PAUL Nicholls grabbed the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham this week with Rock On Ruby (11-1) with the red hot (4-6) favourite Hurricane Fly trailing in third.
The winning trainer said: “This is a awesome team effort and the godfather of it all is Richard Barber. Richard got me where I am. He bought me the horse and got me the job with Paul Barber at Ditcheat.’’
Sprinter Sacre looked a superstar winning the Arkle Chase and is now just 6-4 to win the Champion Chase next March while Hunt Ball’s win in the Investment Novices Handicap Chase was incredible on Tuesday - a Gold Cup horse one day.
Wednesday at the festival was dominated by Nicky Henderson with a string of winners notably Finian’s Rainbow in the £320,000 Queen Mother Champion Chase, beating last year’s winner Sizzing Europe in a driving finish.
Bobs Worth was a game winner in the RSA Chase from First Lieutenant with one of the week’s bankers Grand Grus back in fourth.
Henderson is now the all-time winning trainer at the Cheltenham Festival, taking over from his childhood hero Fulke Walwyn with his festival tally of 42 winners.
Last season’s Racing Post Trophy winner Camelot heads the 143 three-year-olds going forward for this year’s Investec Derby following the first scratchings this month.
This year’s renewal of Britain’s premier Classic, which carries total prize money of at least £1.25 million, takes place on Saturday, June 2.
Camelot has been the red-hot favourite for Epsom Downs since sauntering to a comprehensive win in the Doncaster Group One in October and the Montjeu colt is one of 28 entries owned by the Coolmore partners, who celebrated a third Investec Derby success in 2011 with the Andre Fabre-trained Pour Moi.
Aidan O’Brien, responsible for Coolmore’s previous two Derby winners - Galileo (2001) and High Chaparral (2002) - has 25 contenders, headed by Camelot. Grade One Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf victor Wrote and Group Two Beresford Stakes scorer David Livingston plus impressive maiden winners Imperial Monarch and Apollo feature among the Ballydoyle maestro’s contenders.
At Newcastle on Saturday the best bet on the seven race card is See What Happens in the 3.40 Malones Novices Hurdle. Martin Todhunter’s promising 6yo looks hard to beat with young James Reveley in the sadle.
At Wolverhampton Jamie Osborne’s Russian Bullet can gun down his opponents in the 7.20, the in-form Fergus Sweeney takes the ride.
At Kempton on Monday, don’t miss Pat Eddery’s Wreningham in the 2.50, the 7yo has been working well at Musk Hill.
Visit www.betwiththecolonel.co.uk for the Colonel’s tips.