The racing spectacle that is Cheltenham is over for another year and fans, punters, race aficionados and pundits have had time to reflect on a packed four days of elite equine action. Expert, Alan Thomson, pinpoints horses primed to strike in the next coming races:

RIVER WYLDE (Skybet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle)

Always well placed, he led briefly between the last two flights but made a hash of the last when on the retreat. His previous three unbeaten runs over hurdles, in the Dovecoat at Kempton and at Ludlow (twice) suggests Aintree’s flat track will suit River Wylde perfectly.

GO CONQUER (Ultima Handicap Chase)

With most of his best recent form coming on flat, right-handed tracks like Ascot, Kempton and Wincanton, there was some discussion beforehand whether Cheltenham would suit Jonjo O’Neill’s chaser, but Go Conquer didn’t appear inconvenienced by the undulations, running a fine race to finish fifth in a thriller won by Un Temps Pour Tout.

A GENIE IN ABOTTLE (JT McNamara National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase)

Travelled over from Ireland with a burgeoning reputation but the drying ground wasn’t ideally in his favour. A Genie In Abottle jumped off well enough before losing his pitch after four fences and despite his tenacious efforts Jamie Codd never really managed to retrieve the situation.


His two previous visits to the festival had met with disappointment, but this was more like the Bellshill we know. Bellshill could never get to grips with Might Bite and Whisper, but wasn’t knocked about to take third spot.

DINO VELVET (Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle)

Looked well treated off his 125 rating and carried plenty of stable confidence. Wayne Hutchinson dropped his mount out well off the pace, sticking like a limpet to the inside, and was just making his move when Dino Velvet blundered four out.

WESTERN RYDER (Weatherbys Champion Bumper)

One of the home team’s better prospects, Western Ryder wasn’t seen to best advantage but still emerged with great credit. He passed a whole posse of runners but that effort took its toll as Western Ryder flattened out in the final 50 yards, with fifth spot scant reward for his endeavor.


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