Jane Mangan’s William Hill blog: Ballyburn will win, it’s a Fact

Jane Mangan’s William Hill blog: Ballyburn will win, it’s a Fact

Cheltenham, Wednesday

I find it hard to see past BALLYBURN in the Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle (1.30pm) and I expect him to win. Hopefully the eight runners stand their ground as I like PREDATORS GOLD each-way against him. I think if he had settled better at the Dublin Racing Festival he would have gone very close to beating Dancing City and I expect him to chase the favourite home here.

A small field in the Brown Advisory (2.10pm) with FACT TO FILE looking a very worthy favourite. I have respect for Stay Away Fay and Monty’s Star, but I’m not sure they’ll have the class to trouble Fact To File and I think he’ll be too good. He looks to have the pace to have a run in the Turners – an asset the other two don’t have and I wouldn’t put anyone off doubling him up with Ballyburn in the opener.

I’ve narrowed it down to two in the Coral Cup (2.50pm). The first is BUILT BY BALLYMORE for Martin Brassil who is a master at getting horses primed for the Cheltenham Festival. He’s won his last two races by 12 lengths and while you can pick holes in the form, the manner in which he has won has really caught the eye.

The other I’ll have a few quid on is JIGORO. He was no match for Tullyhill at Punchestown last time but he’s been keeping good company and he looks quite unexposed in handicaps. He’s only a five year-old so I suspect there could be plenty more to come and you’ve always got to respect the combination of Jack Kennedy and Gordon Elliott in handicaps at this meeting.

EL FABIOLO will absolutely relish the fact there is plenty of pace in the Champion Chase (3.30pm) with Gentleman De Mee and Edwardstone declared. He bids to become the 8th Arkle winner in the last 14 years to follow up in this race and I find it hard to get away from him. People question his jumping but I don’t really buy it – he’s very much the one to beat.

CAPTAIN GUINNESS could be the each-way bet as he’ll be ridden for a place and finished second in the race 12 months ago.

The Grand Annual (4.50pm) looks fiercely competitive and the one I’ve come down on is SAINT ROI. The 2022 County Hurdle winner as well as a Grade One-winning novice chaser, he has been competing in much better races than this. I thought his run last time at Fairyhouse was eye-catching and I think he might still be quite well-handicapped.

The Champion Bumper (5.30pm) looks seriously competitive and I thought the fact Jack Kennedy has picked JALON D’OUDAIRIES is a tip in itself. I was very impressed with him the last day and he looks the best bet towards the head of the market.

At a bigger price, FLEUR AU FUSIL could be a sneaky one. She won at the Dublin Racing Festival nicely and she’s won both of her starts so far. She might just outrun her odds and I’ll be backing her each-way. Expect her to make the running and play catch me if you can!

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12 Mar 2024



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