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Page last updated at 15:48 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009

Colin's festival preview part two

Colin the Tipster
Colin has been studying the form night and day ahead of the festival

Horses to follow at the festival

I have been contacting trainers again from Gloucestershire and all over Great Britain and Ireland and they have given me loads of tips for horses to watch out for at Cheltenham.

A very big thank you to all those trainers, especially if the horses win! But first, this is what I think.


Day one

The festival starts with the williamhill.com Supreme Novices' Hurdle and for me it has got to be Cousin Vinny - 3/1 is a silly price so get on him! This is one of the Irish bankers of the meeting.

I have been telling you for six months that 8/1 shot Wichita Lineman will win at the festival and I can not wait for him to go in the William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase because, oh boy, I still think he will win. If this wins please don't bother telling Mrs Tipster because I have only got 50 pence on it, oh yes.

The Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle is the big race on the opening day and I do like Binocular but at 5/4, I am looking for an each way bet. Snap Tie at 40/1 is a steal, but he needs good ground. His trainer Philip Hobbs knows how to win this race so he's the one for me.

Day two

At 4/1 in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle, Diamond Harry is my number one banker for the meeting, I am that convinced he will win. Do I need to say anymore?

In the RSA Chase it is Ballyfitz for me and 25/1 is a silly price - he loves Cheltenham, it is one of my bankers of the meeting and remember he won the Pertemps Final at 18/1 so has been under-estimated before.

The feature race on the second day is the Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase, yes I do think Master Minded will win but 1/3 (that is 3/1 on) is a no bet, so you have got to go each way and at 16/1 Well Chief is the one I fancy.

If Shinrock Paddy was ridden by Ruby Walsh or A.P. McCoy he would be favourite for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper and not 12/1. He is only that price because his jockey is Barry Connell who is a 49 year old amateur, but this boy can ride and I think he will win.

Day three

Voy Por Ustedes is 6/4 favourite for the Ryanair Chase and for some people this is a banker, but at 8/1 Imperial Commander has got to be a good bet and he loves Cheltenham. I think it is a two horse race.

In the Ladbrokes World Hurdle I like Punchestowns at 4/1. Kasbah Bliss is rightly the favourite, he is 5/4 at the moment, so if you want to back him I would advise to only do it on the day as I think it could go out to 5/2. This is a banker; even Mrs Tipster picks this one!

Day four

Whoopee it is Gold Cup day and oh boy this is going to be so good, but first it is the JCB Triumph Hurdle. Walkon is 4/1 after he won at Cheltenham in January and I like this horse, he really took to the Cheltenham hill, in fact he loved it. His trainer Alan King thinks he is a bit good and so do I, get on him!

So, what is going to win the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup? Well, that is a good question: 2007 winner Kauto Star is 7/4 Neptune Colognes is 6/1 and the defending champion Denman who is 7/1 all come from Paul Nicholls' stable. Exotic Dancer who is 12/1 will go close and could be worth an each way bet and could Barbers Shop win for the Queen? I do not know, but it is going to be awesome, what a race. I think this Gold Cup could be the best ever ran.

David Pipe would love to win the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle for his dad and he has got a good hand of entries in it. Mamlook at 8/1 is his best chance, but who knows and Jonjo O'Neill's Sunnyhillboy who is a 12/1 price could spoil the party.


My four bankers

Diamond Harry (Ballymore Novices' Hurdle)

Cousin Vinny (williamhill.com Supreme Novices' Hurdle)

Wichita Lineman (William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase)

Ballyfitz (RSA Chase)

Kashah Bliss (Ladbroke's World Hurdle) is Mrs Tipster's tip.


Trainers one-to-follow at the festival

Nigel Twiston-Davies who trains near Naunton in Gloucestershire gave me Ballyfitz, so Nigel and I think the same and I never thought I would say that! All the best as well to Sam Twiston-Davies, Nigel's teenage son who is going to ride Baby Run in the Christie's Foxhunter Chase.

Poquelin in the last race on the Friday - hopefully we will all go home happy

Paul Nicholls

Westbury-on-Sever handler John O'Shea is doubtful if any of his entries will get in, but he feels Neptune Colognes is a certainty in the Gold Cup.

Tom George is getting excited about Tartak in the Irish Independent Arkle Chase. "We think he will go close" the Slad trainer told me. Tom's horses are going so well and at 20/1 his looks like a good bet to me.

Giles Smyly hopes Le Burf will have a very big run in one of two races, depending on the handicapper. He would like to keep Noel Fehily on board, but might need to run the hose in the amateur riders' race. The horse is owned by Matthew Burford, hence Le Burf.

Sezincote trainer Charlie Longsdon will only have one runner at the festival and it is You Do The Math in the Foxhunter on the Friday which is an each way hope.

I had to phone the office at Jackdaws Castle to get a tip from Jonjo O'Neill because he will not give me his mobile number (he thinks I'm mad!), but I got through to him anyway and he told me Wichita Lineman is his best chance, he likes Sunnyhillboy but does not know what race he is in yet. Jonjo also thinks Exotic Dancer will run a big race in the Gold Cup and, yes he thinks he could win.

Brighton trainer Gary Moore gave me Numide in the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle, telling me "we like him a lot".

Lucinda Russell told me 25/1 shot Mirage Dore in the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle is the best from her Kinross yard and she is hoping it will run a big race.

Ferdy Murphy fanciesThree Mirrors who is 14/1 for the Freddie Williams Festival Plate Handicap Chase. Ferdy's horses are hot at the moment and the West Witton trainer always does well at the festival.

Of the many entries from his stable in Minehead, Philip Hobbs is tipping Planet Of Sound in the Arkle.

Shepton Mallet based Champion trainer Paul Nicholls' tip is a simple one: "Poquelin in the last race on the Friday - hopefully we will all go home happy!" Thank you Paul we will, but only if it wins.

As for tips from Ireland, well how about these two? Charlie Swan, whose yard is in County Tipperary texted me to tell me he has four runners, including Long Strand who he thinks is a good each way chance at a big price in the Bumper. He is 66/1, now that is one I had not looked at, but oh boy I am now.

My other Irish tip comes from Edward O'Grady - I can not believe the great man got back to me - wow and whoopee! It made my day. He likes Bringbackthebiff who runs on Tuesday, Edward says that is his one to follow and that is good enough for me.

A big thank you to all the trainers who have given me their tips, even if they have not got any runners at the Festival, let us hope those who have do well, if they have some winners, we should as well!



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