Cheltenham Festival 2016 news: Charmix and Many Clouds on Trials Day duty
David Metcalf | January 27, 2016
Neptune test for Charmix on Festival Trials Day
Trainer Harry Fry today confirmed his exciting prospect Charmix as an intended runner in what promises to be a fascinating renewal of the Grade 2 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day, Saturday, January 30th.
The gelding has won two of his three starts over the obstacles, and was most impressive hwen slamming Big Chief Benny by 17 lengths last time out at Newbury.
Fry said: “The plan is for Charmix to go to Cheltenham on Saturday. We considered going for the Tolworth but his last run at Newbury was a step up in trip and that was his most impressive performance.
“We thought we would keep stepping him up in trip as he is a three mile point-to-pointer and Saturday looks the right race for him. It is obviously a hugely competitive race, but we know he acts well in testing conditions and it will be interesting to see how he gets on.”
Aintree ace Many Clouds on course for Djakadam clash
Grand National hero Many Clouds is set to take on Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Djakadam at the track on Saturday, as he bids to land back-to-back runnings of the Cotswold Chase, which is seen as a trial for the Prestbury Park Festival’s blue ribbon event.
Oliver Sherwood trained nine-year-old Many Clouds is with 6/1 Coral for a repeat success, and 33/1 for Gold Cup glory in March.
Sherwood is delighted with Many Clouds’ current well-being, and the gelding goes into the contest on the back of a cracking four length second to leading Gold Cup hope Don Poli at Aintree when attempting to give the subsequent Lexus Chase winner 5lb.
Djakadam, Coral’s current 7/2 market for the Gold Cup on the final day of the Festival on March 18th, is 2/5 to capture Saturday’s big prize for all-conquering Irish trainer Willie Mullins.
Twisty favouring JLT for Bristol De Mai
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies is leaning towards a crack at the JLT Novices’ Chase for Bristol De Mai, despite giving him two other entries at the Cheltenham Festival, and Coral make the gelding their 10/1 third favourite for the 2m 4f contest on Thursday, March 17th.
The five-year-old booked his place at the four-day spectacular when landing his his third success over fences in runaway style at Haydock on Saturday.
Bristol De Mai, who is owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, also holds entries in the 2m Arkle Trophy and 3m RSA Chase.
Twiston-Davies said: “He’s got entries in all three of the novice chases. Hopefully it will be the JLT he goes for. If it’s really soft, maybe the Arkle. I know there’s Douvan, but a single horse can go wrong.”
Thistlecrack odds-on for Cleeve Hurdle
Thistlecrack is 8/11 favourite with Coral to take victory in the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday, January 30th, and cement his position as the leading contender to claims the World Hurdle at the Festival come March.
The Colin Tizzard trained eight year-old is unbeaten in two starts this season, and 11/4 for Wolrd Hurdle glory on March 17th following an easy eight length success over Reve De Sivola in the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot when last seen in action.
Impressive Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle scorer Camping Ground is 7/4 for Saturday’s race on Festival Trials Day at Presbury Park, with the Paul Nichols trained classy chaser Ptit Zig next best in on 7/1 as he reverts to the smaller obstacles after falling in his last two outings over fences.