Ceebee previews Cheltenham on New Year's Day and Lostintranslation and Wholestone are among his bets.
Cheltenham Tuesday – New Year’s Day
1.25 Dipper Novice Chase 2m5f
Black Op gave a display of jumping last time that stuck him on the avoid list. Defi du Seuil won that race at Exeter but he’s overrated as a result. The race wasn’t remotely as good as it looked on paper. Defi is still not a convincing jumper and now concedes weight all around. On The Blind Side concedes chasing experience to all his rivals. I also think he’ll find this trip and ground combo too sharp for him. He’s slow. Crucial Role looks like he’ll be a little outclassed outside of handicap company. Which leaves us with the selection Lostintranslation.
Tizzard’s novice has chased home the Kauto Star Feltham winner La Bague Au Roi on his two chase starts. Giving that G1 winning mare 7lbs, they were fine efforts. Beaten horses Talkischeap, Spiritofthegames and Thomas Campbell all give the form a solid look. Lostintranslation may even have beaten the mare only for a bad mistake 3out the last day. He wasn’t far behind the best of these over hurdles and looks to be the most solid performer over fences.
2pts win Lostintranslation at 7/2 with Bet365
2.00 Handicap Chase 2m5f
A very tricky event despite just 8 runners but I’m happy to have a small play on Born Survivor. Skelton’s horses have been running very well over the Christmas period. Born Survivor’s Wetherby win has worked out well with 3rd placed Cracking Find winning two starts later and the 2nd home Guitar Pete has placed in both the BetVictor and Caspian Caviar – two stronger races than this. He is still rated on a par with his novice chase and hurdles best so can win off this mark of 143. The 60 day break is a good thing for this fella who is at his best when fresh. He wants good ground and gets it here. Plenty of positives to get involved at 7/1.
1pt win Born Survivor at 152/2 with Betfair and Paddy Power
3.10 Relkeel Hurdle 2m4f
This is simple enough. Over the middle distance Wholestone is a terrific animal, better than all bar proper Grade 1 horses. The likes of Old Guard and Clyne are solid and have been running well but are exposed as 150-155 horses. At the 2m4f trip Wholestone is better than that lot. He won this race after flopping at Newbury last year (2017/18) so I’m not overly bothered that he was well beaten in that same Newbury race last time out. All his defeats over 3m have come when he has been outstayed but back at this middle distance he’s too good for G2. He has won many times at Cheltenham.
4pts win Wholestone a6 6/4 with William Hill and Boylesports