kevin-o-malley-the-tips-denKevin O'Malley returns to Tips Den action with value bets for the Ballymore and the Coral Cup, along with two stronger fancies in the RSA and the Queen Mother Champion Chase...

Today’s Selections:

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL

1.30 - Galvin E/w 20/1 @ William Hill, Castlebawn West E/w 40/1 @ Bet365

2.10 - Topofthegame E/w 4/1 888Sport, double stakes

2.50 - Vision Des Flos E/w 16/1 @ Coral (7 places!), Highest Sun E/w 20/1 @ Paddy Power (7 places), Joke Dancer E/w 40/1 @ Bet365 (5 places), Monbeg Theatre E/w 100/1 @ Bet365

3.30 - Min E/w 4/1 @ Bet365, double stakes

Comments:

I woke up this morning at 6.30am expecting to hear the patter of rain, but alas it was just a bit dreary. The rain did come though, in spades at that and walking into Prestbury Park, soaked and cold, it seemed like a bit of a crazy old day was about to unfold...it did. Madness, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

In the first on Ladies Day, the Ballymore Novice Hurdle, I think the Gordon Elliott trained Galvin is a very interesting runner at 20/1 under Davy Russell. He didn’t win by far at Ayr the last day, but the manner in which he found under pressure suggests to me that he’s open to lots of improvement up in trip. Soft ground should be fine, and he is unbeaten in four starts under rules. The 5yo had all manner of handicap entries this week, but turns up here -- which is interesting. I also think Castlebawn West is a ridiculous price at 40/1, considering he ran to pretty much the same RPR/Speed figure combo as the likes of Galvin and Sams Profile last time out, but he’s available to back at multiple times the odds. He’s a lean, galloping type and I don’t think he’ll be too far away at the finish here. A heavy ground bumper winner, conditions will be no hassle and Paul Townend has found the winning line at the meeting already.

I have had a small nibble at Drovers Lane in the RSA Chase after a wind op, but I’m very worried about the ground for him. At 4/1, Topofthegame has to be the solid option here. He was only beaten a head in the Coral Cup here last year, so he does act around Cheltenham and he comprehensively outgunned Santini at Kempton last time out. Nicky Henderson’s charge was found wanting at short odds at the Festival last year and I just think the Paul Nicholls trained chestnut must have a massive chance under Harry Cobden. He handles soft, jumps for fun, stays, he’s very classy and open to improvement too, given where he is trained.

A four-pronged attack on the fiendish Coral Cup may well leave me potless, but I am keen on the two Tizzard runners, both stepping up in trip and both arriving very much in-form. Joke Dancer and Monbeg Theatre may not jump off the page from a handicapping point of view, but they’re two really solid animals with decent figures in the locker, who won’t be inconvenienced by the trip and soft ground. I’ll be disappointed if one or two of them don’t enter the frame based on the above E/w terms, which I have availed of.

Min has a big chance tomorrow. Willie Mullins is pretty adamant he is going to produce a career best effort and if that’s the case, he’ll either be second or first. I was looking at the likes of Ordinary World and Hell's Kitchen W/o the favourite and may well still have a bite tomorrow. But for now, it’s Willie and Ruby for me here. Min is an outstanding talent when he puts it all together, he was mustard at Leopardstow and a clean round of jumping will undoubtedly see him go very well. He may well finish 7-8 lengths behind one of the true greats once again, but there will come a time when Min has his day in the sun against old rival Altior.

All prices correct at the time of writing in the GG Tips Den, per the top/joint top prices available on the GG.CO.UK Racecards.

You can get in touch with me via email: Kevin.OMalley@GG.CO.UK OR by finding me on Twitter: @KOM_GGRacing


Min is part of our Lucky 15 for Wednesday.


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