Thoughts From The Panel

March 8th, 2016 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

I was a guest of the Northern Racing Club on the panel of their Cheltenham Preview evening at Haydock Park last night. My fellow panellists were Brian Hughes, Andy Gibson and Trevor Harris of Star Sports Bookmakers.

I have covered the bulk of our views in the Daily Communique – sent to my Cheltenham Package clients – but here, in brief, are a few of the more interesting points.

The members of the panel were generally against Min, feeling that his form did not justify his relatively short price. Trevor Harris expects the horse to be a drifter on the day, with some bookmakers possibly offering a money-back concession on any other bets in the race if he won. Personally I don’t much like the way he carries his head and I question how much he will find if he has to come off the bridle.

There has been good money around for Doctor Harper, with the ‘non-runner, no bet’ concession. I believe that from three entries his most likely target is the Ultima Handicap Chase on the first day.

There was a favourable mention for Diego Du Charmil in the Fred Winter, from a mark of 133. Brian Hughes was quite keen on Our Kaempfer in the Pertemps, suggesting that the horse should have won when he rode him at Aintree. He says that the key to the horse is a strong pace and that he will have no problem with the trip.

Everyone had a message for Our Father in the Kim Muir. Formerly with David Pipe, the grey has not run since New Year’s Day, 2015, but he has a very good record fresh and can run from a mark of 139 (had a peak of 154).

We all agreed that Next Sensation looked to have been specially prepared to follow up last year’s success in the Grand Annual Chase. He has apparently had a wind operation since his last run.

The online version of my Bulletin Book is available for Cheltenham Package subscribers to read later this evening. The book itself will be despatched over the course of Wednesday and Thursday.

Bye for now