Sunday 15th November 2020
The first race of the third day of Cheltenham’s November Meeting comes at 1:15 and is a Novices’ Chase that’s contested over three miles and half of a furlong. I think it’s hard to see past the Colin Tizzard trained THE BIG BREAKAWAY who’s a short price of around 4/6. Set to be ridden by Robbie Power, he proved himself a very smart prospect over hurdles and his season culminated with a fourth placed effort here in the Ballymore behind Envoi Allen at The Festival. It’s likely he’ll make a very nice chaser and this looks a fantastic opportunity for him to kick off his campaign over the bigger obstacles.
Next up is the 1:50 which is a Grade 3 Handicap Chase over just shy of three miles and four furlongs. Discorama sets a solid standard at the top of the market here and could prove tough to beat, I’m siding with an old friend of mine here though, far from the most reliable of friends which is the enigma that is WEST APPROACH at 9/2. Once again trained by Colin Tizzard, he’s a horse that often flatters to deceive as was the case again last time here when he was seemingly travelling very well behind Frodon before fading into second. I do think this is a slightly weaker race than that though, and if turning up on a going day he’s every chance one again. I think Harry Cobden will produce him at the exact moment necessary here.
The third race of the day comes up at 2:25 and is the Grade 2 Shloer Chase over two miles. I think this can go to last year’s winner of the race DEFI DU SEUIL for Phillip Hobbs and Richard Johnson at 6/4. He developed into one of the best chasers around last season before a shock flop in the Champion Chase here in March when going off as the 2/5 favourite and finishing fourth of five. If proving that was just a one off and returning to his previous form of last term he’ll prove very tough to beat. Last year’s Arkle winner Put The Kettle On is a very smart mare and will prove a potent threat as will recent course winner Rouge Vif.
It’s the Greatwood Hurdle up next at 3:00, a Grade 3 event over two miles and half of a furlong. This race always attracts a decent size field which usually results in an extremely competitive affair and this year is no different. I’m taking a chance on the Jonjo O’Neil trained TEGEREK here at 11/2 who’s the mount of the talented young Kevin Brogan who takes off seven. This six-year-old by Mount Nelson was last seen beating the smart One True King here in October by over five lengths and is one of the runners here with the most potential moving forward. If progressing from that fine effort here last time he could well prove a big player on ground that won’t be an issue at all.
The penultimate race of the meeting comes at 3:35 and is the Supreme Trial which is a Novices’ Hurdle over two miles and half of a furlong. Third Time Lucki will be very tough to beat here for the Skelton’s, which is reflected in his price of around 5/6. I’ve tried to take him on though and done that with the Paul Nicholls trained FIDELIO VALLIS at a general price of 10/3, who’s the mount of Harry Cobden. He finished second on his first outing of the campaign last month at Kempton, and arguably should’ve been closer. The time before at that same track he put in an impressive display, and I think there’s a lot more to come from him building on that second placed effort here where he should prove a lot more tuned up.
Pulling the curtain down on the meeting is the Bumper at 4:05, once again contested over two miles and half of a furlong. I think this is all about the Gordon Elliott raider WESEEKHIMHERE at the short price of 10/11 who’s the mount of Robbie Power. Winner of his last two races in bumpers by a combined total of twenty lengths, he’s clocked up some impressive figures and if turning up in the same form and handling the track it’s likely he could prove a very tough nut to crack.