Cheltenham Festival 2019 - What Did We Learn Over Christmas ?

Cheltenham Festival 2019 – What Did We Learn Over Christmas ?

Well a busy Christmas period here and over in Ireland always starts to give us a few pointers for the festival and the picture for the Cheltenham Festival 2019 is starting to take shape.

Kempton Christmas Meeting Results

The two-day Kempton christmas meeting this year was marked by the fact that only one favourite won over the two days, and so probably threw up more questions than answers for the Festival. The unbeaten 
Buveur D’Air was beaten by stablemate, and one of my horses to follow, Verdana Blue. Although not the kind of performance you would want to see from the Champion Hurdle favourite, I am sure he will be back stronger for the run. Henderson has since confirmed that Verdana Blue will be heading to the Champion Hurdle, but she will not be the one for me at Cheltenham.

Don’t forget to check out my National Hunt Lay System for the jumps here – National Hunt Jumps Lay System

In the King George VI I had backed Thistlecrack against the favourite Might Bite and was confident that he would do the business as they turned in, only to see Clan Des Obeaux cruise up and take the race. I can’t have him for the Gold Cup though and this has thrown the market wide open.

It was a similar story on Day 2 at Kempton with Kalashnikov getting turned over at 4/6f in the Wayward Lad Novice Chase

Altior showed how dominant he is and won the Desert Orchid Chase by 19 lengths, to go to 16 races unbeaten and demonstrate why there will be little to worry about come the Queen Mother Chase in March.

Over at Chepstow, Elegant Escape went off the 3/1 favourite for the Welsh National and put in an impressive round of jumping to win. However, he is no Gold Cup winner and needs to improve by around 12lb to have any hope of competing in the big one. 

At Newbury on Saturday we saw the exciting Novice Champ win the Challow Hurdle, although he will no doubt end up in the Ballymore on Day 2 at the Festival, he certainly looks to have the pace to drop to 2 miles.

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Irish Meeting Results Over Christmas

On Boxing Day the highlight at Leopardstown was the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase over 2m 1f and it was won impressively by Le Richebourg who had been dropped back in trip and looks like a real contender for The Arkle. 

A couple of surprise results were to see Willie Mullins hotpots Getabird and Footpad both get turned over. However the way Aramon won the Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown by 10 lengths was very impressive, with a lovely burst of speed, and it would be no surprise to see him head to the Supreme Novices at the Festival. 

On Friday Apple’s Jade made it three wins from three for the season by taking the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown and I hope she heads for the Mares’ Hurdle at the Festival, where she can make amends for this year’s poor run. 

Today at Leopardstown threw up more surprises, none more so than to see last seasons talking horse Samcro disappoint in the Ryanair Hurdle, finishing back in 5th as the 6/4f. The winner Sharjah proved his beating of Faugheen at Punchestown in November was no fluke and the way he was driven clear from the last to beat some decent rivals puts him in the frame for the Champion Hurdle in March.

Don’t forget to check out my National Hunt Lay System for the jumps here – National Hunt Jumps Lay System

Willie Mullins had 5 winners today at Leopardstown and Limerick, so the yard is flying and with Gordon Elliott also hitting form, the Irish will have a strong hand by the time the Cheltenham Festival 2019 arrives.

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  • Rich
  • a couple of months ago
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About the Author

Rich has been involved in horse racing for the majority of his life. Born in Yorkshire he was brought up around the Northern tracks and has been a Professional punter, form student and race analyst for the past 20 years. Rich's passion for racing and betting is infectious and his innovation in profitable racing systems around backing, laying, dutching and trading on horse racing will help anyone develop a profitable betting strategy. He is responsible for The Scout Tips in the Daily Express and generates the ratings for use in the Daily Star racing pages. He set up RacingProfits.net in 2009 as his personal horse racing blog and also the Managing Director of Racing Profits Guides Ltd running a network of 14 racecourse guide websites and 75 associated social media channels. He is based at the RPG offices at Lincoln University. You could not find a better mentor to help you make money from your betting on horse racing in the UK.

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