Katie Walsh blog: Cheltenham, Punchestown Saturday 15 11 20

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Cheltenham

Hell Red absolutely bolted up at Chepstow on his debut for Paul Nicholls. I was so impressed with him that day, he couldn’t have done it any easier. Paul Nicholls has his horses in great form and he is having winners left, right and centre.

He often targets his better juveniles at Triumph Hurdle (12:30). I don’t expect him to be a big price, but I expect him to be tough to beat.

The Novices’ Chase (13:40) looks a really competitive race – it’s one of the races of the weekend. I’m looking forward to Fusil Raffles again. He’s two from two over fences and was slick as you like at Cheltenham last month. He was as good as any of these over hurdles, too.

Mister Fisher is a really smart horse and when I watched last season’s Marsh Chase back, I realised how far back he was.

He was pretty unlucky, but he did stay on well and he’s probably the classiest horse in the Gold Cup Chase (14:15). Nicky Henderson won’t have had too many runners in this race over the years, so that’s telling in itself.

Punchestown

The Beginners’ Chase (11:15) looks cracking doesn’t it?

Last season’ Supreme fourth Asterion Forlonge makes his seasonal debut and he’s going to be tough to beat.

With that said, it won’t be an easy task and I’ve been looking forward to seeing Midnight Run run over fences. He’s got some quality bumper form and was pitched in at the deep end last year. He’s going to come into his own over fences.

The big handicap (12:50) looks like it’s been a target for Willie Mullins – he’s got seven runners in the race.

Despite that, I’m looking forward to seeing how Dunvegan gets on for Pat Fahy. He wasn’t far off the best novices last season and shaped as though he wanted to move up in trip which he does here.

He has a nice spin on the flat recently which would have put him spot on for this test.

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