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Balls.ie's Cheltenham Tipster: Get Behind Vision Des Flos and Presenting Percy In The First Two Races

Balls.ie's Cheltenham Tipster: Get Behind Vision Des Flos and Presenting Percy In The First Two Races
Ian O'Rourke
By Ian O'Rourke
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Yesterday Balls.ie's resident racing tipster Ian O'Rourke gifted readers some golden tips by backing Summerville Boy and the majestic Rathvinden at 9/1 and 5/1 respectively. Here's what he's tipping today. 

Hearing that roar at the beginning of the festival is always spine tingling and people on course, in offices and in bookmakers around the country were glued to what was an exciting and surprising first day of this year’s Cheltenham Festival. Somehow Summerville Boy landed the first race after two appalling jumps and showed what a powerful rider Noel Fehily can be. Footpad was very impressive although Ruby’s mount was certainly helped by his two main rivals taking each other on and leaving the door wide open for Ruby to patiently wait, as he does so well. The Champion Hurdle has shown that unfortunately nothing lasts forever and the mighty Faugheen’s powers have waned. Apples Jade who appeared to be the Irish banker of the festival was toppled by yet another Mullins star mare. Rathvinden showed that his rating was accurate and the longer distance and heavy ground really brought out the best in him.


Yesterday’s results indicate that horses ridden conservatively are more likely to prevail as the conditions are so testing. Today’s card offers some excellent value and my selections are sure to go close.

Ballymore Novices Hurdle (Grade 1) 1.30
Vision Des Flos 16/1 (e/w)
One might think that this race is a foregone conclusion and that the deity that is Samcro, will waltz to victory. The form of his last race is strong as he put a Grade 1 field to bed with little or no fuss. The suspicion is that Next Destination will be his main challenger and if one reads into his form in a little more detail it suggests this may be closer than the odds suggest. Both horses have beaten Duc De Genievres and Jetz by similar distances and only Next Destination has course form which is a distinct advantage. The aforementioned two are almost certain to be thereabouts coming to the last. It does appear that there is a horse in the field that has been overlooked, Vision Des Flos for the Tizzard and Potts combination is just that. Joe Tizzard has stated that ‘we expect a big run’ and that the wind operation that was received has revitalised the previously smart bumper horse. Robbie Power will be sure to pitch the French bred gelding in midfield and slowly creep into the race. The step up in distance is will suit him as well as the ground and if Tizzard’s novice can reproduce the form of his previous 31 length victory in a listed hurdle he is sure to go close at an attractive 16/1.

RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 2.10
Presenting Percy
This renewal will be hotly contested and there are many different pieces of form that suggest it will be a top-quality rookie that triumphs. Starting with the UK form, Black Corton is a gutsy competitor and can set a relentless gallop if those tactics are undertaken. Elegant escape may also be competitive as his form matches closely with that of Black Corton and he will relish underfoot conditions. That said, it looks like an Irish competitor will prevail, both Monalee and Al Boum Photo showed strong form at the Leopardstown festival and are both assured stayers. However, there are ominous signs for the rest of the field when it comes to one runner; Presenting Percy. Pat Kelly is a master for readying one for the festival as shown by his statistics; 3 runners with 2 winners. The form really adds up and the fact he pressurised Our Duke on his last run amounts to a lot. The ground will not be ideal but Davy Russell has a good understanding of the horse and trainer which will hopefully see him coming out on top.

Make sure to read the other selections below:

1st race Vision Des Flos 16/1 EW
2nd race Presenting Percy 5/2 WIN
3rd race Max Dynamite 7/1 EW
4th race Altior 5/4 WIN
5th race Cause of Causes 11/4 WIN
6th race The King of May 12/1 EW
7th Race Rhinestone 9/1 EW
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