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Cheltenham International – Friday Tips

Today is the opening day of Cheltenham’s International meeting and there are four races live on ITV4.

CF Roberts Mares’ Handicap Chase     

First up is a Mares Handicap Chase and given his excellent record with mares MS PARFOIS looks the one to beat. She is lightly raced and so potentially well treated, and it is interesting that she is thrown into a handicap after only one start over fences. That effort was at Uttoxeter and should have blown away the cobwebs after her summer break. She goes in soft ground and was a point to point winner at the beginning of her career.

The big threat could be Theatre Territory who was initially disappointing for Nicky Henderson, but who may find a new lease of life for Warren Greatrex.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Ms Parfois (ew)1.55 Cheltenham5/1Betfred

All odds quoted are subject to change

Unicorn Group Handicap Chase     

Next up is a staying chase which has disappointingly only attracted six runners despite a big prize.

The race surely represents a big opportunity for ROBINSFIRTH to get back to winning ways over fences. Like our first selection, he hasn’t had many career starts to date, but he’s run two good races so far this season and this trip and ground should be ideal. He was outstayed on really soft ground at Haydock last time out and as long as that race hasn’t left his mark he’ll be hard to beat for the fearsome combination of Tizzard and Power.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Robinsfirth (win)2.30 Cheltenham9/4Betfred

All odds quoted are subject to change

Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase     

The race of the day is the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase where a case can be made for all of the nine runners. They include former festival winners Josies Orders and Tiger Roll. The latter won the four miler here in March and looks to have a big chance if taking to the fences.

He didn’t show much on his comeback, though, and so of more interest is the French raider, KAPVILLE.

Gallic runners continue to be underestimated in these races and this horse should relish the marathon trip today as all he seems to do is stay. He has loads of cross country experience in France.

Keep an eye out too for More Of That. The Gold Cup sixth takes a serious drop in class here, but is weighted accordingly.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Kapville (ew)3.05 Cheltenham12/1Bet365

All odds quoted are subject to change

Citipost Handicap Hurdle     

The closing contest is another stamina test, this time over hurdles.

That should suit SHANTOU BOB, who’s the class horse in the race. He probably needed his comeback effort recently and can leave that form behind now stepped back up in trip. He looks over priced and should handle the conditions.

Amongst the dangers are Champers On Ice and The Dutchman, who were fifth and second respectively in a very valuable contest at Haydock three weeks ago. That race was run on terrible ground, so there is no way of knowing how either will have recovered from their exertions.

A safer bet, therefore, may be the fast improving ARTHURS GIFT, who can improve again now stepping up to three miles.

Nigel Twiston-Davies can do no wrong in high profile races recently and this horse looks capable of overcoming his recent 9lbs rise in the weights.

Paddy Power are paying four places for each-way bets on this race.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Shantou Bob (ew)3.40 Cheltenham14/1Paddy Power
Arthurs Gift (ew)3.40 Cheltenham6/1Paddy Power

All odds quoted are subject to change

Before the TV cameras are turned on, two horses to look out for are TINTERN THEATRE (12.45) 11/4 Bet365 and MASTER OF FINANCE (1.20) 16/1 Bet365.