The second day of the November meeting has a broadly bookie-friendly look and it probably pays to be cautious.
The race in which to release the brakes should be 2m5f handicap hurdle (1530). Jockey Lizzie Kelly does well here and she should be confidently backed on Diable De Sivola.
She rode him in the 2m Fred Winter here at the Festival when staying on well into 5th. His reappearance staying on second, again over 2m, has since been franked by the winner following up. The extra distance here should suit and he has a stand-out chance. Lump on !!
The big race – now the BetVictor Gold Cup – looks tricky as favourite Kylemore Lough has to be respected after his switch to the excellent Harry Fry stable. But topweight is a physically demanding burden, and this looks a race to take more of a punt on.
Ex-Irish Bentelimar hasn’t had too long at new yard Charlie Longsdon and is flying high here for his stable debut. That said he ran some decent races last season and comes here for from a Summer campaign, worth an each way tickle.
The staying chase (1350) features Gold Cup runner up Minella Rocco. He can go very well but again has a monster weight. Favourite Three Faces West hasn’t run since before Christmas last year and will need to be fit as a flea for a test like this.
We prefer the solid claims of Doing Fine. He has won over course and distance, and was a good staying on third over a fractionally shorter trip here last time in a good race.
The staying handicap hurdle (1500) is dominated by two wide margin winners – Thomas Campbell and Dell’ Arca – both of whom are saddled with 10lbs more.
Rocky’s Treasure is flying high for seasonal debut, and this again looks like a race worth taking a punt on. It is almost impossible to rate the French hurdling form of Nuits Premier Cru, but that makes it hard for handicapper and bookies alike to rate. It could be worth chancing him over this trip at a big price.
We’ll let the other races go. French challenger Eh Georges could have place appeal in the opener, and we can pass on good reports for Glenmona, owned by a syndicate of friends we know well, but whom we will not jinx with a selection !!
Doing Fine, 1350 Cheltenham, 1pt win, 6/1 Paddy Power
Bentelimar, 1425 Cheltenham, 0.5pts each way, 25/1 generally available
Nuits Premier Cru, 1500 Cheltenham, 0.5pts each way, 33/1 generally available
Diable De Sivola, 1530 Cheltenham, 2pts win, 13/2 generally available
Doing Fine & Diable De Sivola, 1pt win double, approx 52/1
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