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Cheltenham Preview Reports 2015: Swords
Tue, Feb 24th, 2015

The Irish Daily Star hosted a preview night in Kettles Hotel, Swords Co. Dublin on Monday 23rd Friday 2015.

Thanks to @IanGox10 tweeting for @irishstarsport we have been able to put together this Cheltenham Preview Report.


Davy Russell
Andy Mac
The Couch
Brian Flanaghan


Our main man Brian Flanagan cant see past Douvan in the Supreme, Davy notes that L'Ami Serge is a second season novice (Andy Mc told him so)
Andy Mc: Douvan hacked all over very good horses already this year. Reckons the favourite has a stone in hand
Andy: fact that Willie reckons Douvan is the best he's sent speaks volumes. Couch thinks the English are rubbish this year. Douvan a cert
Couch is firmly in the Alvisio Ville each way camp. Fast run two miles will suit
Paddy Power rep trying to put punters off Douvan because of knee action. Shot down by @_Davy_Russel_ (what do bookies know about action?)

We move onto the Neptune
Couch reckons they're a weak bunch in Neptune. Parlour Games no chance. Nichols Canyon wants this trip and more. Great chance

Triumph Hurdle next. We watch clips of Peace And Co, Hargam, Dicosimo & Petite Parisienne with Kalkir
Andy Mc reckons the Spring Juvenile form isn't as good as Dicosimo defeat of Prussian Eagle. P&C not for him at the prices. Chaser in making
Couch taking on Peace And Co. Nervy horse - thinks Hargam a flat track horse and much prefers Top Notch. Impressed by him at Haydock
Brian Flanagan reckons Beltor will hose in. Serious performance at Kempton in Adonis. Dicosimo a huge horse and more a chaser

Novice Chasers
Arkle up first. We get to relive that Leopardstown performance

UDS an absolute certainty. Only danger is maybe knuckling on the downhill. Josses Hill no chance. Jumps like a goat
Davy agrees on UDS. can't see anything touching him. Couch agrees. Horse is exceptional. Stone wall certainty. Everyone agrees rest are crap
Brian Flanagan is interested in Sgt Reckless each way but UDS bar a fall. Unusual prep but has gears

Davy actually can't have Don Poli. Rode him in a maiden and thought he'd never win a race. Coneygree for him. Theyre mad to go Gold Cup
Andy Mc: Agree 100% with Davy Russell. Coneygree is a magnificent jumper. Brian Flanagan fancies The Young Master to run a big race
Brian: Don Poli was v impressive at Christmas but concerned over split
Davy: I will run up Swords Main Street with my pants over my head if Willie gets his way over Michael O'Leary
Couch can only see one winner. Don Poli. Proper animal. Best form and will grind it out. He's told Coneygree will run in GC. Leg problems

Couch unsure on Vautour. Thinks Apache Stronghold cracking value. Goes back to the Don Poli form. Thinks he's another good one
Andy Mc: Apache was impressive in Flogas but thinks that Valseur Lido could possibly reverse. Vautour jumping good at Navan and Leop good
Davy: Couch has a point on Vautour, questions Valseur Lido stamina. No hiding place at Cheltenham. If Vautour jumps he wins
Brian: Vautour funny horse. If comes up good Gods Own could run well. Still a novice and has beaten Balder Succes already. Big price

Davy: Don Cossack and Johns Spirit. The Don is now the horse we always thought he'd be and Johns loves Cheltenham
Andy Mc: Cue Card can't be written off. Hidden Cyclone may go to this and last time was a good run. In good form. Leaning towards this
Brian really likes Balder Succes but can't rule out either of Jonjo's
Couch has had one of his biggest bets of the week in Ryanair. Can't have Balder Succes. All over Ma Filleule. Massive on her. Gettin 7lbs
He does make an excellent argument for the mare

Champion Chase
Andy most worried about Sprinter's burst after Clarence House. But if he runs to mark he wins. Simples
Champagne Fever could run well and Mr Mole too quirky. Sire looked good last time but three very quick runs in succession a worry
Davy big on Dodging Bullets. Do not back SS because of the bleed. He can win without u having a bet. Don't touch a bleeder. Dodging to beat
Couch agrees with Davy on Dodging Bullets. SS the best we've seen and SDG won a bad renewal last year. But DB is solid. Won the trials
Couch: they just don't come back to the same level. Him and Andy goin at it now. Andy thinks if SS bursts he loses and DB can't win
Brian: what was Paul Nicholls last winner over fences at festival? Kauto!!! Poor champion if Dodging wins. Champagne Fever for Brian

Davy discussing Weld Bumper horses. Vigil is a good one. Form strong but Wait For Me from Philip Hobbs is best of English. Was with P Fenton
Davy: Pylonthepressure is by Darcy. No good. Bordini by Martaline. Much better.
Davy would ride Hurricane Fly if he had any other ride. Andy Mc would take Faugheen. Couch would be on a 'f***ing big orse!' Queue laughter
Davy: only one man in Ireland who can take on Willie and that's Gordon Elliott. Bumper become a bookies' benefit.
Question for Andy, Mallowney run at Festival? Davy worried he's getting jocked off. Confirms he stays at home. Davy also sweet on Archive

Champion Hurdle
Davy fancies The Fly over Faugheen. Worried about the favourite's jumping at Champion Hurdle pace. Soft = Fly!
Andy loved Faugheen since his bumper defeat of Josses Hill. Ruby hasn't a sentimental bone in his body and will ride Faugheen
Couch: no fairytale in this. Sorry Fly fans. Faugheen a stone wall certainty. No reason for Fly to win at this age.
Brian Flanagan: don't mind the fact that Arctic Fire was close. That can happen at Leop. If there's 8 runners Jezki is cracking ew value
Davy's CH tip is also Jezki. @paddypower have only seen money for Faugheen all winter.

World Hurdle
Couch would love to see Sandra Hughes win the World Hurdle but Saphir Du Rheu can't be out of the front three. 5/1 cracking value
Couch: Zarkandar a non-stayer, More Of That won't run, Annie Power too. Andy thinks 25/1 Reve De Sivola is excellent each way value
Davy will ride Jetson but finds it hard to get away from Lieutenant Colonel. Really improving this year. Gigg horses improve with age
Brian: Briar Hill might be a bit of a dark horse at about 20-1.

Gold Cup
Davy reliving last year's win. He comes alive at Chelt. RSA and then last year. We tried forcing tactics in Hennessy but will wait
Davy: Lord is a good horse I promise you. Was in front way too early in Lexus but will be much better in March. Sun on his back and held up
Davy: Silviniaco Conti is supposed to be improved but he'll need to be. RTR and Carlingford showing that Galway Plate form ain't bad
Davy: RTR always had ulcer problems but sorted now. Djakadam has too find huge improvement. May need to be very testing for him. Lot to find
Davy: Ruby sweet on Djakadam but needs to improve a lot. Bobs Worth loves Cheltenham but Nicky having poor season. But if they're firing...
Davy: wouldn't swap LW for anything in good ground but on soft ground I'd ride Many Clouds
Andy: Carlingford finishes his races do well that he has to come into it. Many Clouds amazing jumper but needs soft. Silviniaco one to beat
Andy: king George form is excellent. A year stronger
Couch: Many Clouds will be lapped on good ground. Djakadam form not working out. Maybe next year. Silvi has the best form on offer.
Couch: on fast ground Lord Windermere is a huge price. Carlingford too many mistakes. RTR won't stay
Brian: would be amazed if Carlingford is good enough. RTR won't stay. Thyestes form poor. Silvi would've won that by 20 off top weight
Brian: GC a massive stamina test as Sam Winner could potentially be a big price. But Silvi for me. Best form and will be ridden differently

Onto the naps an handicap selections

Charity bets

Brian: 50 Silviniaco GC and 25ew savello

Andy: 50 ew Tutenkamen in cross country

Couch: 100 win Ma Filleule Ryanair
Couch: Mick Jazz Fred Winter + Brother Brian Pertemps

Davy: Nap: 25 ew Johns Spirit + 25ew theophilus

Dave Coughlan: Lord Windermere 100

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