2.55pm Cheltenham Tips & Betting Preview 11/12/2015

2.55pm Cheltenham Friday 11th December

Free Tip: One Track Mind at 10/3

Race Details

Race Time: 2.55pm MeetingCheltenham Day: Friday 11th December 2015 Full Race NameCitipost Handicap Hurdle Class Two

Betting Preview

The last race of the day and a tricky one as always here with close to three miles awaiting these handicap hurdlers, in a race that looks sure to have plenty of pace to sort out those sorely lacking in stamina. Luckily for us there is a whisper at the tracks that Warren Greatrex has a good one on his hands with One Track Mind (10/3), a five year old son of leading National Hunt sire Flemensfirth who has already won a bumper and a couple of novice hurdles.  Whether he stays this trio is a question no one can answer yet, though his trainer does have some decent stayers to work him with if he sees fit to do so (Cole Harden anyone?), and knows what is requited in that sphere, and as the stable are in great form he has to arrive here with a very good chance we’re happy to follow the early money (5/1 to 10/3) on a horse we were already keen on.

Oliver Sherwood wears his heart on his sleeve and deserves and successes that come his way in our view, and perhaps Drum Valley (12/1) can follow up his recent Fontwell win where he made all the running and strolled home barely breaking sweat. His stamina seems fine with a win over this trip at Worcester, and as he seems sure to strip a lot fitter for his first run in ten moths he is another on the short list and should go close, especially if he tries the same tactics and get clear of his field early in the race.

Looking for horses in form is always a sensible place to start and Monbeg Gold (9/2) fits the bill after two easy victories at Exeter. Jonjo O’Neill is in good enough form (obviously) as is his son of Gold Well who has been put up a massive eleven pounds for his last victory which may bring hi winning run to an end, though you had to see him to appreciate just how easily he did it despite losing concentration at the last hurdle, and he may just be one step ahead of the handicapper, even now.

Looking for horses who are not necessarily in the clutches of the handicappers isn’t easy but we do note that Nicky Henderson’s Bear’s Affair (12/1) has won off of the 145 he is allocated today, all be it over fences not hurdles. Young jockey Freddie Mitchell takes five pounds off his back this afternoon which has to be a bonus, and he should be race fit after a return to action fourth over an inadequate two and a half miles at Aintree when hopelessly outpaced, but back up t a more realistic trip he is not without a squeak at the weights, and could pull off a surprise for a stable that are lot shrewder than many give them credit for.

Zeroeshadesofgrey (12/1) ends our first short list and comes here with a superb chance at first glance and may be missed by the majority of punters – hopefully. His last win was almost exactly a year ago at Doncaster over this sort of trip and off exactly the same handicap mark, after which he has raced four times, placing in three of them, which makes it all the more amazing his weights hasn’t increased. His last run was when second over fences to Southfield Royale at Wetherby so again, we know he is race fit, and trainer Neil King has had plenty of places recently as well as a winner at Sandown, and with Trevor Whelan in the saddle again today, he is yet another in this ultra competitive race who looks as if he will be fighting it out for the places at the very least.

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