I'm certain Gordon Elliott's Cheltenham Festival hero will be perfectly wound-up for this awesome head-to-head | The Sun
THREE days of racing from Cheltenham get under way on ITV4on Friday afternoon – and how good it is to be back at the home of jumps!
The big Paddy Power Gold Cup is the highlight on Saturday and the Greatwood Hurdle looks a cracker on Sunday
However, it would be stretching it to suggest the four races today are the greatest events ever run at the home of the Festival, but they set a puzzle.
I would suspect that, for many, seeing Delta Work and Galvin go head to head once again in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase will be the highlight.
It’s a tough call between the Gordon Elliott-trained pair over the near three-and-three-quarter-mile trip, but I’ll side with the dual Festival Cross Country hero DELTA WORK (2.55).
He ran well enough when third to Minella Indo at Punchestown in October and he is still only 10 going on 11.
That should have put him spot on for this event and he has to be in at the finish under Keith Donoghue.
Down the weights it’s not impossible for a return to form for Back On The Lash who is very well handicapped now.
ITV coverage gets under with a handicap chase over two miles.
Most of these will find soft ground testing them as there aren’t many mudlovers in here.
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This 10-1 chance looks incredibly interesting on debut for red-hot trainers
For that reason I will take a chance with top weight DO YOUR JOB (1.45) for Lucinda Russell and Derek Fox.
He’s down to 140 now which gives him a chance on ratings, but his recent form needs to improve after a move from the Michael Scudamore stable.
The drop in trip is interesting and I’ll risk him each-way in a difficult betting heat.
Up in class for the Grade 2 novices’ chase over two miles and it’s not a field to get that excited about.
Mighty Tom is the best in on ratings but I’ll chance JPR ONE (2.20) for Joe Tizzard and jockey Brendan Powell.
My tip won a little race over fences at Newton Abbot last time but had been good over hurdles at Aintree in April.
He promised much as a young horse and maybe still has more to come with time.
Finally a Grade 2 novices’ hurdle over two miles and five furlongs.
It’s hard to get away from CAPTAIN TEAGUE (3.30) for the champion trainer Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden.
He looked good and still green when scoring in a Grade 2 at Chepstow first time out and will stay this trip no problem. He can outclass this field. Good luck!
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