13:55 - Cheltenham Preview & Tips
This can go to CLAN DES OBEAUX, who has proved himself to be a smart chaser in the making in two runs this season. He gave Whisper a run for his money in a match race on is return and he won easily on his latest start at Haydock. Switched to handicaps he’s the stand out player in this field and he can defy top weight with contempt for his in form connections. The main danger is Starchitect, who was beaten by Splash Of Ginge in the BetVictor Gold Cup but he remains with potential and shouldn’t be far away.
Returned this season with a very good second to Whisper at Kempton and he posted a career best on his latest outing to win a Graduation Chase. A mark of 155 demands further progress but he's a very smart prospect and he has all the stamina needed here and more. Has to be respected.
Le Prezien (FR) | J: Barry Geraghty T: Paul Nicholls
Has found himself coming up just short in some big handicaps this season, again only finding a few too good when third to Splash Of Ginge over 2m 4f here. He's now two pounds higher and holds each way claims once again, but he does need to jump better and that could be his undoing.
Starchitect (IRE) | J: Tom Scudamore T: David Pipe
Finished a neck behind Splash Of Ginge in the BetVictor Gold Cup on his latest start, with two errant jumps at the final two fences costing him big that day. He's up a further four pounds but that still sees him well treated on his hurdling form and he's a key player.
Foxtail Hill (IRE) | J: Jamie Bargary T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Front-runner who wears his heart on his sleeve, beating Le Prezien by a neck two starts ago. Off his new mark latest he was well held behind Splash Of Ginge and the handicapper has not budged. He will have less competition for the lead this time around, but this mark is stiff enough.
Long House Hall (IRE) | J: Harry Skelton T: Dan Skelton
Has not been seen since winning at Market Rasen in July 2016, with the form of that race working out very nicely. Softer ground saw him withdrawn twice that season and that has to be of big concern here with the ground forecast to be just that. Caution is advised.
Romain De Senam (FR) | J: Noel Fehily T: Paul Nicholls
Aiming for a hat-trick when only fifth behind Splash Of Ginge on his latest start, weakening out of things as they turned for home. He's on the same mark here and has some work to do to reverse the form with a few of these. Trainer has a much bigger chance with Clan Des Obeaux.
Ballyalton (IRE) | J: Tom O'Brien T: Ian Williams
Took a step back in the right direction when fourth behind Splash Of Ginge on his latest start. He plugged on up the hill to only be beaten by five lengths, with his mark unchanged. He loves softer ground and another step forward isn't out of the question. Each way contender if they go a strong pace.
King's Odyssey (IRE) | J: Adam Wedge T: Evan Williams
Travelling well behind the leaders when falling in this race twelve months ago, arriving this year off seven pounds lower. He had excuses on his return at Carlisle but his jumping remains of concern and he won't get away with it here. Big chance on form but doesn't come without risks.
Splash Of Ginge | J: Tom Bellamy T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Finally got his act back together over fences when winning the BetVictor Gold Cup on his latest start, holding on from a fast finishing Strachitect. He's up five pounds and that makes this tougher, especially as he's not guaranteed to back that effort up. Hard to rule out but others are preferred.
Deauville Dancer (IRE) | J: Aidan Coleman T: David Dennis
Arrives here on a four-timer, with his chasing record standing at five wins from nine. He won a three runner event on his latest start, with the handicapper slapping him with a seven pound rise. This race is much tougher and the winning sequence likely stops here.
Guitar Pete (IRE) | J: Ryan Day T: Nicky Richards
Broke a long standing losing sequence when winning a Listed Handicap at Wetherby two starts ago, badly hampered in the BetVictor Gold Cup on his latest start. He was never able to threaten that day and he's on the same mark here, so couldn't be ruled out if getting a clear round.