Friday 26th October 2018
The first National Hunt to appear on the main page of the site in a good six months and what a way to start than a fixture at the home of the jumps sphere which is of course Cheltenham and their showcase meeting. I’ll be previewing two of their Friday races both of which are the Class 2 contests. Enjoy!
(2.35) (CLASS 2) (NOVICE CHASE) (1M 7F)
The 2.35 is the first of two of my Previews on this Friday at Cheltenham and it’s a Class 2 Novice Chase that’s contested over a distance of a mile and seven furlongs. The Moore partnership of Gary and Josh currently have the market leader here in the former Willie Mullins trained Diakali (11/8) who comes here off the back of two dominant displays over fences. He’s a horse that enjoys dictating from the front and he’s done that in devastating style since trying out the larger obstacles, they were however in minor enough events and this represents a different more testing proposition but if getting an easy time of it in front the others could find it tough to peg him back. The Skeltons are represented by the second favourite here and that comes in the form of One For Billy (4/1) who’s been in great form as of late winning two of his last five and finishing runner up in the other three occasions. He just fell short of giving a lot of weight away to rivals the last day but it’d be no surprise to see him bounce back again here for his prolific trainer and jockey combo.
The horse who One For Billy was beaten by last time re opposes him again here and that’s Caid Du Lin (13/2) for Dr Richard Newland and Sam Twiston-Davies. Since that victory he’s however gone on to be turned over at short odds and will need to bounce back from that in what’s a tougher test here. The Donald McCain trained Dear Sire (6/1) shadows Caid Du Lin in the market and he was the horse that got the better of him last time out at Sedgefield. There’s likely not going to be a whole lot between the two again here and Brian Hughes takes the ride on the latter. Colin Tizzard is represented here by Storm Home (7/1) who hasn’t been seen since a fifth placed effort at Uttoxeter in May. He has however won over this distance before over hurdles and is one that certainly shouldn’t be discounted here. Harry Cobden is set to take the ride. Sister Sibyl (10/1) could outrun her price here for Hughie Morrison she’s also won at this distance before over varied styles of ground. Tom O’Brien is on board. The field is concluded by the Kevin Frost trained All Set To Go (14/1) who’s won three times the season and comes here in good form. A step up is needed in this company though and he’s the mount of Paddy Brennan.
🥇1ST: ONE FOR BILLY (4/1)
🥈2ND: DIAKALI (11/8)
(3.45) (CLASS 2) (NOVICE CHASE) (3M 8OY)
The second of my Previews on the Friday of the Cheltenham Showcase Meeting comes in the form of the 3.45 which is another Novice Chase event this time contested over a distance just marginally over three miles. It see’s the somewhat of a fan favourite Lil Rockerfeller (11/10) head affairs for Neil King and Wayne Hutchinson. He comes here following a victory the last day at Uttoxeter on his first start over fences, he won well that day despite a few slightly novice efforts and he should be more the wiser attempting them here over a trip that he’ll appreciate coming from the staying division when over hurdles. The horse closest to the hot favourite in the market is the Dan Skelton trained Shannon Bridge (4/1) who hasn’t been since since finishing down the field in a Grade 3 hurdle contest at Aintree back in April. He has won over 2m 7f on soft ground over hurdles before however, and it’s likely he’ll be very much tuned up for this. Harry takes the ride. Arctic Gold (6/1) for Nigel Twiston Davies is set to take his place here and he’s no stranger to this track having ran several times here. That been said though he’s never had much luck around these parts but could well come here fitter than some having ran at Worcester last month where he went on to finish second. Sam looks to take the ride.
Treacle Tart (6/1) represents Charlie Longsdon here and she was the horse who got the better of Arctic Gold in that Worcester race last time out and it was to the tune of 10 lengths. A step up is once again needed here however if she turns up in the same kind of form of that dominant victory last time she’s a clear player here with Johnny Burke back in the saddle. Pickamix (9/1) concludes the field for Charlie Mann and Harry Bannister. A decent horse on his day in his own right, winner of three hurdle races and finished a solid second at Warwick when he was last seen. Could well play a part.
🥇1ST: LIL ROCKERFELLER (11/10)
🥈2ND: ARCTIC GOLD (13/2)