Wed­nes­day’s Ir­ish raiders

Irish Examiner - Racing - - CHELTENHAM PREVIEW 2017 - Jordan McCarthy

Nep­tune In­vest­ment Man­age­ment Novices’ Hur­dle

Bac­ardys made the frame at all three Spring Fes­ti­vals last year, in­clud­ing when third here in the Cham­pion Bumper. He has shaped like more of a stayer since en­ter­ing the hur­dling sphere.

Wil­lie Mullins’ run­ner stayed on strongly to win a Grade One over two and a quar­ter miles at Leop­ard­stown last month, and he should rel­ish this longer trip of two miles and five fur­longs. In­vi­ta­tion Only is held in high re­gard and can have a say in pro­ceed­ings.

Best of the Ir­ish: Bac­ardys Al­ter­na­tive: In­vi­ta­tion Only

RSA Chase

Acapella Bour­geois put in a mighty im­pres­sive round of jump­ing to claim a facile vic­tory at Na­van last time out and that must surely mark him out as a key con­tender for the trav­el­ling con­tin­gent.

In an open look­ing con­test, he could well hit the tar­get. Any sig­nif­i­cant rain­fall would aid his chances.

Al­pha Des Obeaux ran a su­per race be­hind Thistle­crack in last year’s Stay­ers’ Hur­dle. He would thrive on bet­ter ground, and has pro­duced some promis­ing ef­forts this sea­son. He has had his prob­lems this sea­son, how­ever, and he’ll need to be spot on if he is to fea­ture.

Best of the Ir­ish: Acapella Bour­geois

Al­ter­na­tive: Al­pha Des Obeaux

Coral Cup Hur­dle

Tomb­stone has been run­ning well in graded com­pany and he runs here off a nice mark. It would be dis­ap­point­ing if he couldn’t take ad­van­tage of this op­por­tu­nity, be­fore he goes chas­ing. Pere­grine Run won a Grade Two over course and dis­tance this term and, to­wards the bot­tom of the weights, de­serves mas­sive re­spect Au­to­mated is an­other who needs to be con­sid­ered.

Best of the Ir­ish: Tomb­stone Al­ter­na­tive: Pere­grine Run

Bet­way Queen Mother Cham­pion Chase

One of the best horses in train­ing, Dou­van, should make all the head­lines in the fea­ture on day two, where the Ir­ish go in search of a first win since 2011. Wil­lie Mullins’ charge is un­beaten since join­ing the Clo­sut­ton team in Novem­ber 2014 and he looks bombproof. He has won at the last two Cheltenham Fes­ti­vals and, bar­ring a mishap, looks al­most cer­tain to make it a hat-trick.

Spe­cial Tiara was third in this last year. If he can re­pro­duce that ef­fort, then he could sneak a place again. Best of the Ir­ish: Dou­van Al­ter­na­tive: Spe­cial Tiara

Glen­far­clas Cross Coun­try

Enda Bol­ger holds the key to this event, and Cant­low cer­tainly sets the stan­dard. He was a win­ner over course and dis­tance in De­cem­ber, and ran a cred­i­ble race in sec­ond when con­ced­ing over a stone to the win­ner here last time out. Back at level weights, he is ca­pa­ble of go­ing one bet­ter this time around.

The im­prov­ing Au­vergnat could well make the frame. He got back to win­ning ways at Punchestown after un­seat­ing here in Jan­uary. He should have plenty more to of­fer in this sphere. Bless The Wings ran a great race in de­feat last year. He also fin­ished run­ner-up to Cant­low at the track ear­lier this sea­son. He holds mas­sive claims at a track he loves.

Cause Of Causes, a mul­ti­ple fes­ti­val win­ner, is an in­trigu­ing ad­di­tion to this divi­sion and should step up on his fifth place fin­ish here in Jan­uary.

Best of the Ir­ish: Cant­low

(above)

Al­ter­na­tive: Auger­nat

Fred Win­ter Ju­ve­nile Hand­i­cap Hur­dle

Di­naria Des Obeaux would ap­pear to be our best chance. She won eas­ily on her Ir­ish de­but be­fore plac­ing in the Grade One Spring Ju­ve­nile Hur­dle, which was ar­guably the strong­est race run in this divi­sion so far this sea­son. She won a Grade Three last month, fol­low­ing a stew­ards’ en­quiry, and looks ca­pa­ble of scor­ing here.

Prospec­tus stayed on well to win at Fairy­house the last day and could run a big race.

Long Call holds a prom­i­nent posi- tion in the bet­ting fol­low­ing his sec­ond place fin­ish be­hind sub­se­quent Ado­nis win­ner Master Blueyes and it would be no sur­prise if he were to make the frame.

Best of the Ir­ish: Di­naria Des Obeaux

Al­ter­na­tive: Prospec­tus

Weather­bys Cham­pion Bumper

Carter McKay won in em­phatic style at Naas. He rates the best of the Ir­ish bumper horses judg­ing by that per­for­mance.

Bal­ly­ward was an­other no­table win­ner for the Mullins camp on de­but. He shaped like an ex­cit­ing prospect and makes plenty of ap­peal.

Some­day had a hard race when win­ning first time out this sea­son, but if none the worse for those ex­er­tions, could make the frame.

The four-year-old De­buchet could find a few too good here but he was a very im­pres­sive win­ner last time out.

Best of the Ir­ish: Carter McKay Al­ter­na­tive: Bal­ly­ward

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