Cheltenham Day 1 November Meeting Preview Part I
Cheltenham Day 1 of the November meeting kicks off with 6 races starting at 12.40. The first race is an amateurs race and has one of the largest fields of the day. So far 15 runners go to post to tackle 3m 1f over going that is expected to be on the soft side of good.
Mr J J Codd is an undoubted talent and has ridden numerous winners at various big meetings including Cheltenham. He rides Duelling Banjos for Kim Bailey and currently at odds of 10/1 is well worth an EW bet.
The favourite is likely to be the Donald McCain JR trained What Happens Now. Having previously won over course and distance and winner of 4 out of 8 race he is the form horse in the race. He also has the top class amateur Derek O’Connor on board.
The largest field of the day goes to post for the 1.15pm race. Currently 19 runners are listed for the 2m Handicap Hurdle.
A couple of interesting runners for me are Canny Tom and Magic Dancer.
Gordon Elliott sends over Canny Tom for this hurdle race despite him having been chasing in his last 3 appearances. In those race he performed admirably coming 3rd, 1st and 6th respectively. Obviously a shrewd trainer and judge like Elliott sees an opportunity here and it will be well worth noting any money for this horse overnight or early morning.
Kerry Lee turns Magic Dancer out very quickly after his impressive victory at Kempton Park on Monday 13th November. The front 2 in that race finished 8 lengths clear of the field. Magic Dancer can run here without a penalty. He is a consistent sort having finished in the frame in 7 of his last 9 starts.
Cheltenham Day 1 November Meeting Preview Part II
The 1.50pm sees 9 runners go to post for a 2m Handicap chase. This race has been a nightmare for punters in the past. The average SP over the last 5 years has been 13/1!
This years renewal looks as competitive as ever. Phil Middleton currently has the favourite for the race in Exitas. The 9 year old has won his last 3 from 4 over fences including an impressive victory by 7l at Ascot last time out. My major concern is the 1olb rise for the recent rich vein of form.
Mick Thonic is a horse that I like the look of. Last time out he was pulled up but this was due to the jockey losing his irons. He is nicely weighted and Colin Tizzard is in reasonable form so again at a general 9/1 this is worth an EW bet.
The main race of the day is the 2.25 Steel Plate and Sections Novices Chase. Although only 4 runners go to post this is likely to be highly competitive. Finians Oscar will likely go off an odds on favourite. He won easily on his debut over fences and has only tasted defeat once on a racecourse. His two likely rivals are Movewiththetimes and William Henry.
Movewiththetimes has ran over the fences at Cheltenham already. He came 4th of 7 and was not hugely impressive. However he may come on for that run. William Henry is making his debut over the larger obstacles and I think Finians Oscar will have too much experience and speed for both.
Cheltenham Day 1 November Meeting Preview Part III
The 3.00pm is a Cheltenham staple. It is the Cross Country chase over 3m 6f. J P McManus has 3 of the first 4 in the market.
Enda Bolger usually has his horses well primed for these events. His horse Auvergnat is the current favourite and came fourth in the festival in March over these obstacles. In the same race Cause of Causes came 1st and Cantlow was 3rd.
Auvergnat has had a run this season over hurdles and I think the 10lb that Cause of Causes is giving away to his younger rival will prove to be too much.
The final race of Day 1 sees 6 runners go down for a Novice Hurdle. Another highly competitive affair with the top four in the market all likely to be vying for favourite.
Nicky Henderson sends out the undefeated On The Blind Side. He just held on at Aintree to win his maiden hurdle.
Nigel Twiston-Davies sends out the revitalised Calett Mad. He is 2 from 2 since being switched back to hurdles from chasing in September this year.
Tip of The Day
MY TIP OF THE DAY IS FOR FINIAN’S OSCAR TO WIN.
THIS IS AVAILABLE AT MOST BOOKMAKERS AT 8/11.