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Cheltenham Tipping: pick of the morning prices.

Back In Front 3.15 9-2 with Skybet Wonderfully impressive in the Supreme two years ago and showed himself better than ever when taking the Bula in good style from Inglis Drever and Westender here in December. Can hit a flat spot in his races, so you may get the best odds in-running.

Hardy Eustace, who is disputing favouritism with the bet, was a 33-1 chance last year. He seems to be peaking at the right time, although the Gowran race last month took little winning. His overall form this season raises doubts whether the current price is justified.

Harchibald is now temptingly priced after drifting in the market with reports of a ``terrible'' work out. He beat Back In Front by a length and a half at Punchestown in November and his form since running moderately on his comeback in October is hard to fault. Whether you want to chance him after the adverse stories and a worry about the track after his defeat in the County last year are big questions.

The credentials of Essex and Accordion Etoile are based on handicap form, but neither should be underestimated. Essex, the impressive Totesport Trophy winner, is justifiably 8-11 in a match with Accordion Etoile (evens) with Ladbrokes.

Macs Joy has beaten last year's Supreme winner Brave Inca the last twice and is pacey enough for another bold show on the quicker ground.

Joly Bey 4.00 9-1 with Bet365 Keen Leader 4.00 33-1 with generally Connections have been singing the praises of Joly Bey for a long time and you could see what they meant when the Nick Gifford-trained chaser won at Sandown last month. In a race run at a cracking pace, he made almost all the running and was clear and in little danger from a long way out, coming home six lengths ahead of Iris Bleu.

His two previous runs were both at Cheltenham and weren't as good. But one was over two miles five, which now looks inadequate, and the other was a perfectly creditable effort to be beaten five lengths behind Therealbandit in a hot handicap in December.

With Jonjo O'Neill's stable enduring a nightmare season, Keen Leader is a massive price on the best of his form. He was only 10-1 for the Gold Cup 12 months ago and though the ground threatens to be plenty quick enough for him again, he is worth a punt at the best of the morning odds.

French Executive 4.40 7-1 with Blue Square, Stanley He travelled so well in the cross-country here in December that it was a bit disappointing he was quite readily brushed aside by today's favourite Spot Thedifference. However, they didn't even start to race until the closing stages and he could well prove a different proposition, given more of a test. He was a stylish winner of the Sussex National at Plumpton previously.

Spot Thedifference now looks plenty short enough in the betting and more interesting at a decent price is Village King, a class performer who deserves respect coming back from injury.


Nick Gifford Trains Joly Bey
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 15, 2005
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