DISCLAIMER: ODDS AND ARTICLE UPDATED 09/03/2019, 16:08.
With the Cheltenham Festival just around the corner, we have tips for each of day one’s seven races.
Al Dancer to win and each-way @ 10/1 - BET NOW
Al Dancer has impressed on all four starts over hurdles, including when winning a valuable handicap contest over an extended 1m7f at Ascot (good-to-soft) last time out. Had previously won a 2m1f handicap hurdle on good going at the December meeting at this venue and can take the opening contest.
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Hardline to win and each-way @ 16/1 - BET NOW
Hardline has gained plenty of experience in a five-race chase career that began with a 15L victory in a small-field, 2m contest on good ground at Fairyhouse last October. Since then the son of Arcadio has competed exclusively in Graded company, including when winning a valuable Grade 1 contest over an extended 2m3f at Limerick (soft) In December. The selection, who followed that up with a good third in a 2m5f Grade 1 at Leopardstown (good) early last month, looks a solid each-way bet in this top-level contest.
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Mister Whitaker to win and each-way @ 10/1 - BET NOW
Mister Whitaker prepped for this valuable staying chase with a decent 26L fourth in a 2m5f handicap chase at Ascot (good-to-soft) in January. The selection had previously shaped as if a step up in distance may suit when finishing a good 11L fourth, having been sent off favourite for a valuable Grade 3 2m4f handicap chase on good going here in November. Softer ground forecast no inconvenience.
Buveur D’Air to win and each-way @ 9/4 - BET NOW
Winner of this race for the last two years, Buveur D’Air suffered a shock defeat when beaten a short-head in a valuable Grade 1 at Kempton (good-to-soft) in December. Prior to that, Nicky Henderson’s charge had impressed in winning by 8L over an extended 2m at Newcastle (soft) earlier that month and, following an impressive prep race victory at Sandown last month, he can join the hurdling greats with a third victory in this prestigious contest.
Lady Buttons to win and each-way @ 25/1 - BET NOW
Better known for her exploits over fences, Philip Kirby’s mare returned to hurdles with a good ground victory in a Grade 2 event over an extended 2m at Doncaster (good) in January. The daughter of Beneficial was completing a four-timer in that event and the step up in distance should prove no issue. She has won over further in the past and represents each-way value.
Riders Onthe Storm to win and each-way @ 15/2 - BET NOW
Tom Taafe’s charge finished a decent 22L third in a Grade 1 contest at Limerick in December and recorded a first chase victory when winning a 3,200m novice contest at Punchestown (good-to-yielding) last time out. The step up in distance looks likely to suit and he can make a winning handicap debut in this competitive affair.
Discorama to win and each-way @ 7/1 - BET NOW
Paul Nolan’s charge has had just three starts over fences, winning on debut and finishing fifth in a prestigious Grade 1 2m4f contest prior to falling at Naas (3m, yielding-to-soft) in January. Given a break since, he looks likely to appreciate this marathon trip and can take this novice contest.
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