Noel Meade trained Jered, eighth behind Punjabi in last years Champion Hurdle, may turn out to be J P’s main hope. 14/1 is freely available but the horse also has an entry in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challange Cup the following day.
Ainama, eighth behind Go Native in last years’ William Hill.com Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, looks to have an outstanding chance in the Pertemps Final off a rating of 139. William Hill are a best price 11/1 behind ante-post favourite Alfie Sherrin ( 6/1 ).
With Get Me Out of Here and Bellvano likely to stick to the novice events J P’s Kandari could be the interesting one in the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle. Fifth in the race last year behind American Trilogy the ex french gelding was not seen out again until running a promising race at Leopardstown last week. If able to get a run off the allocated 10s Kandari is sure to run a big race and the 20/1 available with Coral and William Hill could be outstanding value on the day.
The final race of the festival the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challange Cup looks an ideal opportunity for Song of Songs to get off the mark for the season. James Fanshawe’s eight year old should just make the cut for the race and if run on good ground J P has every chance of ending the festival on a winning note. Song of Songs is currently a general 14/1 shot.