1.50 Cheltenham: Our Verdict
Our racing team weigh up their best bets in the Sky Bet Money Back race on Saturday – the 1.50 at Cheltenham.
Theatrical Star wins a novice chase at Exeter back in 2013 – can blinkers re-ignite his fire at Cheltenham on Saturday?
Will Hayler – Theatrical Star
A shame that Holywell hasn't been declared with his stable in decent form, but at least there's another Cheltenham Festival hero (whatever the record books might now say) to celebrate in Any Currency. The going is right for him but I can't bring myself to have even a sentimental shilling on a horse who is fast approaching his 14th birthday, so it's got to be Theatrical Star, who has stamina in abundance and could be staying on when others unproven at this trip (and there's a few of them) have already raised the white flag. He races lazily and may just be the type to be fired up by the first-time application of blinkers around here.
Chris Hammer – Any Currency
Any Currency is a course-and-distance winner and victory here on his most recent outing back in April proved there's plenty of life in this veteran's legs yet, although admittedly this might just represent a slight step up in class. That said, he's a horse who simply comes alive at Cheltenham, having hit the frame in seven of his nine races here since the start of the 2013/14 jumps season – including two wins. As such, he looks just the sort of horse to have on your side when playing a race with this kind of money-back concession.
Ben Linfoot – Henryville
Harry Fry's Henryville shaped well on his reappearance at Chepstow last time and with that run under his belt he's expected to put in a bold bid off top weight in the opener at Cheltenham on Saturday. Rated 156 at his best over hurdles, a mark of 143 remains workable over the bigger obstacles and that effort over fences last time was his best yet in the sphere. He ran well a couple of times at this track over hurdles, including a close fourth in last year's Pertemps off 152, and with ground and trip looking ideal he is a solid option.