Here are the Cheltenham tips for Wednesday 11 March 2020 from @cheltenhamtips on twitter. Tips by Karl Hedley, Racing Post Search For A Tipster champ. Since then he has written for The Irish Field, The Irish Post and writes regular blogs for a number of websites.
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Odds correct at 7pm 10 March 2020 and subject to change. 18 years and older, please gamble responsibly.
1.30 BALLYMORE NOVICES’ HURDLE
Having walked the track on Sunday, Gordon Elliott decided to let the unbeaten Envoi Allen (WIN) 4/6 take his chance here rather than in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Envoi Allen has been sent off as the odds-on favourite for each of his last three starts and duly obliged at varying trips of between two and two and a half miles.
This longer trip seemed to suit him naturally last time at Naas. He was pestered by Elixir D’Ainay for the lead throughout the opening few hurdles, but he regained it two from home. He and Davy Russell stayed on powerfully to put clear daylight between themselves and their rivals.
Envoi Allen has shown immense professionalism wherever he has turned up throughout his career. He is a winner of two Grade One novice hurdle races, but without a doubt, he has the best form in the book. Heralded by many as the ‘Irish banker’ of the week, it is difficult to argue with that theory.
Gordon Elliott took this with the enigmatic Samcro two years ago and looks most likely to do so again with the consistent sort. Having won the Champion bumper at the Festival last year, the noise of the crowd and the size of the field ought not to phase him. Running in the familiar colours of Cheveley Park Stud, he can land a second Festival success in as many seasons. The Irish have won eight of the last twelve renewals of this race, so it is a race they specifically aim to win and can do so again.
2.10 RSA NOVICES’ CHASE
Copperhead (WIN – NAP) 9/2 proved he had stamina in abundance when running away with a decent handicap at Newbury just after Christmas and was then upped in grade to contest the Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot last month.
He tracked the leaders before going second approaching the thirteenth fence and moved menacingly before taking over two from home. Despite hitting the last and pecking on landing he and Jonjo O’Neill junior pulled some seventeen lengths clear of Two For Gold and Danny Whizzbang.
English trainers have a fantastic recent record in this having won three of the last four renewals. Any further drying out of the ground would certainly aid his cause and this improving sort can follow in the footsteps of Don Poli and Florida Pearl by taking this race as a six-year-old. He is improving at a rate of knots and can maintain his progression here.
2.50 CORAL CUP HANDICAP HURDLE
Birchdale (E/W) 16/1 reverts to hurdles having failed to shine over the larger obstacles at Ascot back in December. Despite being sent off as the clear second favourite, he was no match for either Angel’s Breath or First Flow.
It is entirely possible that return to hurdles will rejuvenate a return to form. Prior to his last race he was considered good enough to contest the Albert Bartlett here last season. He ought to find life a little bit easier now that he reverts back to handicap company and this previous course and distance winner bids to enhance Nicky Henderson’s already fantastic record in the race.
Recent history has shown that horses toward the head of handicap do very well in this race and he ought to be perfectly well suited by the ground. Having been good enough to win his first two aces over hurdles in the UK, he is taken to get back on track with a lot in his favour this afternoon and at current odds of around 14/1, he appeals as a lively each way shout.
3.30 QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE
Defi Du Seuil (WIN) 11/10 could well be the answer as he seems to have enjoyed the most perfect campaign of those at the head of the market. He is a multiple course and distance winner, who has really come into his own in recent months. He started off in the Shloer Chase over the course and distance back in November and has not looked back since. Subsequent wins in the Tingle Creek and the Clarence House Chases, have meant that he is now fully primed and could well cause the downfall of reigning Champion, Altior.
Nicky Henderson’s charge was entitled to be ring-rusty when he faced off against Cyrname over an extended two-and-a-half miles in the Christy Chase, but his trainer has now admitted that Altior is unwell and will not feature here.
Willie Mullins would also love to win this prize and Chacun Pour Soi gives him his best ever opportunity. However, the lack of a run over the course and distance is somewhat concerning and what he achieved in destroying Min is open to interpretation.
Defi Du Seuil is a multiple course and distance winner. He has proven himself at the highest level and once again has the assistance of Barry Geraghty in the plate. He commands utmost respect and is taken to add this coveted prize to his ever expanding CV. He ought to give favourite backers a genuine run for their money and odds of around 11/8 seem fair.
4.10 CROSS COUNTRY CHASE
Tiger Roll (WIN) 8/11 (40/1 offer ) a real bids to give Gordon Elliott a fourth straight winning this race. The dual winning Grand National hero made a perfectly reasonable seasonal return when chasing home stablemate Cracking Smart at Navan just last month. He is fully entitled to come on for that return and a trip back to Cheltenham could just encourage that little bit extra from him.
He will undoubtedly be using this as a stepping stone towards a tilt at landing a record breaking third consecutive Grand National. Despite his advancing years he is still only a ten year old and he will bidding to follow in the footsteps of Rivage D’Or and Balthazar King who took this at the same age.
Tiger Roll knows every blade of grass around here and he is officially rated almost a stone better than any of his rivals. His unique ability to handle this course will undoubtedly prove to be an invaluable asset. If he delivers a run anywhere near what he is truly capable of, he ought to win this and do so in the style of an even money favourite.
4.50 BOODLES HANDICAP
Blacko (EW) 10/1 has done nothing wrong in two starts for Alan King. He saw off the re-opposing Zoffee and Night Edition on his British debut back in December and both of those horses have come out to win subsequently. Soft ground wasnt a problem for this four year old on either of his previous starts and despite lacking some of the experience of his rivals, he gives the impression that he will improve for tackling a handicap such as this.
Thomas Bellamy has partnered him in both of his career starts to date, so he will know exactly what he has underneath him all the way round. In a boost to hia chances, The Pink’n, who he beat so readily in his last race at Warwick, came out to win very easily at Stratford earlier in the week.
Blacko certainly is a progressive sort and Alan King can ready one for this meeting. With plenty of ticks in all of the right boxes, he looks to have a solid each way chance here
5.30 WEATHERBYS CHAMPION BUMPER
Ocean Wind (EW) 14/1 has won two of his three starts including when popping up at odds of 28/1 on his hurdling debut at Huntington. He was held up at the back and despite being pushed along he responded well to the urgings of Aidan Coleman. He took over in the final Furlong to record a decent win over Makthecat and Audacity. Both of those have come out to frank the form subsequently.
He was then unleashed at Newbury last month and was upped in trip to two miles. Again having been held up, he made smooth headway as the race progressed. The further they went the better he looked and this former Godolphin inmate is an intriguing contender here. If he was housed with Mullins, Elliott or Nicholls he would be a far shorter price and with some of the best form on offer here he has sold each way claims.