Form, first of all. I would look back on races over and over again. I have my own ways of valuing horses performances. Obviously ground, trainer form, jockey and whether a course will suit come into play as well. I would not be a speed ratings man myself.
There simply aren't many horses as good as Thistlecrack and Cue Card and it doesn't help that there's another 3m Grade 1 in Ireland two days later.
There are not many Champion Hurdle horses around. Willie has most of them and all is obviously not right with Faugheen, Annie Power and Arctic Fire. There will be very few runners in the Champion Hurdle. As for the King George, Irish runners tend to swerve it since Kicking King days because the Lexus is there.
Yanworth. I know his Ascot win was not overly attractive but he still won and I was blown away by him for most of last season. Right now, he is the one in the race with most scope to develop into a Champion Hurdle winner.
Sorry, my laptop keeps crashing. The New One should be favourite. He looked as good as ever last time at Cheltenham and is the one to beat on that form, even if the sharper track will pull him back a bit. VVM will have to run a career best, as will Yanworth, who would probably be going down the 3m route but for Unowhatimeanharry.
Given that he will be running on Monday against the Triumph Hurdle favourite, I would not put you off having a few quid on Mega Fortune at 25s. He was keen and trapped out wide at Fairyhouse and was still coming back at the line. He is much better than he showed there and could prove it on Monday. Other than that, perhaps Alpha Des Obeaux for the RSA and Buveur D'Air for the JLT. Both around 8-1 or 10-1.
The New One should be favourite? Take that pint of Coors Light away from that man! He's drunk!
I've been very quite on the Cheltenham front, but given the way Alpha Des Obeaux jumps and the fact he has a 170 RPR to his name at Cheltenham over hurdles, something is going to have run a huge race to put me off him for the RSA>
Very bold call and thanks to connections for doing so otherwise it would simply be a cakewalk for Cue Card at 2-5. It is a big ask and his jumping will come under pressure at real pace. Part of me wants him to be a real Kauto Star-like monster, but that may change when I get the wallet out!
I was convinced he would run in the Kauto Star but thank God he is not. I think he will win the King George and prove himself to be the best we have seen for some time. The small field will certainly suit and he will get space to sort his jumping out.
It is a beer that women drink in Ireland
I would just about side with Min but he is by no means a good thing. I am surprised he is as short as he is but still think he is the most likely winner. I love his jumping - he lands running.
Not at all. I wouldn't want to choose. Min is full of potential, but Identity Thief is not short of it either. It' very easy to form an opinion after one workmanlike victory (Identity Thief) but usually wrong to do so.
It does very much depend on how much rain there is, but the conditions of the race have certainly given him the chance. I don't know how long it has been like this, but because he was already top weight he doesn't carry any penalty, so he runs off the same mark as when running in the Hennessy. Crazy if you ask me. If it stays dry we can expecxt him to go off quite short for a race of this nature, but I still have the slight suspicion the Hennessy wasn't as good as normal.
He could win it but he will need to be an absolute monster to do so. I have a feeling it will turn into your typical Welsh National slog and that's why I fancy Warrantor with a lower weight.
Another very interesting heat. Djakadam is the class act, but we will hopefully get to see whether Valseur Lido is a proper Gold Cup horse or he just beat a badly on the slide Silviniaco Conti at Down Royal. Might be a bit of both.
Djakadam for me too. Hopefully he will run here instead of the Betbright Chase at Cheltenham next month. He is a better horse than Valseur Lido and should be favourite. He is almost unbeatable on soft ground over three miles.
Yeah sticking with Djakadam I do make him the most likely to win the Gold Cup other than CC or Thistle (I wouldn't bet on either Don Cossack or Coneygree getting there - not that I know anything). He's had a couple of goes, but is still a young horse. If Thistle gets it all wrong on Monday there must be a chance he goes back over hurdles, too.
He will win on Monday and shorten for the Supreme. I find it very hard to pick holes in Moon Racer, though, and I think he should be outright favourite. There is still some juice left in his price.
It will be interesting to see what happens with him at Kempton, but horses rarely win Supreme's jumping as poorly as he did at Newbury. Obviously he has time to learn, but the final two hurdles a fairly close together and as he's going to be very short I'll be laying him.
He might be. You'd have to think Joseph O'Brien will be playing a big part in the Triumph every year for the foreseeable future. He is going to get the pick of the Coolmore 'duds', horses that would be anything bu duds in any other yard, and if he gets a decent one who can jump it could be game over.
I had heard a few months ago that Bhutan was the best of Joseph's juveniles but it is worrying not to see him entered over Christmas. I see BoyleSports are offering 4-1 about Joseph training a winner at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival - is he not 6-4 to win the Triumph with Paddy Power?
Wouldn't mind being on at those prices, but 5-2 for that race now is daft. You invariably get a 20-runner plus field and there will be plenty to come out between now and then.
If I was Michael O'Leary and, by God I would love to even have a wing of his assets, I would definitely run him in the Neptune over the Albert Bartlett. He did not look short of speed at Navan and the Albert Bartlett turns into a right old slog.
Baron Alco providing he runs. Think he could be very well handicapped
I'm with Paul and a big part of the Baron Alco fan club. Kempton looks tailormade for him!
Early to say, but I think Buveur D'Air was a long way from the finished article last season and could have more improvement in him than Yorkhill.
I am in love with Buveur D'Air and I think he could be a Gold Cup horse some day. To do what he did to Cloudy Dream, albeit in receipt of 8lb, was some performance. He is one of my strongest fancies for the festival at this early stage in the JLT.
Not sure, but obviously Henderson has a couple to juggle. Wouldn't do him any harm to run in the Desert Orchid as small field is guaranteed either way.
Wouldn't have a clue but he will surely win whatever he turns up in. This will sound daft but 2s for the Arkle is generous if you ask me.