THE Greatwood Hurdle and Jonbon will dominate the paper today – but I want to delve a bit deeper with the tale of two horses.
Wonderwall and City Chief respectively run in Cheltenham’s Cavani Novices’ Handicap Limited Handicap Chase and Jewson Handicap Chase live on ITV.
Our man Chappers looks ahead to a big day at CheltenhamNews Group Newspapers Ltd.
Why is that remotely interesting you may ask? Well they met at Doncaster in a maiden hurdle back in January 2022, when the then exciting Wonderwall defeated City Chief by three easy lengths.
Since then their careers have gone different ways. Wonderwall hasn’t done much over jumps and is rated 132. City Chief is 10lb higher on 142. It’s odd how things work out.
Wonderwall’s race is such a nightmare to sort out that I’m going to chance he gets his career back on track for James Bowen and Richard Spencer.
The gelding was last seen in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket. It’s a huge risk but let’s hope ‘today is gonna be the day that he’s gonna win for you and me’!
OFFERS OF THE DAY
Tote: Bet £5 Get £20 in Free Bets – CLAIM HERE
Virgin Bet: Bet £10 Get £20 in free bets – CLAIM HERE
Betfair: Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets – CLAIM HERE
Paddy Power: Bet £20 and get it back as Cash if it Loses – CLAIM HERE
Sky Bet: Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Horse Racing Bets – CLAIM HERE
Tote: New customers online only. Place your first bet on racing pools for a minimum of £5 and win or lose you will receive £20 Tote Credit. £20 Tote Credit rewarded as £10 redeemable against racing bets only and £10 redeemable against UK and Irish placepot bets only. Tote Credit cannot be withdrawn, exchanged, or substituted and expires after 7 days. Qualifying bet is the first racing pool bet added to the bet-slip. Ten to Follow, virtual and football bets do not qualify. Totewin will be the qualifying bet when a Totewin and a Toteplace bet are struck at the same time. New UK & ROI customers only. 18+. Full T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org
Virgin Bet: New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org 18+ begambleaware.org
Betfair: New Customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly 18+ begambleaware.org
Paddy Power: New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy’s Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply. 18+ Begambleaware.org
Sky Bet: 18+NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 3 X £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS ONLY REDEEMABLE ON HORSE RACING. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS AND FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+ Begambleaware.org
In the City Chief race over over an extended three miles and three furlongs TRUCKERS LODGE is of interest even though he is 11 years old now and clearly not going to be getting any better – indeed he’ll be 12 in just over a month.
He has everything in his favour to run a huge one here for the champion Paul Nicholls and Freddie Gingell, who takes off 5lb.
The old boy loves a slog in the mud and ended last season with a win at Ffos Las off a mark of 132. He’s still well handicapped here on his best form on 137 and should have an each-way chance.
Up in class for the feature Grade 2 Shloer Chase over two miles. If there is a champion in this field there is no doubt for me it’s JONBON and he’s the selection.
Trained by Nicky Henderson, Jonbon was top class last season scoring in Grade 1 company at Aintree and Sandown and suggesting he can mix it with the best this term.
Whether that’s over two miles or two and a half only time will tell, but this should be a good starting point.
As for the Greatwood Hurdle, well Onlymatteroftime could be thrown in for Willie Mullins, but I’m happy to chance last year’s runner-up GIN COCO who is just 2lb higher than when chasing home the late I Like to Move It this time last year.
My selection never got in the hunt when fancied for the County Hurdle in March, but he should be ready for this after a comeback effort at Ffos Las last time.