Friday 12th November 2021
The November Meeting 2021
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
A warm welcome to my first preview for this year’s November Meeting at Cheltenham. The three day affair spans from Friday to Sunday and is probably my favourite meeting of the whole calendar at Prestbury Park, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on all of the action over the three days, where we see some potential stars of the upcoming winter and spring emerge.
The November Meeting kicks off at Cheltenham with the 1:10 on Friday which is a Handicap Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs. Skatman is the most likely winner of the race for Paul Nicholls, this unexposed six-year-old has won both of his starts over hurdles to date and the form of his latest victory is working out very well. I’ve gone with one at a slightly bigger price here though and that’s Art Approval for Fergal O’Brien who’s currently trading at around 11/2. He was last seen finishing fourth here in October behind Guard Your Dreams and has been dropped a pound for said effort, he’s now running off a mark that’s just two pound higher than the one he won comfortably off at Exeter at the back-end of last season. Another thing going in his favour is his course experience, a lot of his market rivals here lack an outing around here, and as we’ve seen countless times in the past that can count for a lot. An Tailliur arrives here off the back of a five-timer and is another obvious big player in the race.
Up next is the 1:45 which is a Handicap Chase over two miles on the old course. A typically competitive affair of which I’m siding with the Paul Nicholls trained Magic Saint here who’s currently a 3/1 chance. He was last seen when making his seasonal reappearance at Wetherby at the end of last month where he was well beaten behind Good Boy Bobby, as a result of that lackluster effort though he’s been dropped to the same mark which he won this race off last year, and with rider Angus Cheleda taking off a further five pounds it’s likely he’s been primed for another crack at this. His main rival looks to be Stolen Silver for Sam Thomas, a Grade 2 winner over hurdles for Nigel Twiston-Davies he won impressively by 11 lengths last time out and can make his presence felt here.
Moving onto the 2:20 and we move into novice company with a Novices’ Chase over two miles and furlongs. To be honest, this is a complete shambles. Another two-runner affair, it’s getting beyond embarrassing for the National Hunt sphere really. I think this drab spectacle will go to the returning My Drogo though, who’s seen as one of the best British hopes over the sticks this term. He’s got seven pounds in hand over Gin On Lime on ratings and De Bromhead’s charge also has to give him a further pound which should prove too much for the Irish raider.
Thankfully the 2:55 will be much more of a spectacle as the Cross Country race takes centre stage. Contested over a distance of three miles and six furlongs the race isn’t one that I’d tend to look at from a punting perspective, however, looking for the potential winner though I’d be interested in Back On The Lash here for Martin Keighley and Sean Bowen. A new recruit to this sphere and only a seven-year-old which is quite rare, he’s got to prove he can take what is a considerable step up in distance to what he’s competed off up to this point, but he could well prove to have a bit more life in him than some of these rivals. Balko Des Flos looks the obvious big player, he beat Un De Sceaux here to win the Ryanair back in 2018 and could have too much class.
The penultimate race of the day comes at 3:30 and is the Grade 2 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs. Gelino Bello is the current favourite here for Paul Nicholls and is a warm order on the back of his impressive win at Aintree last month in a maiden hurdle. He could well prove to be a cut above these but I’d be willing to take him on at the prices and I’m going to do that with the Irish raider Off Your Rocco for Gordon Elliott and Davy Russell. He was last seen when winning a listed contest where he comfortably defeated The Little Yank who’s a solid yardstick, I’ll chance him to use his experience to give this short-priced favourite something to think about.
Closing the afternoon’s action is the 4:00 which is a Handicap Hurdle over two miles and half of a furlong. Another competitive content and in the particular affair I’m taking a chance on Brorson, again for the duo of Martin Keighley and Sean Bowen. He was last seen finishing a half length behind Top Bandit here last month and if building on that effort could prove to be a bit ahead of the mark he’s been given. His main dangers look to come in the form of the stablemates City Derby and Samba Dancer, the latter won here last month and is chasing a four-timer.