THE kings of the two and a half mile division battle it out in the third race. Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) steps up to the plate.
Cheltenham 14:40 | Ryanair Chase | Channel 4
I love this race! The perfect race for horses lacking Queen Mother two mile pace or those who don’t quite stay the Gold Cup distance, it’s attracted some quality animals in its brief existence, but this in my eyes is not a vintage renewal.
Favourite Don Cossack is four out of four this season and a horse I like, but he has never won left handed and fell here last year in the RSA. Balder Succes took the Grade 1 Ascot Chase in February and if this race wasn’t at Cheltenham I would possibly back him, but it is, and his Cheltenham record of fall, fall, unseated rider ends my interest in him.
My selection, as I mentioned last week in my Cheltenham preview is Hidden Cyclone. One of my favourite horses in training, he has run massive races in Grade 1’s over the past 18 months finishing second on four occasions. This included this race last season finishing second to Dynaste.
Other than falling on his seasonal reappearance he has impressed me with his fencing. A confidence boosting win over two miles in February should have him spot on for this, and I firmly believe that Hidden Cyclone will finally win the Grade 1 that he deserves.
Cheltenham 14:40 – Hidden Cyclone to win (17/2 BetBright)