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2.10pm Cheltenham - Walking On Air
I was really impressed with how WALKING ON AIR jumped and travelled to win at Exeter on his most recent start and in doing so, booked his ticket to the Pertemps Final.
Nicky Henderson thought initially that the horse had the ability to make up into a Stayers’ Hurdle candidate, but reaching those lofty heights proved unrealistic at this stage of his career. However, he clearly is starting to get the hang of things, as his jumping has let him down in the past, but he was much more fluent in that department at Exeter - probably the best he had ever been in that regard.
I like his unexposed profile, and I am sure we are yet to see the best of him. He only got a 5lb hike in the weights for his Exeter win which could be lenient and he will look to follow the route of Fingal Bay who won the same race in 2014 before winning the Pertemps Final.
3.30pm Cheltenham - Teahupoo
TEAHUPOO has thrived since tackling longer trips, beating Klassical Dream and Honeysuckle in the Hatton’s Grace, and then when stepped up to an extended 3m in the Galmoy Hurdle in January, he absolutely smashed the opposition, winning by 15 lengths eased down.
The bare form is nothing exciting, but he clearly thrived when upped to that trip, and with the weather forecast as it is, ground conditions could crucially be in his favour. On spring ground it would be a worry, but with a realistic opportunity of Soft/Heavy ground materialising this unexposed stayer looks a real threat and could be one of Gordon Elliott’s strongest chances of the week.
4.10pm Cheltenham - Frero Banbou (Each Way)
FRERO BONBOU takes his chance in the Plate, and he has the potential to be one of the best handicapped horses of the week. Crucially moving up in trip to the extended 2m4f on the New Course looks tailor made for him. He has been crying out for a step up in trip and he can flourish when presented with the demands of this assignment.
He was third in last season’s Grand Annual when looking outpaced for most of the contest, and the Venetia Williams team have got him to Prestbury Park off a 6lb lower mark. Soft ground will be perfect for him and he looks an each-way player.
* Betting odds correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.
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