Second and final day of the Cheltenham International meeting this afternoon, with the feature race the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase at 1.55.
13 go to post for this one and it’s 5-1 the field, reflecting the apparent openness of the contest, which is likely to be run at a fierce pace.
Our main selection for the race is Generous Day, trained by Henry Oliver. Twice a chase winner in its Novice season, this 7-y-o had a warm up over hurdles in October before scooting home in a Class 3 handicap at Kempers over this very trip, leaving some promising horses in its wake. Shoved up a few pounds by the handicapper, thus enabling a crack at this valuable prize from the bottom of the weights, this horse has looked a continual improver and is great value at 25-1. Get on, folks.
Our other choice for this race is the David Pipe trained Warthog, which, following a close season wind op, finished a good third in the BetVictor 4 weeks ago, behind our selection Happy Diva.
Better off in the weights with the second horse, Brelan d’As and more than twice the price, we recommend a small each way bet at 12-1.
At 2.30 the aspiring young stayers contest the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle over 3m and, in the probably vain hope that all eight declared actually turn up, we suggest an each way bet on Kiltealy Briggs from the Jamie Snowden yard.
This 5-y-o has ‘stayer’ written all over it and won by 36 lengths last time out when stepped up to 2m4f at Hexham. True it only beat a few trees that day and also true that it has a bit to find on official ratings, but the further increase in distance may unlock even more improvement. Take the 6-1 each way.
The Unibet International Hurdle at 3.05 is the most valuable race on the card and sees the return to action of last season’s Triumph Hurdle winner Pentland Hills, which went on after the Festival to pouch another Grade 1 at Aintree. Said to be working exceptionally well in preparation for this, having picked it for the Triumph, we keep the faith and recommend a win bet at 3-1.
Action from Cheltenham concludes at 3.40 with the Park Mares’ Handicap Hurdle and anyone seeing the comeback run of Dame De Compagnie 27 days ago on this course would want to be with her today. Having her first run for 19 months, DDC stayed on takingly to finish fifth over two miles and, having previously won a Listed race here over today’s longer trip, the 9-4 available might look a gift by 3.50. Have a win bet please.
Also in this race we give a bit of a chance to Northern raider Mega Yeats from Ruth Jefferson‘s yard. Ran really well in a fierce Haddock handicap first time out this season, failing to stay the 3m, so, off 3lbs lower, today’s race looks just the ticket. We go each way at 13-2.
Cameras are also at Doncaster for the final three races, all of which have cut up really badly, with just 13 runners total.
Value is hard to find, but we do think that Sam Spinner is a bet to turn over the Fav in the bet365 December Novices’ Chase at 2.10.
Sam is a ‘follow ’til beaten’ horse, so let’s hope it’s not today. Bash it at 6-4.
Here endeth the Preview.
Generous Day 1.55 Cheltenham 1.5pts e/w @ 25-1 (5 places SkyBet)
Warthog 1.55 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (5 places SkyBet)
Kiltealy Briggs 2.30 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 6-1
Pentland Hills 3.05 Cheltenham 2pts win @ 3-1
Dame De Compagnie 3.40 Cheltenham 4pts win @ 9-4
Mega Yeats 3.40 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 13-2 (5 places)
Sam Spinner 2.10 Doncaster 4pts win @ 6-4