AUTHOR: Star Sports Content


[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he big question today for me and no doubt countless of other punters and layers is will Willie Mullins bounce back to form?

Still without a winner, Mullins has several hot-pots on the Thursday card but with a scoreboard of 0-25 you can understand anxiety creeping in for the ‘momentum’ players of the game.

Melon and Vroum Vroum Mag have gone closest – both finishing second but his stable form was very poor yesterday with form figures of:


Training Festival winners is, of course, never an easy game but we can only judge Mullins against the barometer of his previous successes and the bar is set high, very high.

Yorkhill will bid to reverse the trend in the opening JLT Novices’ Chase at 1.30pm as he bids to add another Cheltenham win after his Neptune success last year. He has won all four starts since then, two over hurdles and two over fences where he has faced relatively easy tasks at Fairyhouse and Leopardstown.

If you are looking for flaws (as well as stable form) his chasing has not been perfect – he has shown a tendency in both starts to jump left and give away ground which could well be a significant concern if repeated today.

I have to take him on with Top Notch who has twice as much experience over fences and showed he can cut it at the top level over fences too with a five length success in the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown Park last time out.

I think he is still improving and with question marks over the favourite is a value bet in the opener.

One favourite I do want to be with today is Unowhatimeanharry in the feature Stayers’ Hurdle. He is so progressive and won the dress rehearsal Cleeve Hurdle here in fine style at the January meeting and can again account for Cole Harden and follow-up on his Albert Bartlett win last year.

Best of luck this week – if you are at Cheltenham check us out in the ring or call us on 08000 521 321 or use the live chat feature here. Simon Nott will be tweeting direct from the Star Sports pitch with all the latest news and movers so give us a follow on twitter too @starsports_bet

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RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)

BACK TOP NOTCH (1.30) 10 points at SP with Star Sports

BACK UNOWHATIMEANHARRY (3.30) 7 points at SP with Star Sports

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: +2.90 points