Tom looks to ring in a profitable new year with three selections at Cheltenham.
Happy New Year! Moreover, here’s to a more profitable one. We start at Cheltenham and Caspian Caviar winner Village Vic looks to have a super chance of making it 4 from 4 this term, though he may face a little more company up top. I'm keen on Mon Successeur too, who did have a Grade 2 Dipper entry, but both are very well found in the market. Little Jon went off 8/1 for the Caspian Caviar and is 3 points bigger at the time of writing here so should be given serious thought. 1 mistake cost him all chance last time and he’s well worth another go. If there’s one stand out price though it’s that of Thomas Crapper who was entered in the Caspian Caviar but didn’t run. I’m not sure why. His blood was wrong early season but apparently he did a sparkling piece of work pre race. 4lb higher than when keeping on here in March in each of the last 2 years, I fancy this new course may just give him the extra stamina test he needs. His Don Poli form means he’s a well treated horse on his day and the price is too good to turn down. It’s fair to say his best form has come on decent ground in the spring but he is a heavy ground winner and anything that adds to the test over this trip should play to his strengths.
Sybarite is tempting again back at a track he likes and on ground which should ensure a suitable test. He’s a monkey however, and probably best swerved. I think Monbeg Gold could still be well treated but it’s hard to argue he really saw out the trip last time. Anteros has run well here before, splitting Blaklion and Port Melon a year ago. Though that probably flattered him, it highlighted his potential for this trip and he’s well worth another chance this afternoon, only the 2nd time he’s run at this trip in 7 subsequent starts. His last win came on good ground, which is perhaps cause for concern, but he looks worth chancing at the prices. His run on reappearance at Lingfield saw him again shape for 3 miles and I’m willing to forgive him his chase debut. The yard sent out a recent winner and Paddy Brennan looks a notable booking.
We will likely see a better Whisper and Cole Harden than we saw on their respective reappearances at Newbury and both like it here. I do think both prefer better ground though and Bobs Worth is well worth another go over hurdles given how much happier he looked in this sphere at Aintree. He too would prefer better ground but he’s a hardy old stayer and is unbeaten over the smaller obstacles and 5 from 7 here under Barry Geraghty. I fancy this is a sign he’s being aimed at a world hurdle and think he can spring something of a surprise for all he has a fair bit to find on official ratings.