Saturday 11th December 2021
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
Welcome to my preview for the Saturday of the International Meeting at Cheltenham. Taking a quick look back at Friday, Undersupervision kicked things off for us but unfortunately was just edged out of the placings, when finishing third despite looking threatening when coming out of the back straight. It was Broomfield Burg next, and how he didn’t win I’ll never know. I’d dread to think what price he traded in the run, but he just didn’t want to go by the winner and had to settle for second. Enrilo ran no race and Plan Of Attack concluded my punts with a solid effort in the Cross Country when finishing third.
Hopefully we can go a step further and bag a winner on Saturday. Enjoy the preview!
The opener arrives at 12:05 and it’s this race I’ll be taking a look at first. It’s a Class 2 Juvenile Hurdle over two miles and a furlong and I like the chances of Message Personnel here for the Skelton’s who’s been backed into the 2/1 market leader. He sports the famous Hales colours which are synonymous with success at this track and this horse could be another smart one for connections. He hasn’t been seen since winning decisively in France back in the summer, however, that form came on testing ground so he could already prove to be a bit more battle hardened than some of his rivals here when it comes to a track like this. I think he looks a potentially exciting recruit and I’m siding with him to get the job done here. If you want one at a bigger price I liked the performance of Lady Pacifico when she won at Leicester last time, she could prove a decent recruit to obstacles herself and is trading at around the 18/1 mark for this.
I’m focusing my attention on the 1:15 next which is a Class 2 Handicap Chase over two miles and a half of a furlong, which is kindly named after the former clerk of the course Simon Claisse who did a fantastic job at Cheltenham for many years. I’m siding with the Venetia Williams trained Frero Banbou here who’s the mount of Charlie Deutsch. He’s currently trading at the 7/2 mark and arrives here after a couple of decent runs in hot handicaps at Ascot and Newbury, when finishing fourth and third respectively. I think there’s more to come from him though as he’s only a six-year-old, he’s got a bit to find with market leader Editeur Du Gite but he gets a sizeable swing in the weights which could prove to be key.
One of the feature contests comes up at 1:50 and it’s the Racing Post Gold Cup which is a Grade 3 Handicap Chase over two miles and four and a half furlongs. I often have two darts at these kind of races and this one is no different with the first of my arrows coming in the form of Dostal Phil for Phillip Hobbs at the 15/2 mark. Set to be ridden by Aidan Coleman, I’ve followed this horse for a long time and I still think he has more to give despite putting in some very solid efforts over fences lately. His most recent effort came when finishing fourth here in the Paddy Power Gold Cup last month, which was an eye-catching run and I think it makes him a huge player should he build on it here. It’s Phillip’s other runner who I also like and that’s Zanza at 14/1 who’s the mount of Tom O’Brien. This horse is a bit of an enigma, as he often likes to find trouble for himself, however, he can be smart on his day and was also eye-catching in the Paddy Power Gold Cup last time. He’ll need things to fall right for him if he is to feature, but he’s a big price for a horse that certainly has the talent to be a player.
It’s the International Hurdle itself that I’ll be taking a look at next which comes up at 3:00. The race is a Grade 2 over two miles and a furlong and I’m taking a chance on Ballyadam here at 6/1 who reverts back over hurdles for Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore. Things didn’t quite go to plan over the bigger obstacles for him, but he was a Grade 1 winning novice over hurdles last time and was second in the Supreme here to Appreciate It, albeit a very distant second. Some of this field are very exposed though and if there is one that is the young up and coming contender, it’s going to be him.
Concluding my preview and the meeting is the 3:35 which is a Mares’ Handicap Hurdle over two miles and four and a half furlongs. I’m siding with Martello Sky here for Lucy Wadham and Aidan Coleman who can be found at 7/2 in the betting. She made a winning return this season before being beaten into fourth against the boys at Aintree, returning against her own sex here though will be more to her liking and she has solid course form having won here in April last season. I think she’ll be bang there once more.