Saturday 28th January 2023
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
A big welcome to this Saturday blog where my focus will soley be on Cheltenham where it’s Festival Trials Day. The first race I’ve had a punt in is the opener at 11:40 which is the Grade 2 Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle over two miles and a furlong. I like the chances of a Scriptwriter here at 3/1 for the team of Paddy Brennan and Milton Harris. He was a smart horse on the flat and has already won a Grade 2 Triumph Trial here back in November, he’s also won on the all-weather at Wolverhampton following that Cheltenham win. Connections are bullish about his chances here, and if continuing his progression I think he’s got a great chance of going well again.
The 12:10 is where I’ll be turning my attention too now, which is a handicap chase for novices over just shy of two miles and five furlongs. In this particular affair I like Fire Dancer who’s currently trading at a best price of 11/4 for Charlie Deutsch and Venetia Williams. Sporting the famous silks of Sussanah Ricci, the seven-year-old made the perfect start to his racing career with his new stable when winning a handicap at Ludlow earlier this month. He’s been given a six-pound rise for that effort, which seems very fair and I think that there could well be a lot more to come from him. He’ll also contest this off a very low weight, and whilst it looks a competitive enough affair, he’s got considerable scope.
Moving onto the 12:40 now which is the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase that’s contested over three miles and six furlongs on the cross country course. Now, these aren’t the kind of races I’d usually get involved with, but I’ve got a strong fancy here in the form of Delta Work at 5/2 for Rob James and Gordon Elliott. He won the Cross Country Race at last year’s festival when beating his tenacious stablemate Tiger Roll, before going on to finish a very solid third in the Grand National. He made his seasonal reappearance at Punchestown a couple of months ago where he won a lesser event, I think he’s rock solid here, and should perhaps even be a bit shorter in the betting, this obviously isn’t his cup final, but I still think he’ll be very tough to beat. (NAP)
My fourth and final selection of the afternoon at Cheltenham comes in the 1:50 which is a handicap chase that’s ridden over just under two miles and five furlongs on the new course. This is really competitive, however, I’m taking a chance on Il Ridoto at 11/2 for the combination of Harry Cobden and Paul Nicholls. He’s had two runs so far this season and both have come at Cheltenham within competitive handicaps, and on both occasions he’s posted solid efforts by finishing fourth each time. He’s been dropped a pound for his effort here on New Year’s Day, which I think is leniant, and if progressing slightly from that run he’s got every chance of getting a bit closer. He’s always been held in high regard and I’m not convinced that we’ve seen the best of him just yet.