By Tom Lee

Cheltenham Festival Clues: Five talking points from the weekend, as stars enhance Cheltenham Festival claims

By Tom Lee
Cheltenham Festival Clues: Goshen launched back into Champion Hurdle picture with fine win at Wincanton at the weekend.
Cheltenham Festival Clues: Goshen launched back into Champion Hurdle picture with fine win at Wincanton at the weekend.

Our resident columnist Tom Lee looks back at a sensational weekend of action which threw up a whole host of Cheltenham Festival clues, while he lauds a magnificent ride from Hugh Morgan in Ireland...

Goshen Triumph Provides Wincanton Wow Factor

It's well known racing's Moore family is a talented unit, one which comprises three superb jockeys; Ryan, Josh and Jamie, an ace dual-purpose trainer; Gary, plus an eloquent broadcaster in the shape of Hayley.

All have had their hands full recently, not least Flat jockey Ryan heading off to Saudi Arabia to ride Andrew Balding's Bangkok in the Saudi Cup, as well as Gary and Jamie teaming up nearer to home to try and restore the reputation of stable star Goshen

Lining up in Saturday's Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton, there's no question the five-year-old was on a serious retrieval mission, trying to restore a lofty reputation battered by a dismal showing when last seen, trailing in stonewall last in December's International Hurdle at Cheltenham, after which a fibrillating heartbeat was reported. 

There's no question this lad has superstar potential - anyone who witnessed his freak accident when unseating Jamie with the pair miles clear at the last in March's Triumph Hurdle, an incident which was in no way his rider's fault despite some of the nonsense doing the rounds at the time - will be well aware, but proving it out on the track is forever the key barometer. 

Cheltenham Festival Tips

Fast forward 11 months from the fateful day and the pair looked in rude health down at the start in Somerset, expecting a battle from re-opposing International Hurdle winner Song For Someone, plus recent Haydock giant slayer Navajo Pass

Jamie was clearly brimming with confidence having helped the frustrating 4/1 shot Dentley De Mee to break a long losing streak in the race prior, his only other mount on the card, and officially four minutes and a second later he'd piloted a 20/1 double.

Goshen won as he pleased. 

For anyone looking for a statement from the four-legged comeback kid, this was it. 

Goshen, restored to his best, purred around the West Country track's right-handed, galloping circuit, mercilessly applying maximum pressure from two out and dismissively coming clear for a 22-length victory. 

Speaking from his West Sussex bunker afterwards, the notoriously workaholic Gary told the press: "You can't believe how pleased I am. He looks like he's back. People don't know how much that meant to me. He's entitled to take his chance now (at Cheltenham) on what he's done here."

The Kingwell is a recognised trial for the Champion Hurdle, for which bookies now make the Authorized gelding a general 9/2 shout, tucked in third in the market behind the mares Honeysuckle and Epatante.

As long as they all get there in once piece it's got the makings of a day one cracker in just over three weeks' time.

Plus don't forget, names such as Bula, Alderbrook, Hors La Loi III and Katchit all did what Goshen will try and do - complete the Kingwell / Champion Hurdle double.

Cheltenham Festival Races

Recovery Position

Credit to young rider Hugh Morgan after he somehow miraculously overcame plenty of mid-race drama to guide Young Dev home in front in Sunday's 1.40 Navan.

Riding the 17/2 shot for Tipperary handler Denis Hogan, Morgan's right stirrup leather broke early on, meaning he rode without his irons for pretty much all of this three mile chase.

You'd imagine he'll be in some severe pain in the aftermath, but a brave and skilled rider paired with a willing mount turned out to be a winning combination, as the duo persisted to eventually come three quarters of a length to the good - an outcome which for much of a compelling race appeared deeply unlikely. 

Horsemanship at its very best.

Extraordinary. It's worth a watch!

Aintree In April Could Be Drama Destination

Form figures under rules of 2,1,1,2,1 suggest the top team of Donald McCain and Brian Hughes could have a star on their hands in the form of six-year-old Flemensfirth gelding Minella Drama

He impressed when landing the rescheduled listed Sidney Banks Novices' Hurdle at Market Raspberry on Sunday, benefitting from the application of a first-time hood to see out an extended two and a half miles with ease. 

He doesn't hold any Cheltenham entries, but the McCain family's traditional fondness for Aintree could well be the precursor to his spring target - look out for this exciting sort at a venue where an emphasis on speed will surely suit. 

Soaring To Festival Glory?

Jonjo O'Neill is enjoying a really good campaign, one which got better on Sunday afternoon as he landed Newbury's ever-competitive Betfair Handicap Hurdle for the second time (after Get Me Out Of Here back in 2010), with 17/2 chance Soaring Glory becoming his stable's 59th success of the season. 

Ridden by his son, Jonjo Jr, the six-year-old was in touch throughout and came away smartly to win by three lengths, a performance which tees him up for a crack at the Cheltenham Festival's opening race in three weeks.

Bookies generally offer this likeable sort at 10/1 and 12/1 (from 25's) for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. He looks one to take seriously.

Cheltenham Festival Odds

No Shortage Of Spirit From Two Game Performers

Sunday's Grade 2 Game Spirit Chase at Newbury promised much on paper and delivered plenty on the racecourse as the front two home emerged with reputations enhanced. 

Trainer Alan King was non-committal about a Festival target for speedy winner Sceau Royal when interviewed afterwards by ITV, but it'll surely be the Queen Mother Champion Chase, for which the talented and versatile nine-year-old is 20/1 to go two places better than when third in 2019. 

A huge positive mention is also reserved for runner-up Champ - returning to the fray off a 347-day absence, one which included a wind op, the nine-year-old son of King's Theatre was dropping markedly in trip here, a canny move given you'd have expected him to pop up in the longer Denman Chase on the same card. 

Granted his previously unblemished Newbury record is no longer intact, but overall this was a fine effort from an animal now nine from 14 under rules.

Clearly as good as ever, last year's RSA hero will likely be cherry ripe for a tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup in three and a half weeks' time.  

The Irish will take him very seriously, as do bookmakers who offer Champ at 6/1.

Cheltenham Festival Free Bets
Advert Disclaimer is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.
Bet £10 Get £20 + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile Exclusive. £30 in FREE Bets (FB) as £20 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min Deposit £10. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7-day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Account & Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+ T&Cs apply.
Money Back As A Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Racing Bet Loses + £10 casino
AD 18+ New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. No deposit required for NI customers. Call 08081699314 to claim. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 get £30 in Free Bets
#AD T&Cs apply. New customers, Deposit & Place a Bet within 7 days, and settle a £10 minimum bet at odds of 4/5 (1.8) or greater, to be credited with 3x £10 free bets: 1 x £10 Horse racing, 1 x £10 Free Bet Builder and 1 x £10 Football. Stake not returned. Opt-in required. 18+
Welcome Offer
#AD New Customers only. Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets. Sign up, deposit between £5 and £10 to your account and bet365 will give you three times that value in Free Bets when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
Bet £20 & Get it Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any market at odds of min 2.0 (EVS) and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Bet £5 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD New Customer offer. Place a min £5 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £20 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. From 00:01 on 18.10.2022. £30 bonus, credited as 3x £10 bets. New customers only. Minimum £10 stake on odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater on sportsbook (excluding Virtual markets). Further terms apply.
Bet £10 Get £40 In Bonuses
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in and place a £10 bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00+ within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00+. Plus, a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Bet £10 Get £40 in Bonuses
#AD New 18+ UK customers only. Register with promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place 1st bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited in 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes not included in any returns. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
150% Casino Bonus (Up To £150)
#AD 18+  New casino accounts only. Min. £10 deposit, debit card only. Up to 50x wagering, game contributions vary, max. stake applies, 7-day expiry. Full T&Cs apply. 32Red match your first deposit amount up to £150, e.g. Deposit £100, 32Red will match up to 150% = Bonus of £150. Gamble responsibly.
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD. New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of each-way bets only. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: Valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. each-way & multiple bets), stakes not returned. **Max Free Bet £10. Free Bet: non-withdrawable, use in 7 days on sportsbook only. Stake not returned. Full T&C's apply. Bet Responsibly. 18+
Bet £10 get £20 in Free Bets
#AD 18+ New members only. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from crediting (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. T&Cs apply,
Double The Odds On Any UK Horse Race!
#AD 18+ New Grosvenor registrations only, Bet must be placed using real money in combination with the Odds Boost Token, Offer applies to Sport bets only. Max stake £10. Each way bets are a max of £5 each way (£10 total). Odds Boost token expires after 60 days. T&Cs apply.
£30 Matched Free Bet if Your First Acca Loses + 50 Bonus Spins
#AD 18+ New UK customers only. £5 Min Deposit, max free bet: £30. 1st bet on a Football or Horse Racing multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Offer valid for 7 days of account registration. 50 Bonus Spins credited on placement of qualifying Acca bet.50x bonus wagering applies & weighting requirements, Bonus spins available on selected games & expires 7 days. Debit card deposits only (excl. apply). Full T&Cs apply
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets
#AD 18+, New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 on any sports (odds 2.00+) in 7 days. No cash out. Get 4x£5 sports free bets for set markets (odds 2.00+), expires in 7 days. Offer valid from 10:00 UK time on 16/01/2023. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. | Please Gamble Responsibly
Bet £25 Get £50 In Bonuses
#AD Place a qualifying £25 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater and get £50 in bonuses 5 x £5 free fixed odds bets, 4 x free £5 spread bets + 50 free spins on Starburst. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. T&Cs Apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. Min £10/€10 first deposit using a Debit Card. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5 and get £10. A further £10 credited after 7 days and a further £10 credited after 14 days. 18+., T&Cs apply.
£35 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
#AD 18+ If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of first day's betting, get 50% refund of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins. Even if account is up, guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | New UK Customers Only |
50% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus
#AD 18+; New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; See full terms.
Latest racing results
2ndJames Bradley
1stUniversal Grace
2ndMick's Spirit
3rdBoom The Groom
1stGrand Duchess Olga
2ndGreek Giant
View All Today's Results