Cheltenham Festival: Aupcharlie value to usurp Dynaste’s claims

A look ahead to Thursday's racing

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The Independent Online

There is no such thing as a soft option at the Festival and if connections of Dynaste have chosen wisely, in switching from the RSA Chase to the Jewson, then that is sooner a question of distance than opposition. The grey has such energy and class that he might have been vulnerable in a slog over three miles on Wednesay, and it is easy to picture him extending his unbeaten run over fences over the shorter trip on Thursday.

At the same time, his poor run at the Festival last year makes him an unnerving price against the best field of chasers he has met. An each-way recommendation is instead made for Aupcharlie (1.30), who will be suited by the return to this distance, having travelled well  before being reeled in late on consecutive starts over three miles.

The Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase has been added to the card, having been frozen off on Tuesday, and nothing has supervened to make Arabella Boy (5.15) any less tempting for a rider and trainer with a  superb record in this kind of race.

Nina Carberry also has a good mount in the Kim Muir Chase. Romanesco (4.40) disappointed over hurdles last time but had previously run second in one of the most competitive handicap chases of the Irish season. That was the only time he has been ridden over jumps by Carberry, while he had also shaped well on reconnaissance here in October, in front when tipping over at the last.

Sam Winner and Shutthefrontdoor have been the big punts in the Pertemps Final. The former looks well treated on his juvenile form and is expected to relish the trip, while the latter is going places fast, if still short on experience for this kind of test. Both must clearly be respected but hardly offer value, and there are plenty of alternatives at tempting prices.

The shortlist comprises Captain Sunshine, Holywell and Action Master (2.05). Not the most straightforward ride, he was expertly  produced by the excellent Bryan Cooper to win a qualifier here in the autumn and it seems safe to disregard a couple of chasing spins in the mud since. Freshened up and back on drying ground, he looks value at 28-1.

Sweet My Lord and Kapga De Cerisy are options in the Byrne Group Plate for those who wonder what Ballynagour (4.00) might produce off the bridle – but he could easily remain ahead of the game, even after being raised 20lb for his stunning British debut at Warwick.