This is the time of year when the two disciplines of our sport collide and there are some exciting jump races at Cheltenham today, and top class flat action at Newbury and Doncaster.
It isn’t the easiest time of year for punters as it can take some of the national hunt yards a while to get going, whilst a lot of flat performers are coming to the end of their tethers following long hard seasons.
RANDOX HANDICAP CHASE
One jumps yard that always seems to start with a bang is that of Charlie Longsdon and he can get us off to winning ways at Prestbury Park today courtesy of COOLOGUE. Good ground is key to this horse, so his last run over fences can be ignored and he is lightly raced enough to still be improving.
Henryville is a big threat, but is becoming expensive for us to follow, so another slightly inconsistent sort, FULL SHIFT, gets the nod as the other one to back. The step up to three miles could be the making of him.
|Coologue (ew)||1.50 Cheltenham||8/1||Bet365, Sky Bet|
|Full Shift (ew)||1.50 Cheltenham||9/1||Bet365, Sky Bet|
RICHARD ALLEN, WATERS & THE BRITTONS NOVICES´ HURDLE
Three miles should also suit WEST APPROACH, who always looked likely to be a much better horse this season despite mixing it with some of the best novices last campaign. He’s a half brother to Thistlecrack and you can tell how highly regarded he is as connections let him take his chance in last season’s Albert Bartlett.
|West Approach (ew)||2.25 Cheltenham||4/1||Unibet|
RANDOX HEALTH HANDICAP CHASE
There is a cracking two mile handicap at 3.30, which is sure to be run at break-neck speed. That should suit the closers and the ones we like are CROCO BAY and OWEN NA VIEW who have both run well in similar races here in the past.
|Croco Bay (ew)||3.30 Cheltenham||25/1||Bet365, Coral|
|Owen Na View (ew)||3.30 Cheltenham||20/1||Bet365|
PERTEMPS NETWORK HANDICAP HURDLE
Course form is always a plus at Cheltenham and that brings ANTEROS firmly into the equation in the Pertemps Hurdle despite his big price. The worry is the form of his yard, but he has been placed three times from five visits here and may enjoy the return to hurdles today.
WESTREN WARRIOR could be the main danger as he looks the type to progress further this campaign.
|Anteros (ew)||4.05 Cheltenham||22/1||Bet365, Coral|
|Westren Warrior (ew)||4.05 Cheltenham||16/1||Bet365, Coral|
Racing Post Trophy
The day’s big race on the flat is the Racing Post Trophy, for which Yucatan has been all the rage in the market in recent days. That is no surprise given the incredible run Aiden O’Brien has been having, but we are going to take him on with RIVET, who should improve for the extra furlong here.
The pick of the outsiders could be CONTRAPPOSTRO, who finished behind Rivet two starts ago. He has shown improved from over a mile since and his connections patience could pay dividends here.
|Rivet (ew)||3.50 Doncaster||9/2||Bet365|
|Contrapposto (ew)||3.50 Doncaster||16/1||Bet365|