16:40 Cheltenham – Jockey booking a big asset to Start Me Up
Jockey booking could be the biggest factor in the Kim Muir and therefore 14/1 looks a big price that Start Me Up enjoys Cheltenham success with the talented Nina Carberry on his back.
In the past seven years, six winners of the Kim Muir have been ridden by a jockey without a claim and Carberry looks among the better riders in the field.
The better horses have also begun to take over in recent years as those taking part have been rated much closer together and two of the last three winners have been the top weight.
This year’s top weight is Up The Beat and coming from the Willie Mullins stable, he is sure to be a popular option at 8/1.
However, Start Me Up has form with Up The Beat which suggests he can land the spoils.
The pair clashed on level weights at Punchestown last month, with Up The Beat finishing second and Start Me Up seemingly travelling well on the shoulder of the leaders before slipping over with just three fences remaining.
Start Me Up is receiving 8lb from Up The Beat in the Kim Muir and given that he could have beaten him at Punchestown, there is a strong likelihood he will do this time with his pull in the weights.
Meanwhile, Start Me Up is also in the right age bracket to be a typical Kim Muir winner, although to triumph he will have to become the first Irish-trained victor since 1983.
Exmoor Ranger is another towards the head of the weights and could pose a problem at a big price of 25/1 if managing to put in a rare good round of jumping, while Faasel has finished runner up in the race for the past two years and is 14/1 to go one better.
Of those towards the foot of the weights, Sona Sasta warrants some respect from the David Pipe yard at 16/1 and could run into a place as the slight drop in trip could be a wise move after failing to get home in recent races, while first-time blinkers could also assist.