Saturday 12th November 2022
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
(Prices correct as of 11:30 Friday 11th November)
Welcome aboard to this week’s Saturday Blog where the focus is on the November Meeting at Cheltenham. The 12:35 Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle will kick things off, which is a Grade 2 event contested over two miles and a half of a furlong. I like the chances of Scriptwriter here at 9/2 for the Paddy Brennan and Milton Harris team. He was a smart flat horse for Aidan O’Brien before his switch to the Harris yard, with his most notable piece of form being when finishing fifth behind Coroebus in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket. On his first start over obstacles at Sedgefield last month, he got off the mark in comfortable style by winning by over two lengths, whilst still looking green in the closing stages. He’ll likely progress from that effort here, and connections tasted success in this race last year with a similar type in Knight Salute.
The 1:45 is the next race that I’ll be sharing my views on and that’s the Grade 2 Arkle Trial that’s contested over two miles. I’ve sided with Banbridge here at 7/2 who represents the team of J J Slevin and Joseph O’Brien. He drops back down to two miles here having contested considerably further in recent times, which is a slight concern, however, that being said he’s won over this distance in the past. His most recent outing came at Gowran Park at the beginning of October, where he bolted up by over eight lengths on his chasing debut, jumping very well in the process. He’s also a Cheltenham Festival winner, having won the Martin Pipe back in March, and I think he’s got the potential to go on to contest a higher-graded race at next year’s Festival, which has to make him a big player in this particular contest.
Next up it’s the 2:20 which is the Paddy Power Gold Cup, a Class 2 Handicap Chase that’s ridden over two miles and four furlongs. This is another extremely competitive contest, with 16 runners currently set to go to post. I’ve sided with an Irish contender though in the form of French Dynamite at 9/2 who represents Darragh O’Keefe and Mouse Morris. He made his seasonal reappearance last month at Thurles in a hurdles contest, and it was a winning return as he collected victory in smart style by three lengths. Fences are the aim for him though, and he developed into a smart chaser last term, most notably when winning a Grade 3 by a nose at Thurles, getting the better of the smart Ciel De Niege in the process. That spin over hurdles last time was clearly a prep run for this, and if anywhere near his best I think he’ll prove a tough nut to crack.
My fourth and final selection of the afternoon comes in the 2:55 which is a Handicap Hurdle that’s contested over three miles. I’m siding with Shearer here who’s currently trading at a best price of 7/2 for the team of Adrian Heskin and Paul Nicholls. He’s a course and distance winner who arrives here in great form, having won both of his two outings so far this term, with the most recent success coming at this track last month at the Showcase Meeting when getting the better of Twig, who has since boosted the form. Many of his opposition here have questions hanging over them or are pretty exposed, whereas he’s in great form and is still fairly unexposed. If he’s in the same form that he was last month, I think he could be very tough to beat.