Horse Racing: Sodden shame for me.Byline: Joe PUNTER AT CHELTENHAM
UNLESS you are a direct descendant of Noah it would seem that Cheltenham this week will be oh so difficult to handle.
The Cotswolds have apparently turned in to the Lake District and the prevailing heavy ground would have appeared to have put the water skis under several of my selections.
Still, I will be staying as a houseboat guest on the beautiful Avon and Kennet canal near Bath. (Enough of the water references, Sports Ed).
So with a big red pen already going through four or five of my selections plus some ante post vouchers that now look as tempting as Norah Batty doing Playboy the big rethink is on.
I must admit Straw Bear would not have been my Champion Hurdle The Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt horse race in the United Kingdom for four-year-old and above horses. It is run over a distance of 2 miles 110 yards (3,319 metres) on the Old Course at Cheltenham Racecourse on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival in March. pick if the ground had been riding good but who am I to question AP McCoy's selection of Straw Bear over Brave Inca for the opening day feature.
Nick Gifford's stable star likes it so soft apparently he is the only horse in training with webbed feet.
Kauto Star Kauto Star (born 19th March 2000) is a French bred National Hunt racehorse, who is currently trained by Paul Nicholls in England.
After a successful beginning to his jumping career in France, Kauto Star (pronounced "Kor-toe") has had an extremely successful career in England. may be a superstar in the making but his habit of ploughing through the odd fence does not inspire me to take the skinny odds about him - especially at Cheltenham on unforgiving ground.
Alan King's Halcon Genelardais is improving hand over fist and although thought more of a Grand National type he might just do the biz at a tasty price.
He won the Welsh National The Welsh National is a Grade 3 National Hunt horse race in the United Kingdom for five-year-old and above horses. It is run over a distance of 3 miles 5½ furlongs (5,934 metres) at Chepstow Racecourse, Wales in late December. on the soft and there is plenty more to come from him.
And let's face it, in the projected going this week any horse that lifts the chasing crown will have to stay every yard of three and a half miles.
And King might make it a double with Blazing Baileys, his tough and gritty stayer stayer
a horse that can gallop at racing speed for at least 1.5 miles (2.4 km). who will appreciate the slog of the World Hurdle The World Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt horse race in the United Kingdom for four-year-old and above horses. It is run over a distance of 3 miles (4,828 metres) on the New Course at Cheltenham Racecourse during the Cheltenham Festival in March. .
Champion Bumper? It has to be the Irish and Mad Fish. Topical, or what!
GOT a racing query? Write to Joe Punter, Sunday Mail Sport, One Central Quay, Glasgow, G3 8DA or email email@example.com
My top tips
STRAW BEAR (3.15 Tuesday)
MAD FISH (5.20 Wednesday)
BLAZING BAILEYS (3.15 Thursday)
HALCON GENELARDAIS (3.15 Friday)
Nick Gifford: A Festival Bear