ITV7 Racing Tips: Gumball to get the ball rolling

We have a fantastic five races at Cheltenham and two Listed races at Lingfied.
We have a fantastic five races at Cheltenham and two Listed races at Lingfied.

Joe Tuffin takes a look at Saturday's televised action at Cheltenham and Lingfield and picks out his best bets...

Cheltenham 13:40 - Paddy Power November Novices Chase

The first race on a stellar day of action on ITV is a beautifully tricky Grade 2 Novices’ Chase, filled with recognisable names from the hurdle circuit of the past few seasons. Fusil Raffles, a one time favourite for the Champion Hurdle, currently tops the market at a shade over evens at the time of writing, but I’d rather look down the market at the horse that finished 13 lengths behind him on both their chase debuts - Gumball. Philip Hobbs’ runner finished third that day in what was a really scrappy round of novicey jumping, but looked a different horse on his second appearance over the larger obstacles and duly dotted up by six-lengths in a smart looking chase at Uttoxeter. With his jumping issues ironed out, he could be a really smart recruit to chasing and is expected to run Fusil Raffles close this time round at a much more attractive price.

Cheltenham 13:40
Gumball silk



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Cheltenham 14:15 - Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase

It’s one of the best betting heats of the year, and this year's renewal is no different with 17 horses going to post in a wide open race. Saint Sonnet tops the market for Paul Nicholls and could well be one that is way ahead of his mark, but with only two runs under his belt on British soil it’s hard to make a solid assessment on his form. Slate House is another that may pose a threat with some Grade 1 form under his belt, but for better value it’s worth going with Spiritofthegames, a hugely consistent horse in these sort of events at Cheltenham. He was unlucky to finish sixth against many others at the top of this market at the Cheltenham Festival, and providing he enjoys a clearer round of jumping this time, he could well strike off a workable mark of 148 at a very backable price.

Cheltenham 14:15
Spiritofthegames silk



Cheltenham 14:50 - Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle

The third race of the day treats us to a hugely competitive listed handicap hurdle, and it’s the exciting and improving Tea Clipper that tops the market for Tom Lacey. His record under rules is certainly eye-catching, with four wins from five runs (his only loss being a second), and his win last time out came in Grade 3 company. He’s up 7 lb for that success, but it looks as if that won’t stop him yet, with his last win being a smooth one against other graded winners. This race is laden with smart performers but with his taking win last time out and constant curve of steep improvement, he looks the one to side with.

Cheltenham 14:50
Tea Clipper silk

Tea Clipper


Lingfield 15:05 - Churchill Stakes

ITV takes a break from National Hunt HQ and heads over to Lingfield for the fourth race of the day, a listed event over 1m2f on the all weather. Not quite the go to race for the punter, we only have five go to post with Dubai Warrior topping the market at firm odds-on, making it no betting heat. If you want to move safely onto the next race on the ITV7, then i can’t put you off John Gosden’s star runner who is a bit of a whizz on the all weather, notching up three wins including two here, namely the headline event on the polytrack surface - the Group 3 Winter Derby. If you’re wanting the value play however then Palavecino could be the one to look at. Brian Meehan’s runner is no stranger to the all weather and missed out on listed honours of his own last time out by two lengths. He’s a course and distance winner - albeit in a weaker race than this - and could be the one to serve it up to Dubai Warrior here. Possibly worth looking at the betting without the favourite market.

Linfield 15:05
Palavecino silk


Cheltenham 15:25 - Paddy Power First Millionaire Qualifier

Ten go to post for the penultimate race of the day at HQ and it’s recent Cheltenham winner Captain Tom Cat tops the market after landing a hat-trick here at last month's October meeting. It was a very impressive and admirable run but it feels as if the handicapper may have the grip of him now. Very useful 7 lb claimer Cillin Leonard was put on him last time out to keep his weight down and it paid off, but he’s gone up 6 lb for last month’s success meaning Leonard’s initial advantage with his claim has now been ruled out. He’s still well weighted when compared to these, but this is a tougher race against tougher opponents. Catching the eye further down the market is Topofthecotswolds, a 132 rated hurdler who dotted up with ease against some recent winner on his penultimate start. He too ran here last month and wasn’t disgraced - finishing ten lengths back in third. That was a hotter race than this, and while he wouldn’t have won it, a scrappy jump at the last probably does that winning distance no favours. If he can have a clearer round this time round then he offers some serious value at a double-figure price.

Cheltenham 15:25
Topofthecotswolds silk



Lingfield 15:40 - Golden Rose Stakes (Listed)

It’s back to Lingfield for the sixth race on ITV and we’re treated to more listed action, this time in the form of the listed six-furlong Golden Rose Stake. There’s some names that will stand out to many, including consistent listed/group level performer Judicial, but favourite Good Effort more than justifies his spot at the top of the market and looks the one to beat here. He’s currently four unbeaten - including here the last twice over course and distance - and dispatched of a listed field with ease on his penultimate start, second that day was Soldier’s Minute who he reopposes here but there’s nothing to suggest the form will be reversed. Judicial carries a penalty and that should be enough to halt his progress, and Godolphin’s On The Warpath looks vulnerable on his debut start at six-furlongs.

Lingfield 15:40
Good Effort silk

Good Effort


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Cheltenham 15:55 - Mares’ Standard National Hunt Flat Race

The final race of a stellar day of action on ITV concludes with a Listed mares’ bumper, which has attracted a select field of ten. All bar two have at least won a race, and none of them have ran more than three times so it’s a tricky one to call with confidence, but preference is for Ucanaver, a 20 length winner last time out - albeit in a weak race. Though she was very clearly a cut above that field at Fontwell, it’s her debut form which catches the eye the most. She was an incredibly unfancied 80/1 chance but outran those odds and some, finishing only four-lengths behind the winner in second. That winner followed up with another success but this time in listed company - that’s a pretty good yardstick. Ucanaver is obviously worth her place in this race and is fancied to make it two in a row here.

Cheltenham 15:55
Ucanaver silk


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