SPORT — 04 February 2014

By Simon Clifford.

Always at this time of the year, it’s either the cold air or something else that gives me that fuzzy feeling in my stomach. What else could it be but that Cheltenham feeling – there’s nothing else like it.

The previews have already begun; the jockeys, trainers, owners and pundits telling us their views on who will win and why. There is no better way to pick a winner than to weigh them all before making your own informed decision, as in the end it’s your money on the line at the end of the day.

But fear not, I will try and help you thread the difficult path of picking a Cheltenham winner or two over the next few weeks leading up to the Festival, and we will try and make it fun.

So let’s start with last weekend’s racing. Often when we see Irish horses hacking up it’s very hard to gauge whether he is as good as we think he is, or whether it was the Nicholls or the Henderson horse which was better.

That’s why I think we are in our own way the best judge. Sometimes the ‘eye’ is the best answer and last weekend a Willie Mullins inmate looked very promising for the Festival.

For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World

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