Finding a winner at the Cheltenham Festival is as hard as it comes. It is just when you’ve got a winner throughout the magic four times that you realise you have to savour that special moment for as long as you possibly can. Last year, I was convinced I was going to do exactly that.
I am not a lot of Cheltenham Festival ante-post betting fan but I could not keep my hands off a decent price for an intriguing runner in the Grade 3 Coral Cup over 2m 4f, which took place on the second evening of the Festival.
The horse in question was appropriately appointed and also had the kind in the book – Wishfull Thinking.
He caught my eye with how he battled into a small triumph at Taunton in January, his third win from four starts. He was absolutely innovative and the way he jumped, stayed and travelled marked him down as one to keep an eye on. There just is no denying about the potential of READ FULL REPORT to dramatically alter some situations is incredible. Sometimes there is simply way too much to even try to cover in one go, and that is important for you to recognize and take home. That is really a lot when you think about it, so just the briefest moment to mention something. In light of all that is available, and there is a lot, then this is a perfect time to be reading this. Our final few items can really prove to be powerful considering the overall.
He could not have been more striking on his next outing, when he completely hacked up by 19 spans at Exeter in February, defying a double penalty to notch his third victory over hurdles.
Once the entries came out for Cheltenham, I discovered that trainer Philip Hobbs had him entered in the Grade 1 Neptune Investments Management Novices’ Hurdle (2m 5f), as well as the Coral Cup on precisely the exact same day. The Neptune is a much better quality race than the Coral Cup and the fact that Wishfull Thinking was entered in it showed the esteem where Hobbs held him .
His simple win at Exeter didn’t go unnoticed by the handicapper and he was upped 18lbs in the weights, leaving him with a mark of 144 and a wonderful weight of 11st 2lb at the Coral Cup.
Hobbs chose to take his newcomer down the handicap course, going to the Coral Cup rather than the Neptune and had booked promising conditional Giles Hawkins to take the ride. Everything was set up for a significant run from Wishfull Thinking.
Having snapped up some each-way prices at 16-1 and 12-1, I was confident of obtaining a return, even if he had to beat a 28-strong field. I told each man and his dog that this was my banker of this assembly. Dunguib who?
Hawkins had Wishfull Thinking depended in mid-division before making stealthy headway on the final circuit. He had been urged along for a few strides coming down the mountain but he was soon back on the bridle and travelling strongly behind the leading pack with just two hurdles left to leap.
I had been becoming more and more animated as I saw from afar in the crowded stands, and, as he cruised into third spot, I couldn’t help but think he looked the most likely winner. Festivals like these do add colors to any person life.
Then it went horribly wrong. As Wishfull Thinking popped over the second-last, he stumbled on landing and also took a crashing fall, sending Giles Hawkins into the ground. I had been gutted.