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Byrne Group Plate Tips - Watch My Back Another Winner for Murphy in Plate

Festival races don't come much more difficult than the Byrne Group Plate Handicap Chase (4.00), which has produced some big-priced winners in recent years, including Mister McGoldrick at 66/1 two year's ago.

The Favourite
Bookmakers are struggling to find a favourite with three horses currently vying for that honour. Of these, Watch My Back (8/1 Paddy Power) seems certain to attract plenty of support on the day based on his trainer Ferdy Murphy's festival record of eight winners. And it's no secret that he fancies this horse to run well having laid him out for the race since a reappearance fifth to Poquelin here in October. He absolutely bolted up at Doncaster on his only other start this season and, while he's by no means thrown in at the weights, he would be one of the better treated horses in the race. A word of warning, though, he does need good ground to operate at his best so the forecast rain, which is expected to hit Cheltenham around 2pm on Thursday afternoon, would be unwelcome.

The Dangers
Song Of Songs (8/1 Blue Square), trained by James Fanshawe and the mount of Tony McCoy, also takes the eye off just 10st 7lb, although he's no certainty to get home over this trip and has looked an iffy jumper in the past. The Jonjo O'Neill-trained seven-year-old Sunnyhillboy (10/1 Totesport) is another who looks well-handicapped and the promising conditional Ritchie McLernon has been handed the ride. Like Watch My Back, good ground is essential to him.

David Pipe's I'm So Lucky (14/1 Betfred) has promised to win a big handicap on more than one occasion, although I've always thought he was an out-and-out two miler and would have fancied him more in the Grand Annual. Chapoturgeon (12/1 general) ran well in this season's Boylesports Gold Cup over course and distance and also won the 2009 Jewson, so we know he likes the track.

Something Wells led home a 1-2 for Venetia Williams last year, and she has a live chance this time with Atouchbetweenacara (14/1 Blue Square), who has slipped to a dangerous-looking mark.

Ireland are well-represented with Jayo (16/1 Sportingbet) and In Compliance (18/1 bet365), although they haven't won the race since Double-U-Again in 1982.

Longshot
Alan King's Taratino (20/1 Victor Chandler) has been campaigned sparingly since an impressive hat-trick last February-May and has been working well at home, apparently. He must have decent ground, though, so is one to back if the rain stays away.

Verdict
The more I look at this race, the harder it gets and WATCH MY BACK is just a tentative selection at 8/1 (Paddy Power). Like many of the fancied horses in this race, he needs good ground, so hold back from backing him until ground conditions are known.


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Byrne Group Plate Tips - Watch My Back Another Winner for Murphy in Plate

Festival races don't come much more difficult than the Byrne Group Plate Handicap Chase (4.00), which has produced some big-priced winners in recent years, including Mister McGoldrick at 66/1 two year's ago.

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