Action from Day 1 of the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup meeting at Cheltenham is on our screens today, with five races covered.

First up is the CF Roberts Electrical & Mechanical Services Mares’ Handicap Chase at 1.15, awarded first prize for the snappiest name and with a competitive make-up of 12.

At 9-2 the field, this race has a good each way shape and we hope to land the one-two by suggesting bets on Nikap at 13-2 and Sweet Adare at 8-1.

The former has finished 3rd and 2nd in its only two chases thus far and can complete the ‘Ted Rogers‘ under the excellent Amateur Keiren Buckley, while Sweet Adare ran much better than a seventh place finish looked over an inadequate trip last time out and can improve a bundle under Thomas Scudamore.

At 1.50, the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase, transferred from waterlogged Huntingdon has a ‘dead eight’ field, headed by Kalashnikov at 7-2. We are not convinced that Amy Murphy‘s 7-y-o has quite recovered its previous joie de vivre and so pin our hopes on Dolos from the Paul Nicholls‘ yard.

Sees older, but this horse is still only seven and made a cracking start to this season’s campaign when staying on strongly into 4th behind Rouge Vif on this course at the end of October. That was a handicap and showed that Dolos is worth its lofty 160 rating, a mark which is higher than any of today’s opponents. With the trainer adamant the longer trip this afternoon is no problem, we recommend an each way bet at 13-2.

The Unibet Handicap Chase at 2.25 has just seven runners and a stand out fav in the shape of Court Maid, trained over the water by Thomas Mullins.

This 7-y-o is 3 from 4 over fences and put up her best ever performance last time out when an eased down winner of a valuable 20 runner handicap at Fairyhouse just 12 days ago. Saddled with just a 5lb penalty, she should be very difficult to beat and, although slightly skinny, the 6-4 on offer should be thumped.

We draw our usual veil over the cross country rubbish at 3.00 and swiftly move on to the Citipost Handicap Hurdle at 3.35, another 12 runner event.

Reverting to hurdles proved a shrewd move for On The Blind Side on seasonal reappearance, the 8-y-o storming up the Cheltenham hill to get up under Nico and a follow up off 5lbs higher is on the cards. A price of 4-1 is marginal for each way betting, but there’s a good chance of a drift and the four places on offer are just too tempting. Wimping it is, then.

For whatever reason, ITV are also showing the 2.05 at Bangor, which is a 4 horse race with a Skelton trained odds-on favourite.

We pass.


Nikap 1.15 Cheltenham 1pt each-way at 13-2 (4 places Hills/Betfair)

Sweet Adare 1.15 Cheltenham 1pt each-way at 8-1 (4 places Hills/Betfair)

Dolos 1.50 Cheltenham 1pt each-way at 13-2

Court Maid 2.25 Cheltenham 6pts win at 6-4

On The Blind Side 3.35 Cheltenham 2.5pts each-way at 4-1 (4 places)

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