Cheltenham Preview Night, Oswestry, Summary of selections from Richard Johnson, Noel Fehily and others

Reproduced verbatim with the very kind permission of the author whose nom-de-plume is The Eye of Sauron. First published on The Racing Forum.

Run in conjunction with Let’s Live Racing by Oswestry Cricket Club- a very successful night and a substantial donation will be made to the IJF.

Here are my now transcribed notes. I wish I could write as quickly as I can drink, but there we go.

e & oe, as they say…..


RJ- Richard Johnson. Top Jockey and top bloke.
PJ- Paul Jones (author of the Weatherby’s Festival Betting Guide and who took over from Dicky at 9.30). Top trends and stats bloke.
PF- Paul Ferguson of Racing Ahead and his own NH Guide etc. Top Irish form bloke.
MW- Mark Winstanley. Couch of that ilk. Top curry eating bloke and trainee diplomat…..
NF- Noel Fehily. Top crocked jockey, and top crocked bloke, esp as he drove all the way from Swindon with his gammy arm, to Shropshire, (a good 3 hours) to do this for charity, and then drove all the way back.



Supreme Novices

MW- Cue Card should win but disagrees & will back Spirit Son.
PF- Cue Card for me though if coming over Megan’s Star ew.
RJ- Cue Card but keep eye on Dunraven Storm ew if good ground (which is likely)
NF- Cue Card. Al Ferof ew will be suited by a fast run race.


RJ- Captain Chris likely to go for the Jewson (though RJ would prefer Arkle) especially on faster ground. Ghizao needs soft ground.
NF- Agrees Ghizao needs it soft. Medermit.
MW- also against Ghizao. Medermit best bet on Day 1 and will shorten on the day.
PF- Between Medermit and Finian’s Rainbow; Medermit as the classier hurdler.

Champion Hurdle

RJ- Menorah; stronger this year.
PF- Hurricane Fly is better on better ground. No negatives about Menorah.
NF- Binocular on good ground. Hurricane Fly jumps right handed. Peddlers Cross if GTS.
MW- Quiet fancy for Oscar Whiskey but Binocular is the one, with A Thousand Stars a big ew chance at big odds.

Spinal Research Chase

MW- Great Endeavour
RJ- Quinz won’t run. Emotional Bob runs in the 4 miler
PF- Great Endeavour & Reve De Sivola
PJ- Sunnyhillboy- strong fancy.


RJ- Likes Rougham, a front runner in a 24 runner handicap, will be hard to make all in tat.
MW- Also Great Endeavour, but nb Quantitaveasing and Aigle D’Or, but back NRNB as entered in more than one race.
PF- Tullamore Dew- has course form



MW- Bob’s Worth. Minella Star won’t run.
NF- Not fancy Rock On Ruby. Oscar’s Well as Irish form is stronger. Bob’s Worth needs cut.
PF- Irish form stronger, So Young the pick from Oscars Well & First Lieutenant.
RJ- Megastar may run in this race, but prefer Bob’s Worth.

RSA Chase

RJ- Time For Rupert is the banker of the meeting. Wants Wishfull Thinking to run in this but may be outvoted. Will get the trip and if running a great ew bet. 1833 loves a bit galloping track.
NF- 1833 will only run on soft, so not a certain runner.
PF- Irish form not as strong. Jessie’s Dream too short. Mikael DH is the most talented but been disappointing and may need to go right handed. Time For Rupert by default.
MW- Time For Rupert – form in book, end of.

Champion Chase

NF- Master Mnded but only if soft- now needs juice. If Good or GTF- Big Zeb. Can’t have Somersby. Maybe Sizing Europe ew. Woolcombe Folly has a long way to go and needs top of the ground.
MW- Doesn’t like Somersby, but does like Woolcombe Folly if GTF. French Opera not without a chance but generally, look to the improvers. French Opera definitely going for this race, so lay it for the Grand Annual.
RJ- Somersby should be in the Ryanair- not quick enough. Big Zeb for me.
PF- Probably Big Zeb on good ground. Don’t rule out Mad Max ew.

No-one fancied Captain Cee Bee.

4 Miler

RJ- Beshabar will stay 5 miles. Jumps well
PF- Quel Esprit one of the bets of the meeting if pitching up in this.
NF- Born Again is a big price. ‘Has been looked after’.

Coral Cup

MW- Aegean Dawn & Psycho (latter from Irish connections)
NF- Don’t like For Non Stop- is priced based on his run against Grand Crus.
RJ- Duke Of Lucca, but needs good ground
PF- Aegean Dawn is a banker- and also back it for the RSA 2012!

Fred Winter

MW- Titan De Sarti has been working well at home. Also consider Kalinas
PF- Titan De Sarti and Plan A (Irish coup)
RJ- Architrave- Tim Vaughan’s stable under a cloud last time it ran
NF- A Media Luz


NF- Really impressed with Knights Pass- has the right temperament. Also Allure Of Illusion which will probably go off as fav.
RJ- Cheltenian; won well in a fast run race and this will suit. Doesn’t fancy Persian Snow, and Fingal Bay unlikely to run but will make a superb chaser.
PF- Knights Pass and doesn’t like Allure Of Illusion but there has been and will be serious money for it. Twigline maybe but best of Irish Raise The Beat.



MW- Poquelin (‘but is owned by a mate of mine’). Riverside Theatre is better right handed
NF- Poquelin- he is settling and jumping better. Riverside Theatre will not run. Weird Al has been working well at home after his wind op.
PJ- Kalahari King ew
PF- Kalahari King


RJ- Captain Chris probably going here. I would ride him over Wishfull Thinking given the choice as Capt C has stronger form especially on good ground.
MW- Mr. Gardner
PF- Hells Bay. Loosenmyload not without a chance on better ground.
PJ- Mr. Gardner
NF- Captain Chris if good ground. Henry De Bromhead likes Loosen My Load if good ground. Robinson Collonges needs a flatter track.

World Hurdle

PJ- Big Bucks, but Mourad far better ew bet than Grands Crus
MW- Big Bucks. Grands Crus needs soft ground, so Mourad is the bet without the fav.
NF- Big Bucks is a certainty. Solwhit ew if he stays, but I think he’ll get the trip.
PF- Big Bucks nailed on. Grands Crus needs soft ground. Solwhit is a class act at the price ew if he stays.

Pertemps Final

PJ- Chartreux- lightly raced, won sole bumper and best bet NRNB.
MW- Lush Life and Gwanako. What the hell is Barber Shop doing in this, but if he runs, who knows.

Festival Plate

PJ- Quantitativeasing or Aigle D’Or- take your pick as to which the JP plot will be. Keep an eye on Atouchbetweenacara.
NF- Aigle D’Or- has had wind op.
MW- Whatever JP runs.
PF- Tullamore Dew

Kim Muir

PF- Arabella Boy unless he goes for the 4 Miler. Check out Wolf Moon if he gets in.
PJ- Galant Nuit is the Ferdy Murphy plot horse this year, and if Nina rides, get on. Junior merits interest if he goes for the race.
MW- Also interested in Junior.


Triumph Hurdle

NF- Sam Winner- last race came too soon for him. Better fresh and it is not a great race this year.
PJ- If cut- Smad Place, but if not this could be a long priced winner this season (buy the race SP on the spreads).
MW- Sam Winner and Moose Moran (the latter NRNB)
PF- Sam Winner- a fair price. Watch out for A Media Luz at Aintree.

Albert Bartlett

PJ- Kilcrea Kim. And if NR, then Champion Court.
NF- Back In Focus. Impressed with him at Haydock.
MW- Sybarite
PF- Would back Back In Focus but needs cut. Probably Westmeath of Paul Nolan’s.

Gold Cup

PF- Prefers Imperial Commander. Long Run too skinny and may not get 3m 2f.
NF- Prefer the older horses of which Denman is the pick.
MW- Can’t have Long Run who likes a flat track. Kempes is my pick but China Rock 66-1 ew is massive.
PJ- Long Run by default.

County Hurdle

RJ- Snap Tie

Grand Annual

PJ- Tanks For That. Laid out for the race.
MW- Tanks For That my nap of the meeting.

Naps Of The Meeting

PF- Time For Rupert
NF- Sam Winner
PJ- Medermit
MW- Tanks For That

A big

to The Eye of Sauron

One thought on “Cheltenham Preview Night, Oswestry, Summary of selections from Richard Johnson, Noel Fehily and others

  1. Interesting that Cue Card was the overwhelming choice in the opener which can make or break hearts! Cue Card was the first four-year-old to win the Championship Bumper since 1995 which (hopefully) makes him a special horse in the making. We shall see.

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