Jane Mangan’s William Hill blog: Won’t be feeling Grey if Dawning wins

Jane Mangan’s William Hill blog: Won’t be feeling Grey if Dawning wins

Cheltenham, Thursday

The Turners (1.30pm) has developed into quite a competitive race, but I’ve been with GREY DAWNING all the way through and I’m not abandoning him now. He would have beaten Ginny’s Destiny at Cheltenham in December had he not made a bad error at the second last fence and he can prove he’s a superior horse here. Facile Vega is fascinating up in trip, but has disappointed me all season, and for that reason he needs to go and do it before I believe in him.

The Pertemps (2.10pm) looks very tricky so I’ll give you two that I like. The first is ICARE ALLEN who was third in last year’s Galway Hurdle and was a real eyecatcher last time in a qualifier at Aintree. There’s more to come off a mark of 142 and I like his chances.

The other is GABBYS CROSS. He’s settling much better now he’s an older horse and the run at Punchestown last time should have left him spot on for a big run here. He doesn’t have to drop in last anymore which is a massive benefit to his chances.

I can see Michael O’Leary presenting his wife with the trophy after the Ryanair Chase (2.50pm) because I’m in the CONFLATED camp. He has contested the three best chases in Ireland this year despite not staying three miles and was of course third in last year’s Gold Cup – despite not really getting up that hill. He now gets his ideal conditions and it’s a big vote of confidence that Jack Kennedy rides him.

Many think TEAHUPOO should be back to defend his Stayers’ Hurdle (3.30pm) crown and while he didn’t get the job done 12 months ago, I expect him to make amends now under different tactics. Every time he’s had a break of 58 days or more, he’s won and that’s happened eight times.

The one at an each-way price is FLOORING PORTER. He’s contesting his fourth Stayers’ Hurdle, having won it twice in 2021 and 2022 and finished a solid fourth last year having endured a poor preparation for the race. He shouldn’t be forgotten, and he showed earlier in the season at the track over fences that he doesn’t need to make the running. Tactics will be crucial here.

The Plate (4.10pm) is another tough handicap puzzle to solve. The one I came down on is ARCTIC BRESIL for Rachael Blackmore and Henry de Bromhead. His form is patchy over fences, but, at his best, he’s well-handicapped off a mark of 135. If the money comes for him, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go well. Rachael has picked him of the De Bromhead trio which might be a tip in itself.

I’m looking forward to the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (4.50pm) as we look to have three, if not more, very talented mares in it. BRIGHTERDAYSAHEAD is the apple of Gordon Elliott’s eye and it’s hard to ignore how positive he’s been about her in the build-up. Jade De Grugy and Dysart Enos look to have plenty of ability, but if Brighterdaysahead is as good as they say she is, she’ll win this.

INOTHEWAYURTHINKIN has been the talking horse for the Kim Muir (5.30pm) for some time and I can see why. He was on the coattails of the runaway Arkle winner, Gaelic Warrior, as well as the third in the race, Il Etait Temps, in a Grade One at Limerick over Christmas which looks really strong form in the context of this race. He ran okay at the Dublin Racing Festival, but this has surely been the plan for quite some time, and while he’s got top-weight, I think he’ll go very well under the master amateur.

The other one I like the look of is WHERE IT ALL BEGAN. He bolted up in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown last time and will relish the rain-softened ground, so could go well at a nice price each-way.

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13 Mar 2024



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