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Champion Chase Day Jockey Tips
Wed, Mar 14th, 2012

Barry Geraghty, Jason Maguire, Richard Johnson and Choc Thornton are taking our Cheltenham Festival Tipster Challenge.

Barry Geraghty had three picks today - all on his own horses.

He has tipped Simonsig in the Neptune Investment Novices Hurdle and commented today in his ATR blog:

I begin with SIMONSIG, who has a very strong claim to winning the Neptune Investments Novices' Hurdle (2.05). I'd say that Simonsig is one of the better novice hurdlers that I've ridden in recent times. Plenty has been made of the fact that he won over two and a quarter miles last time and was beaten over two and a half by Fingal Bay at Sandown the time before. But I'm inclined to put that down to very sticky ground because he was travelling very nicely until after two out. He won two Irish points over three miles but the main reason I wanted to go for this rather than the Supreme is that I think he's a chaser for the future and therefore a little extra time to jump might help him. There's a big fancy from Ireland, Noel Meade's runner Monksland, who has won his last three and is clearly smart. Willie Mullins has as strong a hand as always and I'd be inclined towards Sous Les Cieux being the best of his – stayed on really well last time. But I think my horse has plenty of pace and class and the good ground will be ideal for him.

Barry also put up Bobs Worth in the RSA Chase in our contest and said in his blog :

BOBS WORTH won't have it easy with Grands Crus opting for the RSA Chase (2.40) over the Gold Cup but all I can say is that my lad is a much better horse than the one that finished second at Ascot last time and was beaten five lengths by Grands Crus at Kempton on Boxing Day. I saw him work recently and he went very well so I've no doubts about his well-being – definitely has come to himself and been helped a lot by a wind op. This is a circuit that he likes as he showed over hurdles - don't forget he beat Rock On Ruby last season - and I'd be very hopeful of making a fight of it with Grands Crus this time. The ground certainly won't be against Bobs Worth.

Richard Johnson has tipped Grands Crus in the race for our challenge. Tony McCoy was also in the Grands Crus camp:

It is very hard to get away from Grands Crus (2.40) in the RSA Chase. My only worry would be that he did not settle early if they go no gallop and he uses himself up. The greater the test of stamina the better for Bobsworth.

Barry Geraghty's third selection was Finian's Rainbow each way in the Champion Chase :

For the last two years I've been aboard Big Zeb in the Queen Mother Champion Chase (3.20) and he's done me proud winning and finishing second to Sizing Europe.This time I'm on FINIAN'S RAINBOW and I reckon if it was just those three in the field it would be a great race. I've got the greatest respect for the two former champions and on good ground I'd expect Big Zeb to get much closer to Sizing Europe than the five lengths he was beaten a year ago. Although they're getting on in years at ten and 11, Moscow Flyer won it for the last time when he was 11. But against all that, the signs are that Finian's Rainbow is coming right back to himself and when he's on top form he's a very classy two miler. He wasn't 100 per cent at Ascot last time when he was caught by Somersby and his recent work is showing that he's turned the corner. He's much more amenable to being tucked in these days which makes my job a lot easier.

Ruby Walsh rides Kauto Stone and expects to place behind Sizing Europe. Tony McCoy had a similar view :

Sizing Europe (3.20) looks a certainty in the Sportingbet.com Champion Chase. They all look like much of a muchness behind him. Kauto Stone did not stay last time and will appreciate the drop back to two miles and, having followed Sizing Europe home in the Tingle Creek, he can do so again here.

Jason Maguire has tipped Moscow Mannon in the Champion Bumper. Barry Geraghty was booked for New Years Eve in that race and blogged :

I've picked up a very decent outside ride for John Ferguson in the Weatherby's Champion Bumper (4.40) in NEW YEAR'S EVE. He's two from two and won his last race, a winners bumper at Market Rasen very easily from two fancied opponents. I sat on him last Thursday morning and got a very good feel from him on John's all weather just outside Newmarket and there's no question he's got plenty of pace and that's what will be needed. He's bred to be a decent flat horse and I'd be very hopeful he's got the desired kick on the home turn – he certainly looks the part. I think the best of the Irish runners is Moscow Mannon and if he were trained by one of the bigger stables he'd be shorter than he is – his form is very solid and he'll stay well. He's the one I think I have to beat. And I'll pass on a good word for Jessie Harrington's runner, Jezki who's a four-year-old like my lad and has won his last two very nicely

Tony McCoy also likes Moscow Mannon:

The Weatherbys Champion Bumper often goes Ireland's way. A Welsh-trained horse has yet to win it and I am not sure The Romford Pele (5.15) is the horse to break their duck. He was second a couple of times then broke his duck at Bangor a fortnight ago, but he looks up against it here and his price is probably a fair reflection of his chances. Moscow Mannon has won his last three and looks the one to beat.


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