As it is almost compulsory at this time of year to suggest winners for the Festival, I will attempt the almost impossible by giving my tips for the Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle and Stayers Hurdle.
Cue Card was my tip before the King George and I've seen nothing since to make me switch to Thistlecrack or Native River. Unlike Coneygree who is a brilliant, natural jumper of fences, I fear Thistlecrack will always make both silly mistakes and occasionally the more serious mistake. If Coneygree does get supplemented I'll swap to him but in his absence Cue Card will put right the error and bad luck of last year when he was clearly travelling like the winner when Paddy Brennan, no doubt remembering Nico de Boinville's similar move on Sprinter Sacre, got a wee bit over-excited. It is possible, of course, that Colin Tizzard will have the 1, 2 , 3. And I hope he does.
I hope David Pipe takes a leaf out of Colin Tizzard's camp, and the Bradstock camp, and runs Moon Racer in the less competitive Champion Hurdle, rather than the very hot Supreme. The form of his races thus far is working out extremely well and like Coneygree and Thistlecrack he's not a spring chicken. As I hope Jessica Harrington swerves the Champion and runs Jezki in the Stayers Hurdle, though as the former is dissolving before our very eyes the temptation to try and regain the 2-mile crown might be impossible to ignore.
So my big 3 for Cheltenham are: Cue Card, Moon Racer and Jezki.
Whatever you do, don't lump on. I may have been strong on Coneygree two years ago but as a rule I'm a lousy tipster.
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