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Irish Examiner - Racing - - CHELTENHAM PREVIEW 2017 - Tommy Lyons Rac­ing Cor­re­spon­dent

Tues­day value

Crack Mome 12-1, Supreme Novices’ Hur­dle: If Melon lives up his home rep­u­ta­tion, he may well pro­vide Wil­lie Mullins with an­other suc­cess in the Fes­ti­val opener, but the race looks more open than in re­cent years, and the sta­ble has claims with three other run­ners:

Bunk Off Early, Ci­laos Emery and Crack Mome.

The last­named also had a con­sid­er­able rep­u­ta­tion prior to mak­ing his de­but, in Clon­mel, and duly obliged, but was a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ing when beaten next time. How­ever, that ef­fort can be for­given as the but the test­ing ground was against him, and much bet­ter can be ex­pected on pre­dicted good-tosoft go­ing to­mor­row. As big as 16-1, he looks a de­cent bet in an open race.

Wed­nes­day value

Cause Of Causes 4-1, Cross Coun­try Chase: Dou­van, like Al­tior, will be the first name on most dock­ets on day two, but pun­ters search­ing for a cor­ner­stone to their each-way mul­ti­ples should look no fur­ther than Cause Of Causes, in the Cross Coun­try Chase. A win­ner at each of the last two Cheltenham Fes­ti­vals, he caught the eye on his pre­vi­ous run on the cross­coun­try course here, and has since been back to fine-tune his tech­nique and grow his af­fil­i­a­tion with the ob­sta­cles. At around the 11-2 mark, a big run look­ing as­sured, and can up­set long- odds favourite Cant­low, who sports the same colours.

Thurs­day value

Snow Fal­con 16-1, Stay­ers’ Hur­dle: Favourite Unowhatimean­harry is seek­ing a ninth straight vic­tory and, along the way, has proven him­self the best of the Bri­tish stay­ing hur­dlers.

While this hasn’t been the best of races for Ir­ish raiders, the stan­dard he sets is far from in­sur­mount­able, and Snow Fal­con and Shaneshill can give him plenty to think about. Shaneshill beat Snow Fal­con when they met at Gowran, and has a fine, if frus­trat­ing, record at this meet­ing, hav­ing fin­ished run­ner-up in all three runs here. How­ever, Snow Fal­con has po­ten­tial to im­prove as a stayer, and was still go­ing well when fall­ing three out in a race won by Unowhatimean­harry in Novem­ber, at New­bury. A stiff fin­ish seems to suit Noel Meade’s geld­ing and, hav­ing fin­ished fifth in the Nep­tune Novices’ Hur­dle on his only pre­vi­ous run here, the track holds no fears. At 16-1, he rep­re­sents real each-way value.

Fri­day value

Monalee 9-1, Al­bert Bartlett Novices’ Hur­dle:

It seems likely Monalee will take on old ad­ver­sary Death Duty in the Fri­day’s Al­bert Bartlett Novices’ Hur­dle and, while he has some­thing to find on their pre­vi­ous meet­ing, when he was beaten al­most four lengths while in re­ceipt of 3lbs, he is a geld­ing with real scope for im­prove­ment, and his most re­cent out­ing, at Clon­mel, was very pleasing on the eye.

Per­haps Death Duty will al­ways prove su­pe­rior, but this is an­other fine prospect and dou­ble-fig­ure odds of­fer each­way value for the Henry De Brom­head- trained run­ner.

Johnny Burke on Very Much So, left, holds off Nina Car­berry on Snow Fal­con to win The Goffs Land Rover Bumper at Punchestown. Snow Fal­con is a tasty 16/1 for Thurs­day’s Stay­ers’ Hur­dle. Pic­ture: INPHO/Mor­gan Treacy

2015 Cross-Coun­try Chase win­ner Cause of Causes can re­peat the feat on Wed­nes­day.

Crack Mome: Bet­ter ground should suit him

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