5.30pm Cheltenham tips for Friday’s Class 3 race. A two mile handicap hurdle to close out the opening card of the season at Cheltenham. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
IN SUMMARY: MAN OF PLENTY ran a huge race in a better contest than this at Chepstow last time, The Sophie Leech yard regularly have horses outrun their marks at this track, he looks the one to beat. Cool Macavity needs the ground to stay good to be seen at his best but he is well capable of a bold show. Instant Karma is thrown in on his best, running a huge second to Sternrubin in a better race than this last October. Id he is ready to go on his first run for Jamie Snowdon he boasts an each way chance along with Percy Street.
1 DREAMCATCHING – Picked up three novice wins in a productive first campaign over hurdles. Well beaten when trying a handicap for the first time in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival. Two pounds lower now but still a few questions to answer.
2 LION IN HIS HEART – Pair of solid runs this summer, but has run out three times in his last seven starts. Add a fall and an unseat to that and it becomes a very poor completion rate. Interesting given he’s a raider from Ireland but very hard to trust.
3 COOL MACAVITY – Has had his problems but a class act on his day. Took full advantage of an easier opportunity at Towcester last time, now just a pound higher than a win two years ago. Needs genuinely good ground, each way shout providing there is no rain.
4 OUR KYLIE – In sparkling form, winning the last twice at Sedgefield. That may not look the most obvious preparation for a trip to the home of jump racing, but a big field and strong pace should see her up to running at least respectably off her new mark under suitable conditions.
5 ST SAVIOUR – A three time hurdle winner, but doesn’t always look the most resolute in a battle. He acts on most ground so any rain is less of an issue to him than some in here, but his best form has come on much sharper tracks which is a significant concern.
6 INSTANT KARMA – Five pounds lower than when only beaten half a length in a far better contest this time last year. Has joined Jamie Snowdon since last seen, with a first time tongue strap fitted. Well treated if ready to go first time back for his new surroundings.
7 THUNDER SHEIK – Struggled last season with his handicap mark after a pair of wins in early 2016. Showed a little more last time out albeit in a far weaker contest than this. Conditions suit and off a winnable mark if that recent return can be taken literally.
8 PERCY STREET – Kept warm company as a novice, sixth in the Fred Winter. No better than respectable when midfield at Chepstow on his return, but a four pound drop into calmer waters makes him of each way interest.
9 CLENI WELLS – Progressive at a lesser level in the spring, found out since when the handicapper put him north of 120. Best form has come at a little further so might find himself tapped for toe at this level on good ground, others readily preferred.
10 BOBBLE EMERALD – Has placed on softer ground in the past but connections will be hoping for the ground to stay quick to maximise their charges chances. Ran well in a similar race here in December but percentage call to oppose when his mark is as high as this.
11 MAN OF PLENTY – Ran a huge race in a better contest than this at Chepstow last time, finishing second. That was his best effort since runner-up off this mark on the New Course here in January. Runners for his yard regularly outrun their odds here, strong each way chance.
12 STUCCODOR – Yet to win over hurdles but boasts solid placed form to his name. Makes his debut for Sophie Leech in a first time tongue strap from a mark that looks well within his capabilities on his best form. Would appreciate a drop or two of rain however.
13 HIGH EXPECTATIONS – Successful three times on the flat this summer, he has struggled over hurdles in the main since a Naas win in 2015. Deserves respect for Gordon Elliott but little in hand from this mark on what he has produced in recent seasons.
14 SUNNYTAHLIATEIGAN – Scored twice over further in April, he is one of the least exposed in the contest. The drop back in trip is a slight concern but the Ian Williams yard are firing in the winners at present so the market should be the best guide.