It’s another big weekend of action over jumps, with the International meeting from Cheltenham topping the bill in our horse racing tips this Saturday.
To add to the spectacle, we’ve dug into the latest edition of the Racing Post Weekender and picked out a juicy accumulator which pays over £260 from a £1 stake.
Paul Nicholls has a good record in this race and could even enjoy a one-two, with Secret Investor narrowly preferred to stablemate Brelan D’As.
Secret Investor came good at the end of last season with victories at Wincanton and Ayr and there was nothing wrong with his comeback in a Grade Two at Down Royal when he finished second to Real Steel on unfavourable terms.
Runners from this yard have tended to need their first outings this winter, so there should be plenty more to come from the seven-year-old now that the cobwebs have been blown away.
Windsor Avenue has impressed this autumn on his first two starts over fences and can maintain his unbeaten chase record on Saturday at Doncaster.
There is plenty of substance to the form of both those easy wins as he had next-time-out winner Knockoura twenty-one lengths back in second at Sedgefield in October and readily accounted for solid yardstick Ballymoy when defying a penalty at Carlisle last month.
The Brian Ellison-trained seven-year-old will be stepping up to three miles for the first time under rules, but he won over that trip in a point-to-point and stayed well at up to two-miles-and-six-furlongs over hurdles.
Doubts over Buveur D’Air’s fitness means Nicky Henderson has an opening for a Unibet Champion Hurdle contender, and that could be filled by Pentland Hills, last season’s impressive Triumph Hurdle winner who is due to return to action in Cheltenham’s Unibet International Hurdle on Saturday.
Henderson, who has saddled a record seven Champion Hurdle winners, has long had this race in mind for the talented four-year-old, who was no star on the Flat but emerged as a serious weapon when sent hurdling.
Henrietta Knight deserves credit for some early jumping education and he was a fluent winner at Plumpton prior to the festival before adding the Aintree juvenile Grade One to his CV.
The trainer is thrilled with his condition – put right by a recent away day – and a big run is expected in a race Henderson has won five times.
The progressive Queens Cave can take another step forward in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, which brings the curtain down on Saturday’s card at Cheltenham.
David Pipe’s charge has always been held in some regard at Nicholashayne and was sent off at the prohibitive odds of 1-14 to open her account over hurdles last season only to flop badly.
She has set the record straight this season though, as her two outings have seen her finish second to the useful Silver Forever at Chepstow before she readily built on that good performance when making all at Exeter to score convincingly with a little bit up her sleeve.
The Cheltenham race represents another step up the ladder, but she looks fairly handicapped and can make the most of her mark.
Ground conditions shouldn’t be an issue as she will thrive on anything other than a bog, and although there is rain forecast at Prestbury Park, heavy ground looks unlikely.