Celebrate the New Year with a Cracking Card from Cheltenham

Might Bite in the 2017 RSA Chase

As we enter 2020, we’re now less than ten weeks away from the Cheltenham Festival. Prestbury Park provides the perfect way to see in the New Year with seven races from the home of National Hunt racing, four of which are live on ITV Racing.

From promising youngsters in both novice hurdles and chases to old favourites in a number of competitive handicaps, there’s something for everyone.

bet365 have the perfect accompaniment to a cracking day’s racing from Cheltenham with their £100 bet credits offer, available to all new customers.

bet365’s Welcome Offer Explained

Those of you who do not currently have accounts with bet365 can claim of up to £100 in Bet Credits.

In order to take advantage of this offer, new customers should open an account with bet365. Then, make a deposit of £5 or more and claim the offer to receive a matched amount in Bet Credits, up to a maximum of £100.

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12.15 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle 2m4.5f

Nigel Twiston-Davies Redford Road took his record to three-from-four this season when landing a Grade Two over three-miles here on the 14th December. He showed a decent turn of foot to score in a moderately run contest. The drop back in distance shouldn’t inconvenience the game five-year-old.

Nicky Henderson always has an embarrassment of riches in the novice division. He has an interesting contender in the form of Welsh Saint. A faller on hurdling debut, he evidently learnt plenty from the experience, finishing a neck second when next seen. He backed that effort up with a bloodless fifteen-length success at Warwick.

12.50 Markel Insurance Handicap Chase 3m2.5f

With the ground forecast on the soft side, this could turn into a slog. That could suit Cogry, who gained a fourth career success with a game success three weeks back. He’s now on a career high mark but he’s sure not to go down without a fight.

Kim Bailey’s Another Venture was unfortunate to bump into the reformed Acting Lass, since placed in Listed company, on his reappearance. He was only beaten half-a-length there and makes appeal from just a three pound higher mark.

1.25 Dipper Novices’ Chase 2m4.5f

Nicky Henderson’s star novice chaser Champ is a warm order for this and there’s every reason for that. He’s suffered just two defeats in nine starts over obstacles, winning both starts over fences at Newbury.

He rallied gamely after a torrid trip in a Grade Two last time out, overcoming solid yardstick Black Op and Deyrann De Carjac. Given that he’s far from the finished article over fences, his ceiling appears a long way off.

2.00 Paddy Power Handicap Chase 2m4.5f

Novice Grade One winner Kalashnikov has burnt punters’ fingers twice this year. He’s a more attractive price today and could be set for a well deserved return to winning ways. His latest nose defeat to Oldgrangewood represents a career best effort. Unexposed over these middle distances, it’d be a surprise if he wasn’t thereabouts once again.

Aso landed this in 2019 for Venetia Williams and the yard’s Cepage is one for the shortlist. Second to Frodon in a competitive handicap last term, he’s posted career bests in two runs this seams. A close fourth over track and trip last time, he could take advantage of an unchanged mark if appearing.

2.35 Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle 3m

There won’t be many more interesting runners all season, let alone on New Year’s Day than Might Bite, who could return to hurdling. His struggles over fences have been well documented, falling early on at Aintree. He was no slouch over timber back in 2015/16 and could be thrown in off this reduced mark if getting his act together.

One at the opposite end of his career is Olly Murphy’s Skandiburg. He improved for a step up to three-miles at Aintree last time, staying on stoutly to land a Pertemps Qualifier. A six pound rise is unlikely to prevent another big run.

3.10 Relkeel Hurdle 2m4.5f

Another chaser from the Henderson yard could revert to hurdles. This represents a step down in class for Janika, who was last seen finishing just nine-lengths behind Defi Du Seuil in the Tingle Creek. His six starts for the yard have all come over fences though, the form he set in France over hurdles falling a fair way short of what’s required today.

One to oppose him with is Warren Greatrex’s Emitom. He developed a huge reputation last year after taking his record to five-from-five with two bumper success and three hurdling wins. Sent off 5/1 for a novice Grade One at the Aintree Festival, he only found Champ too good.

3.50 EBF Stallions NHF Race 1m6f

The stars of tomorrow are the focus of the finale. The spoils could well be going once more to Nicky Henderson, who has a very promising recruit with Grand Roi. Purchased from France in October, he bolted up by fifteen-lengths at Wincanton on his stable debut.

The fillies are well represented with Anthony Honeyball’s Belle De Manech a hugely interesting contender. She defied a lack of experience on her debut, running on strongly to score over this trip at Warwick. Natural progression could see her make a mark in this company.

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