Ed Quigley: Four Selections For Cheltenham Including A 40/1 Paddy Power Gold Cup Tip

Ed Quigley has four ante-post tips for Cheltenham's November meeting.
Ed Quigley has four ante-post tips for Cheltenham's November meeting.

Cheltenham is back this Friday as we prepare for three days of top class action. In particular I will be looking forward to seeing MY DROGO in the November Novices' Chase, where hopefully he translates his top class hurdle form to the bigger obstacles and can keep the dream alive for followers of my ante-post column. For many, he will be prohibitive odds to land the spoils on chase debut, so I am looking elsewhere on the same day as far as wagering is concerned. 

Paddy Power Handicap Chase - 13:45 Friday

BUN DORAN is a horse that grabs the eye in the 2m Handicap Chase at 1.45 on Friday. Connections have the option of going for the Paddy Power Gold Cup or the Shloer Chase, but I think they would be biting off more than they can chew in those assignments. However, back over the minimum trip off a mark of 140 he does make appeal at 14/1 despite his advancing years. It is possible that the old fires may not burn any more, but the ten-year-old has an outstanding record at this sort of trip at Prestbury Park. Career form figures of 212230 would underline that and he has slid 20lbs down the handicap since winning a Grade 2 at the end of 2019. He bolted up in this race off 138 in 2018, so from just 2lb higher is now on feasible mark and looks to have a realistic chance of getting involved on these terms. He is versatile in regards to underfoot conditions and has come into the equation here.

Paddy Power Handicap Chase - 13:45 Friday
Bun Doran silk

Bun Doran

placed

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Paddy Power Gold Cup - 14:15 Saturday

We move onto the Paddy Power Gold Cup on Saturday, and this looks, as ever an exciting and competitive renewal as one would expect. We touched upon this race in last week's column, and the fact that the Cheltenham area has had a lot of dry weather in recent times and so this meeting and race in particular could be on ground far quicker than we are accustomed to. We already have Deyrann De Carjac in the ante-post column, and Lalor and Caribean Boy are the two I respect the most from those towards the top of the market. At a massive price, the Brian Ellison trained NIETZSCHE could get involved in the finish at 40/1. Off an official mark of 133, the eight-year-old is only 1lb higher than last successful and has some smart form at the venue. Over hurdles he won the Greatwood Hurdle in 2018 and was 3rd in the Fred Winter in 2017. He has performed well at the track over fences too, including when third to Sky Pirate last year off 135. His stamina gave way in this year's Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival, when travelling well for a long way before tiring on Soft ground over 3m 1f. Crucially he should get underfoot conditions in his favour over this intermediate trip and could easily outrun his odds for the Brian Ellison team.

Paddy Power Gold Cup - 14:15 Saturday
Nietzsche silk

Nietzsche (EW)

-

Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle - 14:50 Saturday

The following race on the card is the Listed Handicap Hurdle over 3m, and I will be very interested by the claims of SPORTING JOHN, if they let him roll the dice back over hurdles. His jumping far from impressed over the larger obstacles, even in winning at Sandown in Grade 1 company, the race fell apart and his stamina kicked in to pick up the pieces. Back over hurdles, he could be looking for a confidence booster, but likewise, off a mark of 146, he has the propensity to be better than that, and is unexposed over both staying trips and hurdles. He can go well for each-way backers.

Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle - 14:55 Sunday

TRITONIC hasn't perhaps scaled the heights (yet) that perhaps we thought we would see from him after his demolition job in last season's Adonis Hurdle, but he is still lightly raced over hurdles, and a strongly run 2m on decent ground can unlock further improvement from the Alan King-trained four-year-old. With hindsight, he didn't run too badly at this track three weeks ago, when runner up to I Like To Move whilst trying to concede 8lb. That was a small field muddling affair that didn't suit. Off 142, the usual end-to-end gallop this contest produces should play to his strengths and I expect him to come with a late rattle with the yard in decent nick. Of those at bigger prices, I wouldn't rule out a big run from the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Ballyandy. A runner-up in this contest 12 months ago off 154, he gets in here this time around off 8lb lower. He has to be respected despite being one of the more exposed individuals taking his place in the field.

Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle - 14:50 Saturday
Sporting John silk

Sporting John

won
Greatwood Handicap Hurdle - 14:55 Cheltenham
Tritonic silk

Tritonic

lost

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The Shloer Chase looks an absolute belter on paper, with Put The Kettle On and Nube Negra, the 1-2 from last season's Champion Chase due to lock horns, as well as 2020 Champion Chase winner Politologue amongst others. All in all, I think this looks a tricky puzzle to solve, but I will be interested to see if connections roll the dice with race-fit Sky Pirate in this encounter. They have the option to go the handicap route with the most recent Grand Annual winner, but he is a little bit in no-mans land with a BHA Rating of 159, so might as well have a tilt at this with a recent run under his belt, considering he enjoys his visits to Prestbury Park and now they have worked out he is at his best over the minimum trip.

Elsewhere on the card, Does He Know will be looking to make it an unblemished three from three over fences in the 3m Novice Chase, and I think there could be a lot more to come from him considering that in my view he could jump a lot better than he did when winning at this track three weeks ago. The form of his Chepstow win is working out nicely, and looks a progressive sort for the Kim Bailey team.

Advice:

Friday:
Bun Doran, 1.45 Cheltenham, Friday, 1pt win, 14/1 (generally)

Saturday:
Nietzsche, 2.15 Cheltenham, Saturday, 0.5pts e/w 40/1 (Ladbrokes)
Sporting John, 2.50 Cheltenham, Saturday, 1pt win 14/1 (Hills)

Sunday:
Tritonic, 2.55 Cheltenham, Sunday, 1pt win 10/1 (generally)

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