Andy Holding fancies 16-1 chance The Govaness in the Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Six furlongs around his favourite track should prove the optimum conditions for GREYFRAIRSCHORISTER (best price 9/2)
and he can get back on the winning trail following a decent effort away from his happy hunting ground at Kempton last time out. Prior to that useful performance, Giles Bravery’s inmate had scored in tidy fashion for the fifth time on his beloved fibresand surface and from his lovely wide draw out of the kickback in stall 9, he’s a strong fancy to hit the frame at the very least.
Greyfriarschorister - 1pt e/w @ 9/2Lost -2pt
To many punter’s eyes, Vroum Vroum Mag would appear the best of the backable short-priced favourites on day one of the Cheltenham Festival and that may turn out to be the case, but at 11/10 on ground she’s never encountered, there simply has to be an angle in against her. Having walked the course myself yesterday, the ground is certainly no worse than good-to-soft in most places and with the sun and wind drying out the track all the time, THE GOVANESS (best price 16/1)
makes the most appeal as the one most likely to improve for the quickening conditions. Although she was ultimately well beaten by the Mullins hotpot at Ascot last time out, she did travel up well before the combination of heavy ground and the trip counted against her in the latter stages. Better judged on her performance when a head runner-up to Polly Peachum at Sandown the time before, Dr Newland’s charge therefore has to rate a fair value alternative at three times the price as Nicky Henderson’s second favourite. Moreover, the daughter Kayf Tara has shown her liking to today’s course on more than one occasion and with Richard Johnson booked, a big run looks on the cards.
The Govaness - 0.5pt e/w @ 16/1Lost -1pt
The Govaness - 1pt e/w @ 15/2Lost -2pt
BALLYCHORUS (best price 12/1)
may have claimed two valuable handicap chases this season but for falling at the last, and she looks just the type to go well at a decent price providing she can avoid mishap this time around. Coming to win her race when capsizing at the final fence in the Troytown back in November, you would have got big odds on her doing exactly the same next time out in the ultra-competitive Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over the Christmas period. Given a nice confidence booster in a conditions race at Thurles last time out, Mags Mullins’ charge can take advantage of the handy sex allowance she receives on ground that has served her well in the past.
Ballychorus - 0.5pt e/w @ 12/1Lost -1pt
CITY OF ANGKOR WAT (best price 4/1)
bounced back to form in no uncertain terms over tonight’s C&D last time out and he can strike again for the rampant Conor Dore stable. Quite where that performance came from is anyone’s guess, but as the clock pointed towards it being a very useful one for the grade, the son of Elusive City looks a decent bet to repeat the dose from his favoured inside draw.
City Of Angkor Wat - 1pt e/w @ 4/1Placed -0.2pt