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Horse Racing: What A Shout - L'Homme Presse to bounce back in Gold Cup

On this week's What A Shout, host Dave Orton is joined by trainer David Pipe, Racing Post tipster Paul Kealy and bet365's Pat Cooney, as they preview the racing from Newbury and Cheltenham over the weekend.

We've picked out some highlights from this week's edition of What A Shout in association with bet365.

Kealy Happy to take Bravemansgame on in Cheltenham Gold Cup

What: Cheltenham Gold Cup
Where: Prestbury Park, Cheltenham
When: Friday 17th March, 2023
How to watch: ITV & bet365's Sports Live Streaming
Odds: Galopin Des Champs 13/8, L'Homme Presse 7/1, Protektorat 8/1, A Plus Tard 9/1

Paul Kealy began the show by reflecting on the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day at Kempton. He was impressed by what he saw from Bravemansgame, however, he is still to be convinced that he is a horse who will be at his best for the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Galopin Des Champs remains the 13/8 favourite for the Blue Riband event of the meeting, L'Homme Presse is second best at 7/1, while Bravemansgame is 10/1 in the ante-post market. Kealy believes Paul Nicholls' horse has enhanced his reputation, but he won't be rushing in to back him to complete the big race double in the division.

He said: "The worry with him is he is just a time of the year horse. He doesn't seem to do anything in the spring. He not only has to prove he gets the extra distance in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but he also has to hold his form, and that's the big problem for me.

"Perhaps they need to lay off him for a few months and trick him into thinking March is the start of the season again. L'Homme Presse, on the other hand, is a completely different prospect. He is going to enjoy it at Cheltenham in the Gold Cup.

"I wouldn't be too concerned about L'Homme Presse's performance at Kempton. It wasn't very bad. Many horses have recovered from making blunders in the King George to win the Gold Cup. At the moment, he represents the best chance of the British horses in the race.

"Galopin Des Champs is clearly the leading Irish horse, but we will only know if he stays when he runs in the Gold Cup. He is so speedy, and 3m over hurdles is very different to 3m2½f over fences."

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Kealy happy to take on Hermes Allen in Challow Novices' Hurdle

What: Challow Novices' Hurdle
Where: Newbury racecourse
When: 3.00, Saturday 30th December 
How to watch: Racing TV & bet365's Sports Live Streaming
Odds: Hermes Allen 5/6, Joyeux Machin 6/1, Vicki Vale 8/1, Crambo 10/1

The feature race on Saturday is the Grade One Challow Novices' Hurdle at Newbury. Hermes Allen is the warm favourite at 5/6 to give Nicholls another success in 2022 at the highest level.

Kealy understands why Hermes Allen is so short in the betting, however, he is prepared to take him on at the prices, as there are several unexposed runners in the field, including Idalko Bihoue, who is a 20/1 shot for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.

He said: "Hermes Allen has the best form in this race, but only because many of these have not been tested yet. That is the problem we have here. When you are running a horse in a Grade One, you are doing so because you believe they have more ability than they have shown so far.

"I am not convinced about Crambo. I think his jumping let him down a little at Ascot last time and the form of that race is not very good. Awaythelad finished third in that contest, and he was tailed off at Kempton on his next run.

"The horse I was impressed with on his debut was Idalko Bihoue. I thought he looked potentially very good. He looks like the each-way bet to me in this race."

Monmiral to land the Dipper Chase to boost Jonbon's form

What: Dipper Chase
Where: Prestbury Park, Cheltenham
When: 1.20, Sunday 1st January
How to watch: Racing TV & bet365's Sports Live Streaming
Odds: Monmiral 5/4, Thunder Rock 15/8, Beauport 6/1, The Real Whacker 10/1

The Dipper Chase is one of two Grade Two races at Cheltenham on Sunday. Monmiral tops the betting at 5/4 as he looks to score for the first time over fences. He finished second behind Jonbon on his debut at Warwick earlier in the campaign. Kealy thinks he was unlucky to bump into the Arkle favourite.

He said: "I am becoming more of a believer in Jonbon as the season progresses. I don't think 2m around Warwick suited Monmiral last time out when he bumped into Nicky Henderson's runner. I think he is the one to beat here and he can go one place better than his debut.

"I like Thunder Rock; I think he is a really nice horse. I was bitterly disappointed in Beauport last time at Haydock. He ran a blinder at Carlisle first time out, but he was well beaten at Haydock. I just feel Monmiral can have the beating of this field."

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