Ed Quigley: Two Tips for Saturday and an Ante-Post Play

There's action this weekend at Cheltenham for trials day.
There's action this weekend at Cheltenham for trials day.

We're back to Cheltenham this weekend for Cheltenham Festival trials day, and Ed Quigley returns with one selection at HQ, one at Doncaster, and an ante-post play in the Albert Bartlett...

We had a race to remember at Ascot on Saturday, as Shiskin and Energumene treated us to a race to remember. I look forward to those two locking horns once again, and hopefully we have more terrific battles between the two in the future. The show rolls on, and we head to the home of Jump Racing this weekend for Cheltenham Trials Day. Champ will be warm-order to see off Paisley Park and company in the Cleeve Hurdle, and Chantry House will be looking to restore his reputation by winning the Cotswold Chase

As for wagers on the card, It will mainly be powder dry for now, but I will be backing INTERNE DE SIVOLA in the Triumph Hurdle Trial at 12.45. He won the December equivalent of this, and albeit this looks tougher on paper, he did it in good style and is open to further improvement. The second at third from his December win have both won since, so the form has some substance to it. I wouldn't be shocked if he made it two wins on the bounce for the Nick Williams team.

Cheltenham 12:45
Interne De Sivola silk

Interne De Sivola

Cheltenham Festival Tips

Over at Doncaster, GRAND SANCY is starting to look too well handicapped to ignore. Rated 152 over fences at his peak two seasons ago, he has now slipped down to a BHA rating of 136. What has become more and more noticeable is his tendency to go left handed at a lot of his obstacles, which we saw, much to his detriment when pulled-up at Ascot last time out. A return to a left-handed track is a must, and off these terms has to come into the equation. He steps up to 3m for the first time, and given the manner in which he shaped with promise when fourth over an extended 2m6f (first time at the trip) at Newbury on his penultimate start (would have been closer if not for mistake at the last) he looks far from a 25/1 poke in my eyes.

Sky Bet Handicap Chase
Grand Sancy silk

Grand Sancy


As for the Cheltenham Festival, we have 7 weeks to go, and the excitement is building nicely. Unfortunately for followers of this column, Blazing Khal will miss the meeting due to a setback, but I think GERRI COLOMBE could easily be in the shake-up here. I was impressed with his win at Thurles on Saturday, maintaining his unbeaten record, mainly as I think the ground would have been lively enough for him, but more significantly, I think the track was totally at odds with his skillset. The tight, right-handed turns would not have suited him at all, and everything seemed a bit of a rush, hence a few sticky jumps. The New Course at Cheltenham, with much more of a stamina-laden, galloping test will suit this physically imposing sort perfectly in my view. Connections voiced afterwards that he heads straight to the Albert Bartlett. Journey With Me, a horse in the same ownership could join him, but depending on how he gets on at the Dublin Racing Festival, the Ballymore Hurdle could always be a succinct possibility. 

2022 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle
Gerri Colombe silk

Gerri Colombe

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  • Cheltenham, Saturday 12.45, Interne De Sivola, 1pt win
  • Doncaster, Saturday 3.20, Grand Sancy, 0.5pts e/w 25/1 (generally)
  • Cheltenham, March 18,  Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle, Gerri Colombe, 1pt win 10/1 (generally)
Cheltenham Festival 2022
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