Saturday 22nd October 2022
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
Welcome aboard my second preview for the Cheltenham Showcase Meeting which is of course the Saturday Preview. I’ll be getting things underway again with the opener which is at 1:30 and it’s a Class 2 Novice that’s contested over three miles. I’m siding with Saint Palais here at 11/4 for the team of Brendan Powell and Richard Bandey. He developed into a smart novice chaser last season, winning four out of her five starts over the larger obstacles, and signed off with a decisive three-and-a-quarter length success in a hot handicap at Uttoxeter. It’s interesting that they’re starting off over hurdles, but nevertheless, I think he’s the most solid option in the race and has the advantage of getting weight off a lot of his rivals. Three miles won’t be an issue and I think he’s got a great chance.
Next up it’s the 2:05 which is a Class 2 Handicap Chase that’s ridden over three miles and a furlong on the old course. I like The Hollow Ginge here at 3/1 for the team of Sam & Nigel Twiston-Davies. Now, looking at his form figures you wouldn’t be shouting from the hills about him, however, most of the efforts that make up his recent form have been within graded handicaps, and as a result of his performances in those contests, he’s dropped down to a mark which sees him very well handicapped. He ran his best race of recent times in this particular contest twelve months ago, when he finished just a head second to Definite Plan. His run that day came off a ten-pound higher mark, and if repeating that effort here he’s got to be considered as very dangerous.
The next race I’ll be taking a look at is the 3:15 which is another Class 2 Handicap Chase this time over two miles. I’m taking a chance on The Widdow Maker here at 13/2 for Brendan Powell and Joe Tizzard. He was last seen when contested Grade 1 company at Aintree, and he found that a little too hot to handle, finishing third of six and a distance behind the winner Millers Bank. However, before that, he’d been continuing his progression nicely last term, developing himself into a smart horse by winning handicap hurdles before hacking up on his chase debut at Exeter which earned him a crack at hotter company. I think that there’s more to come from him this season, and whilst this is a tough opening race for him, he could well be up to the task.
Next up is the 3:50 which is a Pertemps Qualifier, a handicap hurdle over three miles. As to be expected, this is extremely competitive, but I’ve pledged my allegiance to Botox Has at 11/2 for Jamie Moore and Gary Moore. He’s progressed into a very useful horse over the last couple of seasons, and as a result of said progression he’s got some very solid form to his name. He placed in two handicaps here last winter, most notably in the fiercely competitive Paddy Power Handicap on New Year’s Day, where he finished third of fourteen behind Dolphin Square. He saved his best bit of form for his final run of the year though, where he beat the smart Brewin’upastorm by a head in the Grade 2 National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell. If he turns up in that kind of form again here, I think he’ll be bang there at the business end of things.
Concluding my preview will be the 4:25 which is a Class 2 Novice Chase that’s contested over three miles and a half of a furlong. This looks to be all about Life In The Park at 11/8 for me for Darragh O’Keeffe and Henry De Bromhead. The Irish raider arrives here having won his last three outings, the first two coming over hurdles before opening his account over fences in great style at Listowel last month when he won by over three lengths. He’s from the same sire as the likes of Douvan, Min, and Jonbon in Walk In The Park, and whilst he has a bit to go yet to reach the heights of those three, I think he could well prove to be a very smart prospect moving forward. If getting some luck around this cruel track, he’s the one that they all have to beat here.