Five Horses To Take Out Of The 2022 Cheltenham Festival

James Mackie

Bell Ex One

The first horse we are going to put up as an eye-catcher from the Cheltenham festival was the Paul Nicholls trained Bell Ex One.

Having his first run at the festival for Nicholls having been moved from Ray Cody's yard in Ireland having shown bundles of ability across the pond.

With it being a slight fact finding mission for the 12 time champion trainer, not having him long and running him pretty much straight away, he must have been over the moon with what he saw.

Coming into the race off a mark of 130, he stayed on extremely well, passing horses up the hill to finish a narrow third on the other side of the track behind the extremely well in Gaelic Warrior and highly talented Brazil.

Bell Ex One is a really nice horse to have moving forward and having more time with Nicholls will only bring him on and if not penalised to hard for his superb run at the festival, he could still be well ahead of his mark.

Gericault Roque

Another horse on the first day of the 2022 Cheltenham that took the high and could still be ahead of his mark if staying down the handicapping route is David Pipe's Gericault Roque.

Not sure whether he had a high enough handicap mark to get into the Ultima this season, he scrapped in at the bottom of the weights and almost went on to take the event.

Running four times before the festival this season, the thorough stayer, albeit running seriously smart races in defeat had still not won over fences.

Finishing second at Chepstow behind Pats Fancy, and then again behind the quickly improving Saint Palais, he then went to Warwick and only found one too good for the third time in a row in the Grade Three Classic Handicap Chase.

Having a big chance and being well backed ahead of the Ultima last week, he was the bridesmaid for the fourth time in succession, getting beat close home behind the superb Corach Rambler.

Gericault Roque has a big handicap in him and is worth sticking by.

Fastorslow

The first Irish horse that took the eye and was a very unlcuky loser in the Coral Cup was the Martin Brassil trained Fastorslow, who was a narrow second behind previous Albert Bartlett winner Commander Of Fleet.

The six year old held very little form heading into the event, having three runs since being bought and moved over from France and although finishing second on stable debut for the yard, since then he found things difficult.

He went to Leopardstown at Christmas and was 10th of 18 and then backed that up with another average run when 12th of 27 at the Dublin Racing festival.

Both of those runs in big fields came over two miles and when stepped up in trip to 2m5f for the Coral Cup, he gave a career best run.

Fastorslow, with the rain helping his case, stayed on extremely well to narrowly be beat up the hill by a horse proven at the track.

Set to be run over the right trip from now on and still on a decent mark, he should keep improving and is a horse to keep on the right side of, still being very unexposed.

Mister Coffey

On the Thursday of the festival this year it rounded off with the Kim Muir Handicap Chase and it throughout a shock result with a 40/1 winner for Venetia Williams.

The horse we want to concentrate on is Mister Coffey who hit an extremely short price in running but in the end had to settle for second.

Mister Coffey for Nicky Henderson has always been a horse they have thought of highly, being a decent horse over hurdles when seventh in a strong Betfair Hurdle then a decent fourth of 22 at last year's Grand National meeting in a good handicap.

Sent chasing this year with the plan always to step him up in trip, he has gone on to run well all season long, finishing third on chase debut over two miles and since then has placed second three times in a row including at the festival, being moved up to 2m4f and 3m2f.

His latest second in the Kim Muir was a spirited run and staying over these longer trips in the future will surely see him break his duck over the larger obstacles.

First Street

The final horse that we are putting up to follow off the back of their run at the Cheltenham festival is another horse for Nicky Henderson.

On the Friday in the Grade Three County Hurdle First Street was a superb second behind the chucked in State Man for Willie Mullins and having ran well prior to this effort, we are starting to see a pattern which should see this horse go close in a big handicap.

Winning both his hurdles starts this year at Bangor and Warwick over further than the County Hurdle decent, he then went into the Persian War and ran below par.

Getting back to winning ways in emphatic fashion at Newbury, he then went into the Betfair Hurdle and was a very good third behind Glory And Fortune.

Off 142 in the County Hurdle he stayed on best of the rest to finish second behind a very smart prospect for Mullins and if not being penalised too harshly, he should be one to follow for the rest of this term and going forward in his career.

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