Racing Post tipster Paul Kealy has answered a few pundits’ questions ahead of the Cheltenham Festival which starts on March 10th, and from these answers, we can decipher together some of Paul Kealy’s Cheltenham tips for this year.
Kealy is a regular contributor to the Racing Post tipping sections and he normally appears on Cheltenham preview nights too. He is a popular pundit because he very rarely picks a short-priced horse in the field so you often get some good value from his selections.
He recently went onto the Racing Post’s Twitter feed and answered some questions from their followers – you can see the answers he gave below and from his tips. Paul was also joined by David Jennings so we will add some of his thoughts in too.
When asked if he could only have one handicap bet all week, what would it be, this is the answer he gave and as he the odds have shortened, but you can still get a decent price for an each-way bet.
“I’ve got a big price about Imperial Aura in the Novice Handicap Chase and while he is a lot shorter now I really do think he will go very close. He’s a 155-plus chaser in my mind”
Imperial Aura best odds – 8/1 with Coral.
Paul Kealy likes the look of Stolen Silver in the Coral Cup on day 2, which is currently best odds 25/1 at Unibet (20/1 or shorter elsewhere). “He flew home to be eighth in the Betfair Hurdle and that should really be the last time he runs over 2m”
Another selection to come out of this race was from David Jennings, who is strongly with Birchdale from the Nicky Henderson yard. “He could end up being a Grade 1 chaser and he’ll be running in the Coral Cup off 146.”
Birchdale best odds – 16/1 with Betfred.
The Champion Chase looks set to be one of the most competative races of the 4 day meeting and Kealy is siding with the Irish raider in the day 2 contest. He thinks the Dublin Racing Festival for is strong and he can get the better of reigning champion Altior, and Defi De Seuil. He’s not keen on Altior!
“You can understand his position in the betting as Altior is going for a fifth festival win and Defi a third, while he has never been there, but I think he’s a bit special. Sceaux Royal was taking a length out of Altior at nearly every fence at Newbury and he isn’t in the league of Chacun and Defi, so I think the champ is up against it this year.”
David Jennings is backing Defi De Seuil, who is currently 9/4 with Ladbrokes.
Chacun Pour Soi best odds – 11/4 with bet365.
When asked about a horse called Itchy Feet, both Paul Kealy and David Jennings were keen on his chances in the Cheltenham day 3 Marsh Novices’ Hurdle. Jennings has already put the horse up at 20/1 after his Leicester win, he goes on to say: “Jumping comes easy to him and he has a big engine. My big worry is Mister Fisher, who I’m a big fan of. I’m not sure Brewinupastorm has the tactical speed to keep himself in touch coming down the hill in the Arkle, but I could be completely wrong.”
Paul Kealy is also a big fan of Itchy Feet, “I love the way he came back on the bridle after stumbling after the second-last. He’s got Cheltenham form too and just has to be there or thereabouts.”
Itchy Feet best odds – 5/1 with William Hill.
Paul Kealy is very bullish about the favourite in the 1.30pm Cheltenham race tips on Tuesday 10th March, saying: “I’ve been in the Shiskin camp since his romp at Newbury. I know he’s fairly short now, but his change of gear blew me away and I’m pretty sure he’s a star in the making”.
The 1.30pm will be one of the races where the bookies put up a lot of their best betting offers of the whole week so keep checking our Cheltenham Festival page to get the best free bets and money-back specials for day 1 of the Festival.
Shishkin best odds – 11/4 with Betfair.
Somebody messaged in to ask about Fakir Doudairies’ chances in the Arkle (second race on day 1) and we got quite a detailed insight from both Paul Kealy and David Jennings. Paul has heard a rumour that Fakir is flying at home but after his no show at the Dublin Racing Festival, you’d have to be slightly cautious.
“He does have a bit to find with Notebook as he was getting 7lb when beaten by him and won’t get anything at Cheltenham. I also wonder whether he’d be better in the Masch. He is bred to want further and looked strong enough when he went 2m4f earlier this season. He was outpaced at the wrong time in last season’s Supreme, so I think he has it to do over 2m.”
Jennings’ thoughts were that Fakir could go to the Marsh Novices’ Hurdle for an easier chance of a winner: “If Mister Fisher stays away from the Arkle, Fakir D’Oudairies would be my number one. My big worry would be that he swerves the Arkle in favour of the Marsh”
Notebook best odds – 11/4 with William Hill.
Fakir D’Oudairies best odds (Arkle) – 6/1 with William Hill.
Frodon lit up the Cheltenham Festival last year with his win in the Ryanair under Bryony Frost, but Paul Kealy is not as confident he will retain his crown this year, with the opposition looking stronger this year: “He can and I’m his biggest fan, but I don’t think he will. He just doesn’t look to be in the same form this season as he was last and while he won at Kempton last time you’d be hard-pushed to say that was a return to his best. He obviously loves the place and will run well, but A Plus Tard and Min are a step up on the opposition he beat last year.”
A Plus Tard best odds – 5/2 with William Hill.
The feature race of the Cheltenham Festival comes on day 4 and it’s the Gold Cup. We look to have one of the best renewals in recent memory this year, with the likes of Delta Work, Santini, Presenting Percy, Kemboy, Al Boum Photo and Lostintranslation all lining up.
Paul Kealy is keen on Lostintranslation’s chances despite a couple of poor runs, most notably in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day.
“For sure Lostintranslation has a chance. We know he likes Cheltenham and may simply have not liked Kempton in the King George as he never seemed to be travelling. Beating Bristol De Mai at his Haydock fortress should not be underestimated, although he might have had a harder race than it looked. Imperial Commander bounced back from two poor runs in the KG to win at Cheltenham so it can be done.”
Lostintranslation best odds – 7/1 with Bet Victor.
Kildisart – Ultima (day 1) – 20/1 bet365.
Stolen Silver in Coral Cup (day 2) – 25/1 Unibet.
Paloma Blue in Grand Annual (day 4) – 20/1 Betfair.
I know Gordon (Elliott) thinks Thatsy is well-handicapped so keep an eye out for him wherever he shows up, and Front View is another I’ll be backing no matter where he shows up. Probably the Martin Pipe.
Min in the Ryanair Chase – “on any other track he’d be evens, but there seems to be this ludicrous theory he doesn’t like Cheltenham. He wasn’t right last year, but two seconds to Altior isn’t half bad, especially when he had a subsequent dual Champion Hurdle winner behind”.
Welsh Saint in the Pertemps – “I was pretty taken by Welsh Saint at Haydock. I actually laid him there as I thought he’d be too keen to get home, but we went through the race really well. I’m sure he’ll go close”
You can see the full interview on the Racing Post website.
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