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2016 Cheltenham Festival ante post plays: Johns Spirit to step up to the Plate

| 09.03.2016

David Metcalf | March 7, 2016

Johns in the Brown Advisory Plate Spirit

Johns Spirit reserves his best for Cheltenham, so looks good value at the current 10/1 on offer with Coral to land the the 2m 4f Brown Advisory Plate at the Festival on Thursday, March 17th.

Cheltenham Saturday

The Jonjo O’Neill trained gelding is a three-time winner at Prestbury Park, and has also run well at the Cheltenham Festival to finish fourth in the 2014 running of this race off a mark of 148 and was a decent sixth in last year’s Ryanair Chase off an official rating of 160.

While Johns Spirit has failed to sparkle in three runs this season, all of those have been on unsuitable heavy ground.

Given a big chance by the handicapper

The nine-year-old also didn’t run too badly last time out at the track when fourth to Annacotty, and has since been dropped another 3lb in the weights.

Cheltenham Saturday

John’s Spirit is now able to race off just 145, his lowest mark in over two years and 2lb less than when last victorious.

It makes the son of Gold Well dangerously well-treated on the pick of his form and, with the advanced weather forecast favourable, Johns Spirit is likely to get the good ground that he relishes.

This year’s Festival going is unlikely to be heavy so, even if the ground rode soft, it would not be too much of a worry – as Johns Spirit has won on it in the past, and also posted a cracking effort to be beaten just a head under such conditions in a very competitive 18-runner contest at Cheltenham.

Good record fresh a big plus

Johns Spirit has also clearly been saved for this contest and had a good record fresh.

Horse Racing - Visit to Jonjo O'Neill's Stables - Jackdaws Castle

Another plus is that he hails from a yard which does particularly well with its chasers, not to mention having a good record with them in big handicaps at the Festival.

O’Neill loves nothing more than to pull off a gamble with horses that have become well-handicapped, and in Johns Spirit he certainly has one that fits the bill.

Johns Spirit is also best at coming from off a strong pace which is virtually guaranteed in a race like of this nature, and goes particularly well for jockey Richie McLernon, who will be back on board having been unavailable for his last two runs.


You’ll find more Cheltenham Festival content over on our dedicated page.

Coral’s ante post play: Johns Spirit at 10/1 to win the Brown Advisory Plate.

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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.