Top class action today, with the meeting dubbed ‘Trials Day’ at Cheltenham and some competitive fare from Doncaster all covered by ITV.
Most valuable race at Chelters is at 2.25, when the BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase takes place over 3m+, with a select field of 6.
Fav at 9-4 is the admirable Frodon, which steps up in trip and has to give weight away to the other 5 – two good reasons for a pass.
Nicky Henderson sets a bit of a poser by saddling two, but we are going to plump for the youngster of the field, the 6-y-o Terrefort, which is the choice of Dear Daryl. This French import turned out to be very smart last season, winning two Grade 1s and finishing second at the Festival.
Great things were expected this season and it was odds-on to take the Future Stars Chase at Sandown, only to trail in a tailed off last. The vet reported it had a sore behind, although we’re sure he meant a hind leg, but, restored to full health, we will hopefully see a different animal today. A win bet at 4-1 is advised.
Televied action starts with the Spectra Cyber Security Solutions Trophy Handicap Chase at 1.50 and ‘our Daryl‘ can win this as well aboard another Henderson runner Janika. A multiple winner in France, this 6-y-o made an excellent stable debut when finishing second in a valuable Ascot handicap ad a 5lb rise is unlikely to stop it this afternoon. Take the 7-2 as a win bet.
Also in thus race we recommend an each way bet on Ballyhill at the available
7-1. A terrific third over CD behind the much improved Aso at the beginning of this month, off the same mark today and with Jordan Nailor taking off 7 are the reasons for this investment.
The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at 3.00 has yet another Henderson horse as favourite in the shape of Birchdale, which is trading at 7-4. This time, we oppose with the apple of Olly Murphy‘s optic and suggest a bet on Brewin’upastorm at 2-1.
The galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle (also known as the Cleeve Hurdle) at 3.00 sees a host of previous winners and old favourites battling it out, but we will go for the come-back kid, our last time out selection Aux Petits Soin.
Dan Skelton has done a terrific job getting this horse back to its best after a long time off through injury and, at today’s weights and ratings, it has little to find and rates a really good each way bet at 9-2 (¼ odds).
Over at Donny, there are three Graded/Listed races on t’telly, starting with the Albert Bartlett River Don Novices Hurdle at 2.05. Just the four runners, but all in with a chance and we go for the winning machine that is called Bailarico, which can be backed at 9-2 and may surprise the shorter price pair.
The olbg.com Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle at 2.40 sees Lady Buttons back in action and back over the smaller obstacles. We could be wrong (never!) but we feel this lovable young lady is better over fences and we oppose with Peter Atkinson‘s star inmate Irish Roe. For your 7-2, you get a horse that runs her best races at Doncaster and one which has a 4lb pull for less than 2 lengths with the fav.
The Sky Bet Handicap Chase at 3.15 completes our entertainment and in this we go (sportingly) for the horse that was a close 5th in this race last year.
Federici is the name, 10-1 are the odds of reward.
That’s it – I’m off to join the Jason Holder fan club.
Terrefort 2.25 Cheltenham 2pts win @ 4-1
Janika 1.50 Cheltenham 2pts win @ 7-2
Ballyhill 1.50 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 7-1
Brewin’upastorm 3.00 Cheltenham 2pts win @ 2-1
Aux Petits Soins 3.35 Cheltenham 2pts e/w @ 9-2 (4 places)
Bailarico 2.05 Doncaster 2pts win @ 9-2
Irish Roe 2.40 Doncaster 4pts win @ 7-2
Federici 3.15 Doncaster 1pt e/w @ 10-1