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3.30pm Cheltenham tips for Saturday’s Class 3 race. The final race of the day on ITV4 on Friday is a big-field handicap hurdle, with seventeen runners going to post. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
IN SUMMARY: Red Indian arrives here on the back of some good efforts towards the end of last season and has to be respected, but it’s hard to get away from DIABLE DE SIVOLA. Nick Williams’ four year old came home like a rocket in the Fred Winter at the Festival in March before staying on far too late at Fontwell on his return to action. With that experience under his belt and a further step up in trip, he should prove very tough to beat.
1 AHEAD OF THE CURVE – Consistent sort with form figures of 21212 over hurdles for Susan Corbett, only beaten two lengths on his latest start at Perth. That said, he’s now ten pounds higher in a much tougher race and that leaves him vulnerable here.
2 SEYMOUR STAR – Arrives here on a four-timer for Alastair Ralph, last seen winning a Novices’ Hurdle at Hereford in March. That form has worked out well but he has something to prove after 237 days off the track off a seven pound higher mark. Others are preferred.
3 COOLE CODY – Progressive sort since returning in early September for Michael Blake, obliging at short-odds when taking a Novices’ Hurdle at Newton Abbot. He now makes his handicap debut off 136 which does demand plenty of progress and should leave him vulnerable upped in grade.
4 RUNYON RATTLER – Won two starts ago at Bellewstown at odds of 22/1 and again out-ran his prohibitive odds when fifth at Punchestown last time out. This is a much tougher race but he’s clearly in good heart and couldn’t be discounted for each way placings.
5 RED INDIAN – Looks to be a useful recruit for Ben Pauling, finishing second on both his runs since a debut win at Ffos Las back in December. He is still learning judging by his latest start but that form looks useful and he remains with potential for much better. Key player on his return to action.
6 DIABLE DE SIVOLA – Came home with a rattle to finish fifth in the Fred Winter at the Festival for Nick Williams and he clearly needed the run when second at Fontwell on his latest start. He’s on the same mark and is now upped in trip, which is exactly what he wants and he shouldn’t be beaten with Lizzie Kelly claiming five.
7 GOLDEN JEFFREY – Front-runner who has been running well of late of late, last seen finishing second at Musselburgh to a useful recruit of Kevin Ryans. This is a bigger ask though now he’s pitched into handicaps and he won’t get a soft lead here. Can only be watched.
8 POKER PLAY – Winner of a hurdling race out in France before joining the David Pipe yard, disappointing on his latest start when only fourteenth in the Fred Winter. Plenty more is needed here but he does have the potential for better off two pounds lower. Possible each way contender.
9 MISCHIEVIOUS MAX – Has finished second on his last three runs for Joseph O’Brien, again finding one too good when headed on the run-in at Galway last month. He’s another pound higher in a deeper race and that should see him miss out here.
10 FOLLOW THE BEAR – Returned this season at Worcester with a respectable effort to finish third, albeit he was beaten twelve lengths in the end. He was entitled to need that run though and off the same mark he’s a lively danger for a stable in red-hot form.
11 THE MIGHTY DON – Won three starts ago at Fakenham but he’s been well held the last twice off his new mark, not disgraced in seventh over course and distance when last seen. He was a long way behind Vivas though and should find a few of these too good on the day.
12 STAMP YOUR FEET – Two wins form nine hurdling starts, running well in defeat on both his starts this season for Tom George. He kept on well despite a poor leap at the last when last seen at Aintree and off a five pound higher mark he’s greatly respected upped slightly in distance.
13 ROBIN THE RAVEN – Won his first two hurdling starts for Kim Bailey but he started off the season on a sour note when falling at Worcester on seasonal debut, held at the time. He’s on the same mark and down in grade, but the fall can’t of done him any good and others bring better form into the race.
14 COUP DE PINCEAU – Has only run twice over hurdles thus far for Paul Nicholls, finishing second on both occasions and producing a similar level of form. He should be happier in handicaps now though off a more realistic mark and has the scope for progress. He needs to though and others are preferred on this occasion.
15 QUARENTA – Won two starts ago at Warwick on seasonal debut when out-staying his rivals late on, well held last month off today’s new mark in a tougher grade. Things don’t get much easier here and others have less to prove.
16 VIVAS – Returned to form since returning this season for Charlie Longsdon, winning a Uttoxeter Handicap before a highly commendable effort over course and distance last month off one pound lower. He is pitched into a similar race here and has solid claims with a repeat performance.
17 PERFECT SUMMER – Seven year old mare for the in form Ian Williams team who arrives here on the back of two respectable efforts on the flat for connections. She had been well held over hurdles off comparable marks in the past though and she looks vulnerable in a competitive race for the grade.