I have a weekend of Birthday celebrations ahead, not mine but some old bird i’ve known for thirty-plus years so got to play nicely. I am going up nice and early with the fancies for the weekend as a couple of late nights and a hangover or two are most definitely on the cards and the bouncebackability aint what it once was. They are lovely girls but when the lovely birthday girl Mitchy and the gorgeous Caroline get together you better have your drinking boots on………………..
Anyway it is trials day at Cheltenham and that meeting is very much centre stage here in the UK whilst in America we have the Pegasus meeting at Gulfstream Park with the three Pegasus races in the evening.
Best bets for the horse racing at Cheltenham
Energumene and Edwardstone will lock horns at Cheltenham in the rescheduled Grade One Albert Bartlett Clarence House Chase. Winners of the G.1 Queen Mother Champion Chase and G/1 Arkle Trophy respectively at last season’s Cheltenham Festival it should be a cracker. After Ascot was lost to the frost last weekend this race now forms part of a bumper nine-race card at Prestbury Park!
With such a huge card they start early at 11.40am with the Grade Two two-mile Jcb Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle. I like the look of Comfort Zone and even though you couldn’t be impressed with his win at Chepstow in the Coral Finale Juvenile Hurdle last time he did win and showed he has some guts. I expect a better performance today and I am on at 5-2 BPG. Dixon Cove, a neck second to him at Chepstow, is 5 lb better off and has to be feared whilst Scriptwriter has done little wrong so far.
My other fancy goes in the last, hopefully I can book-end the meeting, the race being the two-mile SSS Super Alloys Handicap Hurdle at 4.10. I have had an eye on Might I for a while now and have tipped him more than once; such as at Sandown at the Tingle Creek meeting when he bumped into the machine, and at the time unknown, Constitution Hill. I remain convinced he will win a decent race and proved himself a more than useful hurdler last term, finishing runner-up in the 2m4f Grade One Mersey Novices' Hurdle on his final start. Upped in trip on his seasonal debut he raced too freely and was tired when making a mistake and fading at the last. I have taken a bit of the 5-1 BPG this morning.
Best bet for the horse racing at Gulfstream Park
Out in Florida there is some big money up for grabs with a number of Graded races on the Pegasus World Cup card. I am having a bet in the big one, the Grade One 1m1f Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes presented by Baccarat off at 10.40 here in the UK. Cyberknife will be fancied by many and has a big chance but is getting in the habit of getting beat in the big one. Proxy bids for back-to-back G1 wins when he kicks off his five-year-old campaign and the son of Tapit posted an impressive display on his first top-level appearance for Michael Stidham in the Clark Stakes at Churchill Downs in November, when he out-battled West Will Power for a three-quarter length success. Lightly raced for a five-year-old, he is also surprisingly still entire, I think there may be a bit more to come form him this season. I am on at 5-1. Michael Banahan, Director of Bloodstock, Godolphin USA, said: “Proxy’s last two breezes have been very good and he heads into the Pegasus in excellent fettle. We are optimistic that he can put up a bold showing on Saturday. He will need to break well to overcome stall one, as it is far from an ideal draw.”