New Year Yankee: Have a Fine start to 2020….

No fireworks to mark the end of 2019 but form figures of 1131324313 for our last ten picks suggests we are still close to another big strike…thankfully the new year always means a cracking card at Cheltenham…

The Daily Yankee

NAP OF THE DAY:  Doing Fine, (1250 Cheltenham), 1pt win, 4/1: 

We are tempted as always by Singlefarmpayment in his long-running feud with Cogry, but both should struggle with the rejuvenated Doing Fine.  He is very well in with both of these on a run here in 2017, and although a veteran now he has sprung back to life.  “Won” the notorious void Sandown race last time but as it was void he gets to run off the same rating.  That clearly shows he is weighted to win, and this race lacks much depth.

Cepage, (1400 Cheltenham), 8/1:  we are big fans of Kalashnikov, but a 6lb hike to a mark of 161 leaves him needing to be a possible Ryanair winner to take this and that might be too much.  A number of these look handicapped to the hilt and it’s not so much who is ahead as who can run to their rating.  Cepage did that when a close 4th in a strong race here last month under a whopping 11st 12lbs.  Gets a slightly more raceable weight today and looks the value.

Skandiburg, (1435 Cheltenham), 5/1: 
the presence of good chasers Might Bite and Beware The Bear, both hurdling for the first time in years warps the shape of this handicap and leaves Olly Murphy’s in form handicapper carrying a featherweight 10st, which is hugely advantageous over a marathon trip.  Won well at Aintree last time and the switch to an undulating track is probably a bigger concern than the opposition.  Still looks good value.

Janika, (1510 Cheltenham), 9/4:  this classy chaser is rated 165 over fences but makes his UK hurdling debut. Should be too quick for sluggers Emitom and Roksana if as good over the smaller obstacles and horses originating in France tend to be pretty flexible in that respect.

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