WELL that’s not the start we were looking for on day one of the Festival.
I think most punters were left licking their wounds as the bookies count their profits.
The only positive thing to say about yesterday was that the Guinness tasted good!
Irving never got going in the first race and I think something looked wrong with that horse to be honest.
Dodging Bullets did well to come fourth but that wasn’t good enough for our Yankee bet.
Relying on Hurricane Fly and Quevega to make any money for charity, the former let me down with a disappointing fifth in the Champion Hurdle.
Quevega won for a record sixth time but the bet was already down.
Today is a new day and I’m confident my selections could give Paddy Power a run for his money.
1: RED SHERLOCK 4/1 (Neptune Investment Novice Hurdle): This five-year-old is unbeaten in six starts. He came through his biggest test with flying colours at Cheltenham in January when beating Rathvinden by two and a half lengths with a 29-length gap back to the third horse.
He looks an exciting prospect for top trainer David Pipe.
2: SMAD PLACE 6/1 (RSA Chase): Alan King’s seven-year-old has been placed third twice in the World Hurdle, so we know he performs at Cheltenham. He has won two from three starts over fences, and would be unbeaten but for unseating his jockey when well clear on his debut at Huntingdon. Has run well on soft or fast ground, so has plenty going for him.
3: BIG SCHU 4/1 (The Cross Country Handicap): This race is unique, consisting of 32 banks, rails, ditches, and even a Grand National style fence over almost four miles. Previous good form in this is essential – and Big Shu won the race last year so is the obvious choice.
4: BLACK HERCULES 6/1 (Champion Bumper): Irish trainer Wille Mullins has won this race eight times in recent years, including the last two years with Briar Hill and Champagne Fever. As usual he is mob handed in this race, with three fancied runners. His son Patrick has chosen Black Hercules, and he usually gets first pick of the stable’s rides, so fingers-crossed that this is the winner.