The Messenger looks at the first day of the "Mackeson" meeting at Cheltenham and he has a strong bet on Coeur Blimey.
Cheltenham 12.40:Indian Castle
Indian Castle made a pleasing return to the track from eighteen months off when second over this course and distance last month. He has finished 4th, 6th and 7th in previous Festival handicap chases here and won on Trials day a few seasons back, so clearly acts on the track. He is very well handicapped on his old form but much will depend on if he has recovered from the exertions of that comeback race.
Cheltenham 1.15: Coeur Blimey
One of the top bumper horses of the 2015/16 season, Coeur Blimey’s hurdling campaign last term was blighted by moderate jumping. However he looks dangerously well handicapped if he has tidied up in that department over the ten months since we last saw him.
He beat subsequent Festival bumper winner Ballyandy in a listed Ascot bumper and was only beaten 6l in that Festival bumper himself. He was highly tried over hurdles last season, but a series of errors meant three defeats from three starts. At least that leaves him as a novice this term and from a potentially lenient mark of 121.
In fairness to him he was beaten by three high class horses in Messire Des Obeaux, Above Board and Air Horse One and is unlikely to be facing anything of that calibre today. I often back Sue Gardner horses as the bookies can overlook them in the market and if this horse was stabled in one of the big yards he would surely be nearly favourite on his past form.
0.75 points each way Indian Castle at 7/1 with William Hill, Betbright and Paddy Power
1 point each way Coeur Blimey at 10/1 with Betbright