Friday 14th December 2018
The December International Meeting kicks off at Cheltenham on Friday and there’s some hot races to be had including Grade 3 action which comes in the form of the 2.30 over three miles and two furlongs. This particular affair is headed by the ultra consistent Theatre Territory who’s had to settle for being the bridesmaid in many decent contests over the last year. The level of form she brings to the table makes her the worthy favourite here at a general 11/4 under Sam Waley-Cohen. Rock The Kasbah looks set to take his place in the line up for Phillip Hobbs following his heroics here in the BetVictor last month. He’s once again partnered up with the champion jockey Richard Johnson and another prominent ride is likely to be had here, he can be found trading at a general 5/1.
The most frustrating horse in the field is probably Singlefarmpayment. He’s a horse that’s often held up and comes with a strong looking run late on. He often falls short when looking threatening but he has won around here before though and he’s every chance of doing so again here should things fall right for him. Noel Fehily is in the saddle and he can be found around the 6/1 mark in the betting. Alan King’s Kerrow comes here looking for redemption following a final fence fall the last day when coming with a strong looking run. Wayne Hutchinson takes the ride on him and this unexposed sort is a general 7/1 chance. Coo Star Sivola won the Ultima Handicap here at The Festival and has a clear liking for the track which is an obvious plus. He put a much improved effort in last time and has usual partner Lizzie Kelly on board. Another horse that has form around here is Paul Nicholls El Bandit. He was disappointing on his comeback last time but its likely he’ll come on for that and arrives here on an very decent mark. He’s a general 15/2 chance and is the mount of Harry Cobden. Cogry looks slightly up against it on his current mark whereas Rolling Dylan and Doing Fine both have work to do to feature at this level.
A competitive affair here of which Theatre Territory looks to hold a solid chance on current form however that’s reflected in her price. Rock The Kasbah and Singlefarmpayment both have more than enough ability to play a role but at the prices id be willing to take a chance on El Bandit. He looked as though he badly needed the run last time and certainly has enough ability to do some damage of his current mark. At 15/2 he’s a decent each way alternative to the market principles for me.
EL BANDIT – (15/2) (E/W)