Ray Flanagan with Day Two selections
Contrasting fortunes for two of the smaller Irish trainers yesterday. Welsh National winning handler Gavin Cromwell struck oil in the Champion Hurdle, while it was gut wrenching for Co Wexford man Paul Nolan whose brave warrior Discorama was just narrowly denied in the concluding 4 miler yesterday. The horse gave everything he had but the victory was not to be.
Here’s hoping for a better day’s punting on Day Two.
Cheltenham 2.50- Coral Cup- Dancing on My Own and Apples Shakira.
As often happens the theory that Irish novice hurdlers were below standard this season was misguided as Klassical Dream ran out an impressive winner of the Supreme.
Dancing On My Own has competed twice against Klassical Dream and was not disgraced on either occasion having tried to match strides with the horse over the final few hurdles. In addition, I particularly liked his debut effort against Buildmeupbuttercup which suggested he ought to relish the step up in trip.
De Bromhead and Rachel struck yesterday and another big handicap success is a definite possibility.
Apples Shakira is very interesting on her 2018 form which seen her go off a short priced favourite for the Triumph Hurdle. She ran below par there but had previously run up a sequence at Prestbury Park indicating the course holds no fears for her. She could be better handicapped than most if Henderson can get her back to her best.
Cheltenham 5.30- Envoi Allen
I have been very impressed with this horse in his three bumper wins and was particularly good last time at Leopardstown where he won easily enough despite racing wider than his main rivals giving away ground throughout. It has long time been the perception that this is the best bumper horse in Ireland this season and it is surprising punters are going a bit cold on him as the race approaches.
He is also related to a few French soft ground stayers and the testing conditions should hold no fears.
I have a feeling he will run out an emphatic winner.
1.5 pts ew-Dancing On My Own-2.50 Cheltenham-14-1 Ladbrokes- 6 places
1 pt ew- Apples Shakira-2.50 Cheltenham-22-1 Ladbrokes
3 pts win-Envoi Allen-5.30 Cheltenham-4-1 P Power