Dr Harper has all the answers
11 November 2016
Dr Harper became a bit of a talking horse for last year's Cheltenham Festival given that he was entered in so many of the chases, but after all the conjecture when he eventually ran he belted the first fence and made a string of mistakes until eventually unseating.
He then went to Haydock in May and went much better until a bad mistake four out, eventually pulling up.
It might be a leap of faith but I am absolutely convinced he is much better than a 138-rated horse. His trainer, David Pipe, is a master with horses over three miles plus and I believe the extreme trip and, hopefully an extensive schooling campaign in the summer, will bring an end to the talking and enable Dr Harper to show what he can do in the 1.50 on Saturday.
Jonjo O’Neill says More Of That is the best horse he has trained. He is not quite that over fences, as yet, but there is time. There was talk of him going for the Gold Cup as a novice last season but given the way he ran against novices he would have had no chance in that.
However, his connections are not mugs and I have to ask myself whether any of his rivals in the BetVictor Gold Cup could be mentioned in the same vein and I really do not think so. I am more than happy to give the 2014 World Hurdle winner a chance in a handicap before he hopefully goes on to contest graded events. The each-way six places offered by the sponsor is in their own words a "no brainer".
At a massive price, I fancy Suzy Smith's Clondaw Clan to run well in the 3.35.
He was beaten at odds on last twice but I suspect he had gone a few times too many by then. His trainer's runners usually overperform when seemingly stepped up in grade and I am very hopeful of a place.
Dave Nevison's tips for Cheltenham on Saturday
1.50 Dr Harper (nap)
2.25 More Of That
3.35 Clondaw Clan
Each-way Trixie on the three