Cheltenham Showcase Meeting Day 1

Friday 23rd October 2020

A big welcome to my preview for the first day of the Showcase Meeting as racing returns to Cheltenham for the first time since The Festival. As ever, I’ll be sharing who I think the most likely winners are of the majority of the races on the card and highlighting the big contenders in each race. Enjoy!

– Jordan

The first race comes up at 1:50 and it’s the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle which is contested over a distance of two miles and five furlongs. I think this can go to ASK FOR GLORY for Paul Nichols and Harry Cobden. He had decent form in bumpers last year when finishing ninth in the Champion Bumper here at The Festival, he’s since recently transferred that form over hurdles winning by 23 lengths when last seen a Wincanton. If bringing that level of form to the table here he’ll be tough to beat. Dan Skelton’s Midnight River looks the main danger.

1:50 Result: 

1st: Does He Know (9/1)
2nd: Midnight River (2/1)

Next up is the 2:25 which is a Novices’ Chase over three miles and the one they all have to beat here is Gordon Elliott’s Galvin who’s the market leader at around the 6/4 mark. I’ve tried to take him on though and I’ve done that with MOSSY FEN for the Twiston-Davies team. He won three out five last year in his hurdling campaign including a Grade 2 at Warwick and an impressive fifth in the Ballymore here at The Festival. He looks very much a chaser and his strength at the finish is a key feature in his style.

2:25 Result:

1st: Galvin (2/1)
2nd: Soldier Of Love (10/1)

Moving onto the 3:00 which is a Handicap Hurdle ridden over two miles and five furlongs. This is an extremely competitive affair which a case could be made for the majority of the line-up. I’ve taken a chance on the Nicky Henderson trained HIJACK who’s the mount of Nico de Boinville. He was a dual novice hurdle winner last season and return to the track earlier this month with a decent effort in second at Fontwell. If building on that here there’s every chance that he could play a meaningful part for his powerful connections.

3:00 Result:

1st: Captain Tom Cat (15/2)
2nd: Debestyman (28/1)
3rd: Up The Straight (11/1)

The 3:35 is next which is a Handicap Chase that’s contested over just shy of two miles. Another very competitive contest of which I’ve side with BALLYWOOD for Alan King and ridden by Tom Cannon. He had smart form last season over fences, finishing sixth in the Grand Annual here at The Festival back in March. He returned after a 6 month break at Fontwell last month when finishing second and it’s likely he’ll come on for that run here. Scardura looks to be the main rival for Neil Mulholland.

3.35 Result:

1st: Rouge Vif (5/1)
2nd: Western Miller (66/1)
3rd: Beat The Judge (4/1)

The final race I’ll be focusing on is the 4:45 which is a Novices’ Chase which is once again ridden over a trip just shy of two miles. I think this can go to FUSIL RAFFLES for Nicky Henderson and Daryl Jacob. He was a Grade 1 winning hurdler as a four-year-old and got off to the best possible start over fences, winning a decent novices event at Uttoxeter last month. He looks very much a big player within this sphere this term and can make his presence felt once more in this particular assignment. His main danger looks to be Getaway Trump for Paul Nicholls, a smart horse also who got off the mark over fences earlier this month at Warwick.

4:45 Result:

1st: Fusil Raffles (4/5)
2nd: Sir Valentine (11/2)


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