Today's Racing Guide: Stellar day at Cheltenham

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Today's racing guide comes from Cheltenham.
Today's racing guide comes from Cheltenham.

We have six pointers for you on today's action, which all come from Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day...

1. Can't miss Cheltenham 

It's a massive day's sport at Cheltenham where their seven races provide us with the ever informative Festival Trials Day. They kick off at 12.40 with the Grade 2 JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle, a contest in which the much hyped former French-trained gelding Monte Cristo sets out on his British debut, on what is also his first taste of action under the care of Nicky Henderson. Around 25/1 for the Triumph itself pre-race, the youngster was a winner at Auteuil in October on his final start in his native land. 

2. Tongue tie to make the difference?

Note the application of a first time tongue tie on the Jeremy Scott-trained Champage Court in the 13.15 Cheltenham, a move the Somerset based handler hopes will enable him to bag a hat-trick with this exciting seven year old. A son of Court Cave, the youngster has previously run well here at Cheltenham including when fourth in the Martin Pipe handicap at last year's Festival. He's in great form of late too, winning consecutive outings at Sandown and Plumpton in November. 

3. Lalor to continue his return to form? 

A Grade 2 winner over fences at this track back in November 2018, as well as previously and famously a Grade 1 scorer over hurdles at Aintree in April of the same year, Lalor is a fascinating prospect in the 13.50 Cheltenham, returning to the scene of his much improved effort when third there and only narrowly beaten on new year's day. That resurgence came in first time sheepskin cheekpieces, so it's no surprise to see the headgear retained in this £70,000 handicap chase, a race for which Aidan Coleman maintains his partnership in the saddle.  

4. Cotswold Chase can serve up a cracker 

Six declared runners rated between 152 and 170 are clear evidence of the very high quality on display in the 14.25 Cheltenham, with prize money all the way down to sixth in the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase. Fresh from a wind op which took place after he'd squeezed home in front at Sandown back in November, it'll be fascinating to see what effect that's had on Santini. The eight year old has been placed at the last two Cheltenham Festivals and has bags of class, factors which help explain why prior to today's racing he's only 9/1 for the Gold Cup in March. 

Cheltenham 14:25

This race is now finished - View Results

Paddy Power Cotswold Chase (Grade 2)

  • 5YO plus, 6 Runners
  • Chase, Turf
  • Winner £56,270, 2nd £21,200, 3rd £10,610, 4th £5,300, 5th £2,660, 6th £1,330, 7th £660, 8th £340
  • Distance 3m 1f 56y
  • Going Soft

Prediction:

Our Verdict

RSA runner-up SANTINI made heavy weather of his winning return at Sandown but a wind operation and the return to a track that will play more to his strengths can see Nicky Henderson's gelding book his Gold Cup ticket. Connections have been positive in the run up to this contest regarding his preparation and the eight-year-old can account for last year's Gold Cup third Bristol De Mai, who went down fighting in his bid for a third Betfair Chase at Haydock, and Top Ville Ben, who was impressive when landing the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby last time.

Stats filter

Course Winner
Distance Winner
Won Last Time Out
Ran Within 30 Days
Number
Runner
Tips arrows-switch ico
Best Odds arrows-switch ico
  • Emerald green, dark green sleeves, dark green and emerald green quartered cap
    1
    Bristol De Mai
    • D A Jacob
    • N A Twiston-Davies
    • 9 years, 11-6
    • Form: 2/1F34-2

    Has won two hurdle races and eight chases from 2m to 3m 2f on ground varying from good to heavy. Beaten 1 1/2l by Lostintranslation when second of 4 at 5-4jt-fav on his latest outing in a Grade 1 chase in the Group 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock over 3m 2f (good to soft) in November last year.

    Tipped by:

    • POSTDATA
    • Steve Mason - RP Ratings
    • TOPSPEED
    • Marlborough - Telegraph
    • Jason Heavey - The Star
    • Templegate - The Sun
    Best Odds
    Emerald green, dark green sleeves, dark green and emerald green quartered cap
    Bristol De Mai Cheltenham 14:25
    SP
  • Dark green, maroon stars, maroon cap
    2
    Mister Whitaker
    • J J Burke
    • M R Channon
    • 8 years, 11-6
    • Form: 144P1-5

    Winner of five chases from 2m 4f to 2m 5f on ground varying from good to soft. Finished 9l behind Oldgrangewood when fifth of 12 at 10-1 on his latest outing in a Grade 3 chase here over 2m 5f (soft) earlier this month.

    Pointers:

    • Course winner
    Best Odds
    Dark green, maroon stars, maroon cap
    Mister Whitaker Cheltenham 14:25
    SP
  • Red and white stripes, dark blue sleeves and cap
    3
    De Rasher Counter
    • Adam Wedge
    • Miss E C Lavelle
    • 8 years, 11-4
    • Form: 7121-61

    Winner of a hurdle race, a NH flat race, three chases and a point-to-point from 2m to 3m 2f on ground varying from good to soft to heavy. A winner at 12-1 in a Grade 3 chase in the Group 3 Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury over 3m 2f (good to soft) on his latest outing in November last year, beating The Conditional by 1 1/2l.

    Pointers:

    • Won Last Time Out

    Naps:

    • Whistler - Sunday Telegraph

    Tipped by:

    • Newsboy - Daily Mirror
    Best Odds
    Red and white stripes, dark blue sleeves and cap
    De Rasher Counter Cheltenham 14:25
    SP
  • Grey, white epaulets
    4
    Santini
    • Nico de Boinville
    • N J Henderson
    • 8 years, 11-4
    • Form: 31/132-1

    Winner of three hurdle races, two chases and a point-to-point from 2m 4f to 3m 1f on soft and heavy ground. Won on his latest outing in a chase when 1-3fav at Sandown over 3m (soft) in November last year, beating Now Mcginty by a head.

    Pointers:

    • Course winner
    • Distance Winner
    • Won Last Time Out

    Naps:

    • Andy Morris - Shropshire Star

    Tipped by:

    • Garry Owen - Daily Record
    • James Burn - LAMBOURN
    Best Odds
    Grey, white epaulets
    Santini Cheltenham 14:25
    SP
  • Red, yellow seams, striped sleeves and cap
    5
    Top Ville Ben
    • Thomas Dowson
    • P A Kirby
    • 8 years, 11-4
    • Form: F13-531

    Has won three hurdle races, a NH flat race, four chases and a point-to-point from 1m 6f to 3m on ground varying from good to soft to heavy. Won on his latest outing in a Grade 3 chase when 3-1fav in the Group 3 888Sport Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby over 3m (soft) in December last year, beating Didero Vallis by 8l.

    Pointers:

    • Won Last Time Out

    Naps:

    • The North - Racing Post

    Tipped by:

    • Richard Austen - SPOTLIGHT
    • Richard Young - THE NORTH
    Best Odds
    Red, yellow seams, striped sleeves and cap
    Top Ville Ben Cheltenham 14:25
    SP
  • Red, yellow triple diamond, white sleeves, red armlets
    6
    Slate House
    • R M Power
    • C L Tizzard
    • 8 years, 11-3
    • Form: 28-1F11

    Winner of two hurdle races, three chases and a point-to-point from 2m to 3m on ground varying from good to heavy. A winner at 3-1 in a Grade 1 chase in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton over 3m (soft) on his latest outing in December last year, beating Black Op by 1 1/4l. Has won 3 times this season.

    Pointers:

    • Course winner
    • Won Last Time Out

    Naps:

    • - The Guardian
    • Rob Wright - The Times

    Tipped by:

    • The Scout - Daily Express
    • Robin Goodfellow - Daily Mail
    • The Guardian
    • Rob Wright - The Times
    Best Odds
    Red, yellow triple diamond, white sleeves, red armlets
    Slate House Cheltenham 14:25
    SP
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5. Impressive strike-rate for Irish raiders

Trainer Emmet Mullins has a huge 50% strike-rate when bringing horses to run across the water in Britain in recent seasons, his occasional forays from his Bagenalstown, County Carlow base frequently yielding success. Pay attention then as he tries his luck in the 15.00 Cheltenham, bringing 145-rated Rocket Lad across the Irish sea to have a pop at the Grade 2 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle. The easy winner of a Gowran Park maiden hurdle in October, this horse is a little bit of an unknown quantity given he finished last and lame when last seen at Cork in November. 

6. More success for Paisley Park at Pretsbury Park? 

Can he make it seven of the best? The Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle will ensure no-one leaves Cheltenham before 15.35, especially with the mighty staying champion, Paisley Park, a horse who is on a six run winning spree, topping the bill. The reigning champ at Cheltenham hasn't tasted defeat since March 2018 and won this race by a yawning 12 lengths on this day a year ago. 

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