Thursday 14 December 2017

WATCH: Our experts give their verdict on this week's Championship races in our exclusive Cheltenham preview

Gordon Elliott's horses on the gallops at Cheltenham Racecourse ahead of this week's Cheltenham Festival
Gordon Elliott's horses on the gallops at Cheltenham Racecourse ahead of this week's Cheltenham Festival

Cormac Byrne in Cheltenham

Glorious sunshine and perfect conditions await the thousands of Irish racegoers making the annual pilgrimage to The Cotswolds... All that's missing is winners we hope to point in the direction of some on

In our exclusive Cheltenham preview, in association with BoyleSports, Irish Independent racing correspondent Johnny Ward, Herald racing expert Niall Cronin and Leon Blanche of BoyleSports gave their verdicts on this week's big races from the winner's enclosure everyone wants to be in this week.

In the Champion Hurdle, Blanche is stumping for Nicky Henderson's Brain Power at a decent price, Johnny is keen on Yanworth, while Cronin is confident of a big run from Petit Mouchoir.

"They are nothing in comparison to Douvan," was Cronin's verdict on Wednesday's Queen Mother and he fancies him to win by more than seven lengths at around 10/11.

Unowhatimeanharry is likely to go off a strong favourite in the Stayer's Hurdle and the JP McManus owned described by Cronin as 'the best bet of the week'

"He ticks all the boxes and I can't pick any flaws in him," he said.

Our trio are very keen on Djakadam finally delivering a Gold Cup win for Willie Mullins.

A runner-up in the last two renewals, the eight-year-old should be peaking given the fact that he has had no setbacks in his preparation.

Impressive Thyestes winner Champagne West has a big chance at a big price, according to our experts, if Henry de Bromhead's charge can clean up his jumping.

Keep an eye out for our video previews every morning this week, in association with BoyleSports.

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