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13:45 Cheltenham

This 16 runner conditional jockeys handicap hurdle will undoubtedly be a fiercely competitive affair. A mix of race fit contenders and horses making their seasonal debuts, Samarrive falls into the latter category having last been seen dotting up in a novice in April. This 4-y-o French import will likely head the market come post time, but perhaps he would be best left alone today as the form has not been upheld and he may not be fully revved up for his seasonal debut. San Pedro is the complete opposite end of the scale, wearing the second colours of the owners The Rockbourne Partnership. Having had a couple of spins on the flat this year for new connections and one hurdle run at Fontwell, may well be of each-way interest having been dropped 5lbs for that hurdle run behind a subsequent winner.

Pasvolsky will be the one I side with though having previously got the better of Straw Fan Jack and is on 4lb better terms today, also the pair finished ahead of the now rated 136 Flic Ou Voyou that day. His last run will have to be forgiven but it was his first start in 160 days.


written by Michael Taylor


14:00 Newbury

This race is a Group 3 contest over seven furlongs for the two-year-olds. There are a few horses in the race who have raced once but have winning form to their name. The most impressive of these would appear to be Light Infantry who won with a lot to spare on his debut. The runner-up franked the form by himself winning at Chelmsford when he ran again. Dubai Poet had a tough race two weeks ago in a Group 3 contest over a mile but that may have been too far for him at this stage of his career. If the drop back in trip has a positive effect, he could play a part.

Noble Truth is expected to be a strong favourite for this race and it’s clear to see why. Having taken a listed race at Doncaster in September he arguably bettered that form when second in a Group 1 at Longchamp last time out. Perhaps crucially, he is also the only horse who has proven himself on heavy ground and he is a worthy favourite for this contest for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin and is my selection.


written by Tom Bates


14:20 Cheltenham

13 Run in this Class 2 Handicap Chase. Which as you expect is a fairly open looking contest. At the time of writing Cloth Cap makes his reappearance from pulling up at the Grand National where he was favourite that day. Has to carry top weight in this race which maybe a tough ask first time out. interesting there is no headgear on him today when the cheekpieces were worn all last season.

Storm Control return to Cheltenham winning twice last season but with the ground drying up I'm not sure that does Storm Control any favours. Though Kerry Lee has had 2 runners and 2 winners in the last fortnight

The 2 Irish runners Definite Plan For Gordon Elliot and Go Another One For John C McConnell both would have chances for sure and enter calculations for sure.

2 Selections for me would be The Hollow Ginge who is on a very good mark if he can forget last season or put it behind him bar the 4th at the Ladbrokes Trophy (The Hennessy) his form is patch but that 4th in the Ladbrokes Trophy alone. Just goes to show that if the Hollow Ginge puts it all together he has a chance in a race like this where he is very well handicapped.

The Combination of Nigel & Sam Twiston Davies typically goes well at the start of the season and both their strike rates reflect that.

Another of my selection is Jersey Bean for Ollie Sherwood. Brendan Powell on board who seems to get on well with Jersey Bean.

Jersey Bean has course and distance form last time he won at Cheltenham last time out in a class 3 so will need a career best to win today but has a great chance and should be in contention near the end.

Goes well fresh from long breaks previously and the ground and trip will suit Jersey Bean and seems to have taken well to chasing winning 3 of 9 chases he has run in. I think a few others in this race have questions marks on ground as it will be fast ground with another dry night expected. Looks on paper a solid each way selection



written by Luke Tucker


14:35 Newbury

Siskany is in a rather unusual position in this race, he is rated five pounds ahead of the next best and yet receives weight from every other runner due to being a three-year-old. So apart from race conditions suiting him what other chance does he have? Well despite moving up from a handicap to a Group Three here, this is a weak Group Three and Siskany has the best form in the race. Winner of four of his six races this season he has improved with every run. Winner of a competitive Heritage handicap at Newmarket last time where he finished strongly. He has more improvement to come and looks a Group winner in waiting, although untried on heavy ground Siskany has shown some good form on soft and I would expect him to have no issue with today’s surface.

Ilaraab looks to be second best in the market here. To me he looks he like a horse who after winning six handicaps on the trot is now firmly in the handicappers grip but as yet has not shown himself up to group level. He did run a good race on his first attempt at Group Three. Fitted with cheekpieces for the first time he ran third of five to Michael Stoute’s Solid Stone beaten only a length and a quarter. However, he seemed to go backwards again last time although finishing third again he was never ever looking likely to win that day, that was on soft ground which doesn’t bode well for today although he did win twice on soft last year.

Of the rest Morando dead heated for first in this race in 2018 and used to relish soft ground but he hasn’t won for two years now and is a declining force these days. Max Vega ran really well when fifth in the Ebor despite finding trouble in running and didn’t stay two miles last time. He can finish second. Inchcore is currently the biggest price in the race, but he thrives on very soft ground and could run well here. he is some way behind on ratings but with several here not relishing this kind of ground can run better than his price suggests however with only two places available he is passed over.

Sometimes the obvious choice must be the only choice and although just touching odds on at time of writing Siskany is a confident selection, he has the best form in the race, should have no issue with the ground and receives weight from every other runner. Max Vega can get the better of the disappointing Ilaraab and take second place. Had three places been available Inchcore would have been an each way selection at a big price but I can’t see him beating Siskany or Max Vega.


written by Steve Marriott


14:55 Cheltenham

A small field makes for an interesting contest in this 2 mile hurdle event. Tritonic is the current short priced favourite and it’s easy to see why. This dual purpose four year old has had success in three of his two starts over hurdles. Coming out on top in a grade 2 event at Kempton in February and finishing a credible fifth in the JCB Triumph hurdle at the Cheltenham festival. He’s got every chance of making a winning return over timber providing he is tuned up and runs to the mark he is capable of.

Stepney Causeway has been impressive over hurdles winning his last 4 starts. A capable horse on the flat, he has managed to reach similar levels over the smaller obstacles and is the main danger to the market principle. A small field could well benefit this four year old as he steps up in class, the Skelton yard is also starting to come into a bit of form which is also a positive.

The other potential danger is, I Like To Move It. He made a winning debut over hurdles, overcoming some clumsiness to land the 2 mile event at Worcester. He is relatively unexposed and has potential to make significant improvement although he may need one or two of these to falter if he is to make it two from two.


written by Michael Bowler


15:15 Doncaster

Following his extremely impressive Group 2 victory at the Curragh last month, Luxembourg has been installed as the current 2022 Derby favourite and is also a pretty short price to gain victory today. He just about sets the form standard and his trainer has won seven of the last twenty renewals of this race but with the ground set to be testing I have to go against him today.

Bayside Boy was a determined winner of the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in September and was a staying on third in the Group 1 Dewhurst last time out. He won’t mind the slower conditions and looks as though he will cope with this longer trip so he is given the vote to land the spoils.

Royal Patronage has improved for every run this season and is unbeaten in three when partnered with jockey Jason Hart and shouldn’t be underestimated, while Sissoko won by six lengths over nine furlongs on yielding ground when last but takes a big jump in class today.


written by Dean Kilbryde


15:30 Cheltenham

A race that probably revolves around three horses. Top weight Sky Pirate had a very successful time of it last season, concluding with a comprehensive victory in the Grand Annual at the festival. He has to give away a lot of weight here to a couple of potential dangers in this but the good ground will be in his favour.

Belargus rounded off last season with a decent victory at Sandown. He looks competitively weighted as effectively he is only three pound higher for that victory because his jockey claims five. If he can jump fluently he can be a danger, but maybe his future lays over a bit further.

This could be Before Midnight's day. Without tempting fate he looks a solid jumper. He ran in some competitive races last season and acquitted himself really well. The good ground will suit and he’s receiving almost two stone from Sky Pirate which could easily tip it in his favour.


written by Matt Polley


15:50 Doncaster

Gold Medal powered home to win on debut, at Wolverhampton, for Richard Hughes. He’s related to the rather fast Ken Colt and is open to vast amounts of improvement. His jockey, David Egan, is in good form and the form of his debut win is quite good. However, you’d imagine that Richard Hughes wouldn’t want Gold Medal to be penalised for such a victory this early on, so you would presume he might not be primed for this race. Moreover, this is a large step up in class.

Deodar only won by a neck on debut, at Newbury, for Ralph Beckett but the horse that was runner up to him has since come out and placed second to the smart Canonized. He seemed quite green on his debut, so it’s probably a testament to his ability that he won. If he carries on in the right direction, he could be a smart horse but he faces a stiff task today, on only his second day at school.

I would be very surprised to see Flaming Rib be defeated today. He’s got everything going for him. He’s won on this ground before, he’s won three times over this distance and he’s in the form of his life. Additionally, connections are in good form and it seems like he’s been primed with this race in mind. Moreover, not only does he have the best form in the race, he has an advantage of around twenty pounds, on the ratings, over his rivals. It would be a big upset if he got beat.


written by Kieran McHugh


16:05 Cheltenham

Irish trained horses dominate the top of the market for this Pertemps Qualifier, with the five time winning Tullybeg, the current 3/1 favourite. Jordan Gainford takes off a valuable three pounds and he’s a live contender.

Peter Fahey excels when sending horses across the Irish Sea and although Born Patriot has ground to make up with the favourite on their most recent meeting, he’s an unexposed type that should come up the hill well.

The evergreen Tobefair is a course and distance winner as he landed this contest in 2019, minutes which is always a plus here. Both his recent runs leave something to be desired but he’s slipped to an attractive handicap mark.

Of the remainder, Panic Attack has always been held in high regard by David Pipe and should show improvement on his second run after a wind operation.


written by Peter Keogh


16:20 Doncaster

This looks typically competitive for a Northern Sprint and most of the runners arrive either in tip top form or have shown enough already during the season to be recommended once more today. Boundless Power served notice when finishing a highly credible second here in the Portland and duly built upon that effort when scoring at Ascot the time after. Penalised just four pounds for that, he looks almost certain to go well and is as likely a winner as any.

Illusionist produced a quite remarkable performance when somehow coming from last to first at York last time and his five pounds for that display looks very lenient indeed. Grant Tuer has had something of a season to remember and there is every chance his four-year-old has more in the locker. The likely strong pace here really ought to ensure he at least goes well although you have to question how much that last effort took out of him.

Dakota Gold is edging down the weights and looked a little wayward when hanging under pressure at Ascot last time, his mark and proven effectiveness at this course entitles him to healthy respect although he is starting to look a little tricky.

Zargun got the better of the re-opposing Sunday Sovereign when the pair clashed at Catterick last time although quite how the handicapper upped Scott Dixon's charge four pounds and left Sunday Sovereign's mark unchanged is something of a mystery. Even allowing for the comfort with which Zargun won that day, this track is infinitely fairer on horses being held up and Sunday Sovereign is expected to gain revenge despite missing out on our vote.

El Astronaute arrives here off an eight pounds lower mark than the one he scored off at Chester earlier in the season, predicting a return to form would require quite the leap of faith though he is entitled to go close and could reward the each-way players.

Lahore has had a disastrous season though he very much caught the eye when running on under a tender ride at York last time. Proven on testing ground, three from four at the course and now eleven pounds below his last winning mark, he taken to bounce back and he could be well drawn in stall one.


written by Chris Connolly


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