Cheltenham 2018 – Brown Advisory Plate Preview

Ceebee previews the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase with bets on Long House Hall and Tully East.

Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase

We’ll call it the Plate. So many of these are entered in either the Ultima or Novices’ Handicap so it’s very hard to get a handle on the field. I’ve had a quick look at many of them though and here’s a decent shortlist with two I like more than the rest.

Le Prezien is solid enough. He was favourite for the Grand Annual last year but didn’t fire. This trip probably suits better. His novice form with Top Notch, Charbel and L’Ami Serge is very good. His three visits to Cheltenham this winter have been solid, if a little unlucky. He just doesn’t jump off the page as having the necessary 8lbs in hand to win a Festival handicap (Road to Respect had roughly 16lbs in hand last year!!)

Tully East has not been missed by the market but it’s hard not to fancy him. He was an impressive winner of a super-competitive novices handicap at last year’s Festival and has had a return to the Festival as his sole target all season. That ’17 novices’ handicap has worked out incredibly well. 2nd Gold Present is 18lbs higher after two wins this season. 3rd Two Taffs is now 12lbs higher having won at Ayr. 5th Last Goodbye won a big race at Leopardstown and is now 9lbs higher. Such strong form; Tully East beat them all and is now just 10lbs higher so there’s scope to go in again. The last day at Leopardstown he was racing on ground that was too soft, over a trip that was too short and he made a mistake 3out that hurt his chances. He still ran very well and it sets him up for a good stab at this.

Patricks Park won that race that Tully Easy was third in. He won’t mind the step up in trip or the better ground based on his previous form. That win was his first chase start for Willie Mullins so the opportunity to keep improving is massive. Actually he probably won’t get a run, well down the list.

Both The Storyteller and Snow Falcon enter calculations if they pitch up here but I suspect both these Irish novices will step up to 3miles for the Ultima. Both won their beginners chase easy and finished close enough behind top class novices when pitched into G1 action.

Similarly I like Adrien du Pont for the novice handicap so if he is rerouted here he’s also to be considered. Held up at this trip behind a strong pace will suit him. He didn’t get that yet this season.

Bouvreuil is another for Nicholls/JP combo. He has terrific Festival form. He was 3rd in this race last year (winner miles clear), a close 2nd in the Novices Handicap the year before and 2nd in the Fred Winter in 2015. Course, ground, time of year – whatever it is, it suits this guy. He’s 3lbs lower than last March and whilst not troubling the judge has ran ok this season. I’d love some 20s NRNB but that’s only available ante-post.

Long House Hall if he improves rather than bounces could go well. He almost won the SkyBet Chase on his first start in 18mts. He ticks the boxes for both good ground and Festival form (Coral Cup 2nd 2016). Having won the Summer Plate off just 3lbs lower he’s not badly handicapped either.

Village Vic is a bit of a CD legend who would be of interest if completely ignored by the market on the day; which is highly likely. Fresh, there might be one last hurrah in him pinging fences from the front.

Vieux Morvan and The Last Goodbye were clear best in a competitive 2m5f handicap at the Dublin Racing Festival. There was 9L between them at the end and another 9L back to the third. A repeat performance, off revised weights, could see both get involved. Vieux Morvan may just prefer soft ground. The Last Goodbye was a little unlucky behind Tully East at the Festival last year but after his recent win he might be a little high in the weights.

LiveloveLaugh could be popular given connections but he’s one of the lesser lights in the yard. If The Storyteller goes well in the Ultima (if that’s his plan) this fella’s form gets a boost but until then I’m happy to take on.

If there is a Road to Respect, ie. Giggi novice campaigned at the wrong trip in Nov chases – it’s Tycoon Prince. But I don’t like coming here on the back of just 3 chases, the last being incomplete.

Advised Bets (must be NRNB)

2pts e/w - Tully East at 8/1 with Boylesports

1pt e/w - Long House Hall at 20/1 with Boylesports