Cheltenham Festival Day 1
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 1
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 2
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 3
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 4

Cheltenham Tips: Check out our best bets for Friday on ITV Racing

Check out our best bets for Cheltenham on Friday
Check out our best bets for Cheltenham on Friday

It's the return of National Hunt racing to Cheltenham on Friday as they host day one of the International meeting, which will see some of the races take place in front of the ITV Racing cameras. Hopefully the cold weather won't affect the meeting, but our in-house tipster Steve Chambers has picked out his best bets on the card...

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13:50 Cheltenham - Cf Roberts Electrical & Mechanical Services Mares' Handicap Chase

A runaway 30-length winner at Warwick last time out, Amy Murphy's Hawthorn Cottage will look to defy a 7lbs rise when she lines up in the 13:50 at Cheltenham on Friday and she is a prominent figure in the betting. However, she found life tough on her last visit to Cheltenham in April, so she could be worth taking on on her return to Prestbury Park.

The one to be with is the hugely consistent Tom Symonds-trained MARTA DES MOTTES, who was a winner at Southwell two starts ago and then finished a fine second at Chepstow on her next start, so if she can continue to blossom on the track then she can claim victory here. She's 8lbs higher here, so will need to put up a career best, but she was rated in the 120s over hurdles, so a chasing mark of 108 looks workable if she can excel on Friday. She ran in the Adonis at Kempton as a juvenile (7th of 9), so obviously has some talent there and she can sparkle on her first visit to Cheltenham and claim victory.

13:50 Cheltenham - Cf Roberts Electrical & Mechanical Services Mares' Handicap Chase
Marta Des Mottes silk

Marta Des Mottes

placed
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14:25 Cheltenham - Dahlbury Handicap Chase

Commodore was a stunning 10-length winner of this race 12 months ago and the Venetia Williams-trained grey, who was last seen finishing 12th in the Grand National at Aintree, will attempt to retain the crown on Friday and sets the standard here. However, he's significantly higher in the weights in this year's contest, so he's going to have to put up a much more improved display and off top weight he could struggle.

Captain Cattistock and Switch Hitter are prominent figures in the betting, but the one to side with is the Tim Vaughan-trained EVA'S OSKAR, who put up a fine performance at Cheltenham's Showcase Meeting last month when finishing second to the classy Does He Know and a repeat of that effort would see him in with a great chance here. Showing tremendous stamina that day, Eva's Oskar just failed to reel in the winner, but having taken to the undulations of Prestbury Park, the Shirocco gelding can go one better than last month and bag victory.

14:25 Cheltenham - Dahlbury Handicap Chase
Eva's Oskar silk

Eva's Oskar

won
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Cheltenham Festival Odds

15:00 Cheltenham - Glenfarclas Crystal Cup Cross Country Handicap Chase

Reigning Cross Country Chase champion Delta Work will return to Cheltenham for the first time since his Cheltenham Festival success over Tiger Roll in March and Gordon Elliott's charge is the one to beat in a fascinating renewal at 15:00. Unlike the Cheltenham Festival race, this race is a handicap contest, so Delta Work will need to give lumps of weight away and he was far from impressive last time out when winning at Punchestown, so he could be vulnerable.

Last year's winner of this contest Diesel D'Allier will take his chance and look to land the prize again, but the attractively handicapped runner is Henry De Bromhead's PLAN OF ATTACK, who could well land the victory for Ireland here.  Beaten by over three lengths in last year's contest, Plan Of Attack is better off at the weights in this year's contest and he's sure to improve for a spin over hurdles at Clonmel last month.

A fine third in the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival - albeit 21 lengths behind Delta Work - Plan Of Attack has become a real smart performer over the idiosyncratic test that is the Cross Country course and at the prices he's the value alternative to the classy Delta Work.

15:00 Cheltenham - Glenfarclas Crystal Cup Cross Country Handicap Chase
Plan Of Attack silk

Plan Of Attack

Cheltenham Tips
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