Published 5th March
The latest weather forecasts suggest ITS ALL GUESSWORK might get his requisite goodish ground later in the week and he perhaps has his best chance of getting into the weights in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.
Gordon Elliott’s seven-year-old is a leading fancy for the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase but is a shade further down the weights for that race compared to the Festival finale.
The seven-year-old is also prominent in the betting for the Ultima Handicap Chase, but that’s on day one for which good to soft or easier ground is assured whatever the weather (watering would take place if necessary).
Its All Guesswork attained an official mark of 130 at the end of an autumn/summer campaign over fences, yet is rated 7lb lower over hurdles in Ireland.
He might prove the value in a strongly-run 2m4f handicap hurdle for a stable that has won the last two renewals with 12-1 and 11-1 shots.
The handicapper has allotted him a rating of 133 for both spheres at Cheltenham, so his market price for both chases is understandable but if he doesn’t get in those races, this alternative becomes interesting.
The gelding’s dam only ever raced on the Flat or over hurdles, not entirely surprising given she’s from the family of Park Hill winner Delilah and very smart hurdler Romancer.
His most recent run was back over hurdles, at Punchestown a couple of weeks ago after a four-month break, and he shaped well under an exaggerated hold-up ride to finish third over three miles.
That effort had all the hallmarks of a Festival prep run and if he doesn’t make the cut for his two chase engagements here, he might prove the value in a strongly-run 2m4f handicap hurdle for a stable that has won the last two renewals with 12-1 and 11-1 shots.