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Kim Bailey's 2013 Race Tips

Cheltenham’s leading National Hunt Trainer, Kim Bailey, shares some of his tips for the forthcoming Cheltenham Racing Festival

The four days of the Cheltenham Festival is the ultimate Mecca for any true National Hunt or 'jumping’ man. It is the four days in my calendar that I would not miss; I even know of owners who take just one week’s holiday a year and it is this, Festival week.

The big dream for any owner and for that matter trainer, is to have a runner at this meeting; it is what we all strive to have, a runner and my God a winner, now that is as Mick Fitzgerald said after winning the Grand National on Rough Quest, “better than sex”!!

It all starts on Tuesday March 12 and the first race is at 1.30pm. The build up for this meeting started after the last race on Friday last year and there is no better trainer than Nicky Henderson when it comes to laying a horse out for this Cheltenham week.

Cheltenham previews spring up all over the country in the month before this meeting, and everybody has a view. Frankly I really don’t see why anybody goes to these preview evenings as all you do is walk away baffled by everybody’s ‘professional’ opinions.

So it is on that note that I too am going to baffle you with my opinions and thoughts of what is going to win the big races.

Tuesday is Champion Hurdle day. The roar of the expectant crowd will be huge as the commentator shouts ‘’they’re off ’’. The first of the week’s 27 winners will be My Tent Or Yours which should keep those happy campers happy! The Champion Hurdle will be won by Hurricane Fly. The JLT handicap chase could go to Our Mick.

Day 2 is Champion Chase day and this is when you will witness the best horse in training Sprinter Sacre demolish the field. The RSA chase will go to Dynaste while a bit of value in the Fred Winter could be our very own Milord.

Day 3 Is the World Hurdle day and Oscar Whiskey will win this unless it is soft when Reve De Silvola could shake the odds. Captain Conan could start day 3 with a win in the Jewson Novice Chase.

Day 4 is Gold Cup Day. This is the highlight of the week. The day starts with The JCB Triumph Hurdle which could go to Ireland and Our Connor. African Gold could surprise in the Albert Bartlett and I finish by napping Bobs Worth in the Gold Cup to cap another great week for Nicky Henderson.

Happy punting!