A fairly open novice handicap chase on display here as 5 of the runners at the time of writing and judging from prices 2/1 to 7/1 bookies expect an open race.
Favourite Annual Invictus was unlucky behind Faivoir at Uttoxeter the last time out and gets a pull at the weights this time out against Faivoir. Who has a 6-pound rise for winning last time out.
What Faivoir does have in favour of him is he is unbeaten around Cheltenham and that course winning can prove very valuable around Cheltenham. Dan Skelton has had a quiet couple of weeks in terms of winners with his runners (2 Wins in 31 Runs) which suggest a lot may need the run. However, Faivoir only raced 3 weeks ago so that won't be the excuse with him this time round.
Back On The Lash is the most experienced chase runs wise with this being his 5th run over fences. Trainer Martin Keighley has hit a good bit of form at the right time Back On The Lash has Winning experience over fences and is also a course winner over hurdles will stand him in good stead today.
Torn And Frayed makes his chase debut today and Nigel Twiston Davies knows how to get a horse ready first time out and the yard is in a good typical early season form. Never really ran a bad race last season but maybe fences will be the making of him.
A horse I always thought would be a decent chaser is my selection, Danny Kirwan. The 8 Year old makes his chase debut today and what will only be his eleventh run under rules in a lightly raced career so far. Was last seen winning at Wincanton where he hacked up winning by 14 lengths.
Paul Nicholls has always been sweet on him but has had to bide his time with him. Danny Kirwan has had another wind op over the summer which should benefit him. The only concern is it will be his first run in 200 days whereas others may have the edge in terms of race fitness over him. But the good ground will be in his favour and I expect a bold showing. At a meeting Nicholls usually does well over the years. DANNY KIRWAN (WIN)
written by Luke Tucker