Frost covers are being lifted as the snow is due in Cheltenham. Its cold, but it has been dry, the ground would be Good to Soft right now, but if it stays very cold it will be a challenge for the usual watering programme. Officially we’ll have good to soft ground of course, but should we brace ourselves for quicker?
Meanwhile, only Wolverhampton and Newcastle are withstanding the icy chills today. The Geordies probably think its a balmy Spring day, and that’s where we head for the nap.
Favourite Gabriel The Devil (1915) may be suited by switching back to this Tapeta surface after a comeback 3rd on the Polytrack. That said his stable are struggling for form, and being beaten st 5/4 last time is no advert for taking 3/1 today.
Displaying Amber was a good third on handicap debut. She came from well off the pace and the step up to 6f would seem logical. We just felt that her finishing kick was bottoming out last time and aren’t do sure the step up will suit.
We are keen on Gorse. He was a fine 2nd here last time, travelling with a purpose, looking more mature than some of these, and just getting blind sided by a fast finisher to deny him victory.
The booking of Joe Fanning is a real bonus as one of the top jockeys in the North. He looks to have a willing partner in Gorse and the two can combine for a win here
Recommendation: Gorse, (1915 Newcastle), 1pt win, 3/1 generally available
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