Weekend review & Cheltenham thoughts

The Cheltenham Festival is fast approaching & we're starting to see the shape of things to come. won impressively on Saturday at AscotHidden Cyclone was the only of the rivals to really challenge & even at that, finished up a country mile behind Gary Moore's contender. Inconsistencies over fences & tiredness hindered Cyclone's efforts, however it would of took something special to catch Sire De Grugy, who goes as short as 11/4 behind Sprinter Sacre for the Champion Chase. Hidden cyclone will be aimed towards either the Queen Mother or the Ryanair. He will undoubtedly prefer the better ground then. 

Thomas Crapper looked handy when turning over upswing & top gamble in November of last year at Cheltenham. Paul Nicholls' Irish Saintpatiently followed The Sky Farmer who reluctantly set the pace. After the third from home, Irish Saint took the lead & pressed for home. An impressive win made to look easy, from what looked to be a competitive handicap. Irish Saint could be geared towards the Betfair hurdle next month, currently sitting at an attractive price of 10/1. 

On Sunday Ruby Walsh opted to ride Willie Mullins' Vicky De L'Oasis over stable mate, Gitane Du Berlais. By default, Paul Townend got the latter ride. Once the duo had seen off the likes of Romantic Fashion & Dantes Firth, Walsh attempted to challenge. Contrary to Ruby's decision to ride Vicky De L'Oasis, Townend had a magnificent round & Gitane Du Berlais had enough in the tank to see off challenges from his stable mate.  

Ciaran Judge

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