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Saturday Horse Racing Tips

There are five cracking contests live on ITV from Cheltenham this afternoon including the first “major” of the campaign, the BetVictor Gold Cup.

BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase     

It is a race that Paul Nicholls has done extremely well in in the past and we think he can take the race again this year courtesy of ROMAIN DE SENAM.

The key to this horse has been the step up in trip as he was often seen doing his best work late on over two miles last season. He has his ground and is suited by fast run contests in big fields, so he must have a big chance here.

The main danger could be an old favourite of ours, BALLYALTON. We tipped him when he won at the Cheltenham Festival over course and distance in 2016, but he has had injury problems since.

His yard couldn’t be in better form and it is worth remembering that he was also second in the 2014 Neptune, so he clearly loves this track.

Someone else who has happy memories of Prestbury Park is Jim Culloty as he’s won Gold Cups here as both a jockey and a trainer, so at a monster price don’t ignore his outsider LAKE TAKAPUNA. This owner / trainer combination should always be respected and it is interesting that they have booked Paddy Brennan for the ride this afternoon. The ground should suit this horse who often faces unsuitably soft ground in Ireland.

Romain De Senam (ew)2.25 Cheltenham12/1Coral, Stan James
Ballyalton (ew)2.25 Cheltenham11/1Stan James
Lake Takapuna (ew)2.25 Cheltenham50/1Bet365


All odds quoted are subject to change Handicap Chase     

The first race live on ITV is the staying chase at 1.50pm, which sees Minella Rocco dominating the handicap. His presence means that four of the field are out of the handicap including DOING FINE and BENBENS.

Both looked primed for this after warm-up efforts three weeks ago and both are thorough stayers.

Benbens is 12 years old now, but looked better than ever last season when he was placed in two massive staying handicaps in the spring. His trainer, Nigel Twiston Davies, is always a man to follow at this meeting.

Doing Fine registered a career best effort here is April to show he handles the track.

Doing Fine (ew)1.50 Cheltenham9/2Bet365
Benbens (ew)1.50 Cheltenham18/1Bet365


All odds quoted are subject to change

Regulatory Finance Solutions Handicap Hurdle     

In the staying handicap hurdle that follows the BetVictor Gold Cup take a chance on the French raider, NUITS PREMIER CRU.

Emmanuel Clayeux’s recent runners in cross country chases here have run really well and his horses could easily be underestimated. In terms of other positives, the horse could easily improve for this longer trip on some nice ground, and he has some first time headgear to help him even more.

Nuits Premier Cru (ew)3.00 Cheltenham28/1Bet365


All odds quoted are subject to change

Martin & Co Jewellers Intermediate Handicap Hurdle     

The last race on TV is the Intermediate Handicap Hurdle over 2m 5f and DIABLE DE SIVOLA looks the one to beat. He was a staying on fifth in last season’s Fred Winter and appears to be crying out for this stiffer test of stamina.

POKER PLAY is also worth backing on the basis that he is surely a lot better than he has shown so far since his move from France. He cost current connections a massive 280,000GBP so they clearly think he will prove much better than his current rating in time. Don’t forget that this is a meeting the Pipe family have targeted more than any other in the past.

Diable De Sivola (ew)3.30 Cheltenham6/1Bet365
Poker Play (ew)3.30 Cheltenham11/1Stan James


All odds quoted are subject to change