15 Mar 2013 Pre-2014 Releases

The following are a selection of comments from the BHA Handicappers regarding key performances from the Cheltenham Festival.

Please note, all ratings quoted are provisional.

Martin Greenwood on the Ladbrokes World Hurdle

“A standard renewal of the World Hurdle saw Solwhit returning to the form of a few years ago after long lay off, and it is hard to say what he has achieved just yet. Celestial Halo and Smad Place have run their races while Reve De Sivola and Oscar Whisky both disappointed.”

Martin Greenwood on Thursday’s Handicap winners

“Holywell has been put up 21lb over the course of the season after three second place finishes, while Medinas had risen 15lb this season after being placed twice and winning before yesterday’s race. It just goes to show that it is possible to advance in the weights without winning and still go on to win a race at the festival.”

David Dickinson on the JCB Triumph Hurdle

“The performance of Our Conor was mightily impressive and his rating will reflect that. I have provisionally placed him on a mark of 160, which makes him the highest rated Triumph winner since the Anglo-Irish Classifications began, 1lb ahead of Katchit.

Phil Smith on the Betfred Gold Cup

“I evaluated the race through The Giant Bolster who has run to 164 on a number of occasions and seems to have reproduced that form today. Long Run has beaten him by six lengths so we have him on 170. Sir Des Champs was a further three lengths in front so he is rated 173 and then the seven lengths to the winner Bobs Worth means he is rated 180.

“This makes him the fourth highest rated 3 Mile Chaser since the Anglo-Irish Classifications began, behind only Kauto Star, Denman and Imperial Commander.

“If you are going to have a couse specialist, Cheltenham is not a bad place to have it! The race also confirms that the best pre-festival form this year was the Hennessy Gold Cup when Bobs Worth beat Tiday Bay and First Lieutenant.”