Timeform Preview Night - The Panels Selections

punters betting at the cheltenham festival

Timeform Cheltenham Preview Night

On Tuesday evening we visited Timeform's Cheltenham festival preview night which included a panel of racing experts that are frequently seen across broadcasting channels like Sky Sport Racing and Racing TV.

Presented by Sky Sports Racing's Jamie Lynch the other Panelists Martin Dixon, Rory King, Billy Nash, Dan Barber and Betfair's Ryan McCue gave plenty of insight to their fancies at this seasons four day meeting.

In this blog we have narrowed down in short all of the selections given on the night by the experts to help you, the punter with your picks ahead of the greatest show on turf.

Supreme Novices Hurdle

  • Billy Nash - Asterion Forlonge
  • Martin Dixon - Abracadabras (No strong opinion on the race however)
  • Rory King - Asterion Forlonge
  • Dan Barber - Edwardstone (Each Way)

The general consensus on the evening was that Shishkin could not be had at the price and it might pay to look elsewhere with Asterion Forlonge for Willie Mullins being a huge hit amongst the panelists and they believed his form far outweighed that of the current favourite.

Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase

  • Billy Nash - Notebook
  • Martin Dixon - Fakir D'oudairies
  • Rory King - Notebook

Only three of the panellists had strong opinions on this contest with it being such a tough renewal to call but overall many were very strong on the favourite and thought what he has done this season is far superior to that of the field.

The Irish expert Billy Nash was extremely excited about the chances of the favourite Notebook and explained it was one of his bankers of the week.

Ultima Handicap

  • Martin Dixon - The Conditional
  • Rory King - Cobra De Mai
  • Dan Barber - Shattered Love

The panel-like any handicap had very differing views and made a strong each-way case for all of their horses but Dan Barber as supremely confident in Shattered Love for either this contest or the Brown Advisory.

Champion Hurdle

  • Ryan McCue - Coeur Sublime
  • Martin Dixon - Epatante
  • Dan Barber - Pentland Hills
  • Billy Nash - Sharjah E/W
  • Rory King - Verdana Blue

With the Champion Hurdle being one of the most open and lacking in stand out talent for a while there is no surprise to see every panellist have a different selection.

The one thing to take out of the discussion was how strong Martin Dixon spoke about Epatante and just believes she is the class act in the contest and the current 4/1 will be more like 6/4 before the off.

Mares Hurdle

  • Billy Nash - Benie Des Dieux and Stormy Ireland E/W
  • Martin Dixon - Benie Des Dieux
  • Dan Barber - Buildmeupbuttercup E/W
  • Ryan McCue - Benie Des Dieux
  • Jamie Lynch - Benie Des Dieux

The consensus is what everyone thought would happen last season and Benie Des Dieux is the star mare on show in this contest with none of the panel thinking Honeysuckle can get the better of her.

With short prices at the top of the market, it may pay to look each way and Billy Nash was very shrewd on Stormy Ireland to get in the places and even to back it without the favourite.

Northern Trust Company Novices Handicap Chase

  • Ryan McCue - Galvin
  • Dan Barber - Hold The Note / Espoir De Gueye E/W

Only two of the panellists had strong opinions on this contest with the Irish angle very keen on Galvin with his price smashed in the last few weeks and Dan Barber looking for value with his selections.

National Hunt Chase

  • Dan Barber - Ocean Cove/ Christmas In April E/W
  • Billy Nash - Plan Of Attack (If it goes)
  • Martin Dixon - Springfield Fox/ Ardlethen E/W

The last race on the Tuesday as last year proved is a minefield with only four horses actually finishing in the contest last season and there are some big prices on offer from the experts in this one.

One thing to note is that for the most part they think that Carefully selected is very easy to take on.

Ballymore Novices Hurdle

  • Dan Barber - Envoi Allen
  • Billy Nash - Envoi Allen
  • Ryan McCue - Envoi Allen
  • Jamie Lynch - Envoi Allen
  • Martin Dixon - Envoi Allen

Nearly everyone of the pundits believe this is one of the bankers of the week with Envoi Allen unbeaten and still improving and they could not speak more highly about him.

Rory King was the only person to mention Sporting John and believed it was not a one horse race with this horse set to be involved aswell.

RSA Chase

Dan Barber - Copperhead

Rory King - Allaho

Billy Nash - Minella Indo (No strong opinion)

Dan Barber could not speak more highly about Copperhead and believed if it was in the National Hunt Chase instead it would be the best of the festival but even in the RSA has a huge chance.

The other two panellists could not agree on Allaho with Martin Dixon not sure on him staying the three miles.

Coral Cup

  • Rory King - Canardier/ Saglawy

He was the only man to have a strong opinion on this contest with two of Willie Mullins runners looking to have a big chance.

Champion Chase

  • Ryan McCue - Defi Du Seuil
  • Martin Dixon - Defi Du Seuil
  • Dan Barber - Defi Du Seuil
  • Rory King - Defi Du Seuil

The whole team on Tuesday night were forced into a selection really but did think the Defi Du Seuil will be the winner of the Champion Chase but the biggest thing to take note of was how against Altior they were with some talking about laying him.

Cross Country Chase

  • Dan Barber - Easysland

Dan Barber was the only one with a decent opinion on the race and did believe whatever happens Easysland would be the best horse Tiger Roll has ever run against.

Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

  • Jamie Lynch - Thyme White

Again just the one opinion in this race and Jamie Lynch believes after speaking to his french colleagues at Sky Spots Racing that Thyme White has gone under the radar in this event.

Champion Bumper

  • Martin Dixon - Queen's Brook
  • Dan Barber - The Glancing Queen
  • Billy Nash - Appreciate It/ Ferny Hollow E/W
  • Ryan McCue - Lay Appreciate It

The English pundits were very happy to take on the short priced favourite but Irish expert Bill Nash explained how he was the best in Ireland but did like Ferny Hollow as well for Willie Mullins.

Marsh Novices Hurdle

  • Rory King - Easy Game
  • Ryan McCue - Samcro E/W
  • Billy Nash - Allaho/Easy Game
  • Martin Dixon - Samcro E/W

The Marsh discussion definitely split opinion last night with plenty in with a chance but the panel believed that the freshness of Samcro and if getting back to his Ballymore Novices Hurdle form could see him go well here.

Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle

  • Billy Nash - Storyteller/ Relegate E/W
  • Dan Barber - Phoenix Way

Billy Nash thought that Storyteller was one of his bankers of the festival this season going into depth about his handicap mark over hurdles and over fences and just believes with his course form he is set up for a huge run in this one.

Ryanair Chase

  • Rory King - A Plus Tard
  • Martin Dixon - A Plus Tard
  • Billy Nash - Head says A Plus Tard heart says Min

The top two in the market really did split opinion with the panellists finding it very hard to choose between A Plus Tard and Min but overall they did side with the younger horse.

Stayers Hurdle

  • Billy Nash - Paisley Park
  • Rory King - Paisley Park
  • Dan Barber - Paisley Park
  • Martin Dixon - Paisley Park/ Summerville Boy E/W
  • Ryan McCue - Paisley Park
  • Jamie Lynch - Paisley Park

Pretty much a formality for the panel with this race as Paisley Park was the hot topic of conversation but Martin Dixon did think that Summerville Boy would be the horse to back at an each-way price.

Brown Advisory Plate

  • Dan Barber - Shattered Love

As discussed for the Ultima Handicap he is very fond of this horse whatever race it goes in and she still holds an entry in this aswell.

Mares Novices Hurdle

  • Ryan McCue - Santa Rossa E/W
  • Billy Nash - Minella Melody (Banker)

Billy Nash told the crowd in Manchester yesterday that Minella Melody in the Mares Novices Hurdle was his banker of the festival off the back of what she has done this season.

Betfair's Ryan McCue was very shrewd on Santa Rossa at 16/1 and thinks she can get in the top three.

Kim Muir Handicap Chase

  • Rory King - Plan Of Attack

Rory King really fancied Henry De Bromhead's horse in this contest and believes off the back of his third in the Paddy Power Chase over in Ireland that he can go well again.

Triumph Hurdle

  • Dan Barber - Goshen
  • Billy Nash - A Wave Of The Sea E/W
  • Rory King - Hook Up
  • Jamie Lynch - Goshen

The consensus in what looks one of the hottest Triumph Hurdles for some time was that the favourite Solo could not be had and was rated much higher than he should be.

The panel were very shrewd on the chances of Goshen and believe that even with his question mark over his jumping that he could see this field off.

County Hurdle

  • Rory King - Eglantine Du Seuil

Just the one selection from Rory King in this one and it was one his best each way bets of the meeting with last seasons Mares Novices Hurdle winner set to go well in the County Hurdle.

Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle

  • Ryan McCue - Fury Road
  • Martin Dixon - Fury Road
  • Dan Barber - Thyme Hill
  • Rory King - Latest Exhibition

The Albert Bartlett was one of the most well-discussed races of the evening with it being one of the classiest renewals of the race for many years.

Rory King gave the standout statement with Latest Exhibition being his banker of the week and he does look to hold a huge chance at a nice price.

Gold Cup

  • Ryan McCue - Al Boum Photo
  • Billy Nash - Al Boum Photo
  • Dan Barber - Al Boum Photo
  • Martin Dixon - Al Boum Photo/ Lostintranslation each way
  • Rory King - Lostintranslation

The big race of the four days sees the panelists all in the same camp with last year's winner Al Boum Photo looking to be a certain according to the pundits.

There were mentions for Lostintranslation maybe sneaking into the places but as for Santini and Delta Work it was very much a warning to stay away.

Foxhunter Chase

  • Billy Nash - Staker Wallace

Just the one in the veteran contest from the pundits and an Irish inside tip from the expert and over the last few weeks this horse has plummeted in the market.

Grand Annual Chase

  • Dan Barber - Greaneteen

Again just the one selection from the panel for the Grand Annual and Dan Barber was very shrewd on the chances of this Paul Nicholls horse with him not having a bad record in the race.

Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle

  • Billy Nash - Front View/ Alfa Mix E/W
  • Ryan McCue - Front View
  • Jamie Lynch - Pileon

The final race of the four days sees the Irish have a very strong chance with Front View who has been backed off the boards for this contest.

Jamie Lynch gave one of his strongest chances of the week in this contest as well with the Philip Hobbs trained Pileon who has some remarkable British form.

Panel Charity Bets

Jamie Lynch - Goshen (Triumph Hurdle) - £50 win

Pileon (Martin Pipe) - £25 E/W

Dan Barber - Goshen (Triumph Hurdle) - £50 win

Shattered Love (Festival Plate) - £25 E/W

Billy Nash - Notebook (Arkle) - £50 win

The Storyteller (Pertemps) - £25 E/W

Martin Dixon - Fakir D'oudairies (Arkle) - £50 win

Epatante (Champion Hurdle) - £50 win

Rory King - Latest Exhibition (Albert Bartlett) - £50 win

Eglantine Du Seuil (County Hurdle) - £25 E/W

Ryan McCue - Coeur Sublime (Champion Hurdle) - £50 win

Tronador (Fred Winter) - £50 win