1.50pm Cheltenham tips for Friday’s Class 2 race. A field of nine go to post for the first race of the day on ITV4, a 1m 7f Handicap Chase. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
IN SUMMARY: Exitas arrives here on hat-trick for Phil Middleton, but today’s mark does demand a career best by some way and he could be found out by BRIGHT NEW DAWN. Venetia Williams’ ten year old finished seventh in the Grand Annual two starts ago off two pounds higher, falling at the first at Aintree on his latest start. Off today’s mark he’s thrown in and with his ability to go well fresh proven, he can gain a ninth career victory.
1 BRIGHT NEW DAWN – Ten year old for Venetia Williams who was seventh in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival in March. He’s two pounds lower here and he has gone well fresh in the past, so he shouldn’t be for catching here.
2 SHANAHAN’S TURN – Inconsistent sort for Henry De Bromhead who was well beaten in all his runs since a victory at Galway in July 2015 off a pound higher. He makes his debut today for Colin Tizzard which could spark a revival, but after such a long absence he’s best watched for now.
3 FESTIVE AFFAIR – Won two starts ago at Uttoxeter in a strong field but off six pounds higher he was very disappointing at Ascot on his latest start behind Exitas. He meets that rival on better terms here but this mark demands a career best and others are preferred.
4 DOITFORTHEVILLAGE – Won at Warwick back in April, making all to win by a length after being driven right out. He was last seen over course and distance, well beaten in sixth and he’s on the same mark here. More is needed here and although there may be more to come, others are preferred.
5 EXITAS – Arrives here on a hat-trick for Phil Middleton, taking huge strides forwards this season. Under today’s seven pound claimer he was an impressive winner of a Listed Race at Ascot two weeks ago. He’s now ten pounds higher, but further progress couldn’t be ruled out and he’s a key player.
6 MICK THONIC – Useful, lightly raced sort for Colin Tizzard who has two letters next to his name from his last two runs which is disconcerting. That said, off today’s mark he was still travelling well at Ludlow when unseating his rider, but this is a tougher race. Likely to miss out on the placings here.
7 KAPSTADT – Consistent sort for Ian Williams who was second at Ludlow last month, half a length behind a useful rival. He’s on the same mark here and this is only his third chase, so there may be more to come. He needs to jump better though and at a track that is so unforgiving, others are preferred.
8 UN BEAU ROMAN – Won this race twelve months ago off two pounds higher, but he does arrive here on the back of two very poor runs, including over course and distance. He has plenty to prove and in a much tougher renewal of this race, others are readily preferred.
9 ROCK ON ROCKY – Completed a hat-trick earlier this season for Matt Sheppard but recent starts suggest that the handicapper has caught up with him. He was well held in a Class 3 company at Ayr on his latest start and it’s easy to look elsewhere.