RACING fan Gaurav Chaddah (@GauravChaddah) shares his NAP, his best each-way bet and the market leader he suspects is most vulnerable on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday.
The NAP, the lay and the each-way at Cheltenham Festival
The best four days of the racing year are upon us and racing fans have a feast of action to look forward.
The Prestbury Park meet gets underway on Tuesday and I’ll be looking at my NAP of the day, my lay of the day and a horse to back at a nice each-way price on each day of the meeting.
The NAP: Defi Du Seuil (7/4 William Hill) in the Champion Chase (3:30)
In perhaps the race of the week, the season's best two-miler Defi Du Seuil (7/4 William Hill) looks like he has a cracking chance of winning the Champion Chase and taking the crown from two-time winner Altior, who is looking for a fifth successive Festival victory.
Defi Du Seuil himself is a two-time Festival winner, including winning last year's JLT, fending off Lostintranslation.
He has been exclusively campaigned over two miles this season, winning the Shloer Chase over course and distance in November before back-to-back one Grade 1 victories, seeing off Un De Sceaux both in the Tingle Creek and Clarence House Chase.
He loves Cheltenham and his superior turn of foot can catch Altior out, who will no doubt stay on up the hill however may have too much to do now coming up against a more classy field, having somewhat gotten away with it last year.
Chacun Pour Soi also has a strong chance and beat the selection at Punchestown in April. He’s still only had the four starts for Willie Mullins and there could be more improvement to come but I think Defi can reverse the form. The race came at the end of a long season for him and Chacun Pour Soi’s victory over Min last month wasn’t in the most convincing style.
The Lay: Champ (7/2 BetVictor) in the RSA Chase (2.10)
The RSA is usually one of the biggest novice races of the year and is used as a stepping stone for potential future Gold Cup horses. Favourite Champ (7/2 BetVictor) has been at the top of the market pretty much since making his chase debut back in November but should be opposed here.
Champ won at Newbury on chasing debut when not looking likely and was again driven along a long way from home in a Grade 2 at Newbury in December. The horse clearly has his quirks, highlighted when almost running out before getting up to just win at Newbury and then was a faller at the final fence in the Dipper at Cheltenham on New Year's Day when the race was his.
His jumping has really become exposed and will really have needed to be brushed up to justify market favouritism. He comes into the race straight off the back of that fall. He did have an engagement at Kelso however the meeting fell victim to the weather and therefore missed his prep.
Copperhead for Colin Tizzard and Henry De Bromhead’s Minella Indo are stern opponents and Champ’s quirks and jumping issues making him one of the biggest lays of the entire Festival.
The Each-Way: Dame De Compagnie (9/1 888) in the Coral Cup (2.50)
The Coral Cup is one of the most open races of the entire week but with enhanced places on offer, it offers a lot more each-way value and Nicky Henderson’s mare looks primed for a big run here.
The seven-year-old has had a fair amount of setbacks and still remains fairly unexposed over hurdles. She returned to action in November after almost a year and a half off the track and was a respectable fifth in the Greatwood, staying on strongly.
She returned top Cheltenham in December where she was well backed and won a handicap by over four lengths, with the second, Indefatigable coming out and winning a listed race at Warwick last month and is now rated 145.
Dame De Compagnie (9/1 888) races here off a mark off 140, eight pounds higher than her win at Cheltenham but the form with Indefatigable makes the mark perhaps look lenient. She’s been kept back for this race since winning in December and looks primed for a big run and it’s difficult to see her outside the places.
3:30 Cheltenham – Defi Du Seuil to win (7/4 William Hill)
2:10 Cheltenham – Lay Champ (7/2 BetVictor)
2:50 Cheltenham – Dame De Compagnie each-way (9/1 888)