Cheltenham November Meeting Guide + 337/1 Treble!

Splash Of Ginge winning the 2017 Betvictor Gold Cup

Nothing gets jumps racing fans licking their lips more than the prospect of a three-day meeting at Cheltenham.

It signals the new season slotting into a new gear and means we’ll have horse racing tips available for all three days of the November meeting from Friday 15th until Sunday 17th November.

To whet your appetite a little more, Luke Parkinson has taken a look at some of the facts and figures and picked out a race to look forward to on each day.

Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase (3:00pm Friday)

National hero, Tiger Roll, used this race as a stepping stone to further glories at Cheltenham and Aintree last season and although he won’t be making an appearance this time around, there is still plenty to get excited about as we see the Cross Country course used for the first time this season.

Urgent De Gregaine has become something of a specialist in this code and despite seeing more of Tiger Roll’s backside when running up the Cheltenham hill on his last two visits, he has managed to finish second (2018) and third (2019).

In fact, his record around the Cross Country fences at Cheltenham is quite remarkable, reading 12323, which includes a third-place effort at this meeting back in 2017 when finishing just under seven lengths behind Kingswell Theatre. At the very least he’s a solid each-way shout if he makes the trip over from France.

Fact Of The Matter is another that has taken a liking to this discipline and even took a trip out to Belgium over the summer when fifth in the Grand Steeple-Chase des Flandres at Waregem. He was second to Josies Orders in this race last year and then followed up over the same course and distance in December when edging out My Hometown by a neck.

He was no match for Tiger Roll in March, but has been schooling at Cheltenham over the past week and connections will be hoping they can go one better than last year despite not winning since a second wind surgery in January.

Another interesting entrant is Yanworth, who recently made the switch to Enda Bolger from Alan King’s in September. The Irish trainer is well known as a cross-country maestro and if anybody can turn around the fortunes of the former Stayers Liverpool Hurdle winner, then it is most definitely him.

At one point, Yanworth was held in good enough regard to tackle a Champion Hurdle and although he is still owned by JP McManus his form in 2019 is nothing to be proud of, reading PU, 13, PU. You get the feeling that this could be the one last roll of the dice with him, but if the change of scenery is enough to bring about a flash to his former years then you’d write him off at your peril.

BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase (2:25pm Saturday)

Saturday’s main event from jumps racing’s HQ is one of the most competitive handicaps of the season as a whole host of runners battle it out for the BetVictor Gold Cup.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has enjoyed real success in this race in recent years, winning it four times in his career but more recently with the trio of Imperial Commander (2008), Little Josh (2010) and Splash Of Ginge (2017).

The Gloucestershire-based handler is currently operating with a 24% strike rate and always has his horses primed for big race success at this time of the season, with Ballyoptic a notable winner of the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby already this month.

He has Count Meribel entered in this, with the early jockey booking of Mark Grant. He got the leg up on Count Meribel at Carlisle last time when he chased home the impressive Lostintranslation in the Listed Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase, beaten only two-and-a-quarter lengths into second.

He was never going to catch the winner that day but was nine lengths clear of Kildisart in third and that might have just been a good pipe opener for this big race on Saturday. He’s now on a mark of 146, which seems more than workable, and given he is five from five in Grade Three’s or lower in races between 2m3.5f and 2m5.5f in October and November, you’d have to fancy him to have a good go at this.

Siruh Du Lac is another who makes interest. He has now won six of his eight starts over fences, including a victory in the Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable Plate, and is two from two over the bigger obstacles at Cheltenham.

A career-high mark of 150 will certainly make life more difficult this season but we’ve seen horses win this race carrying up to eleven stone and eleven pounds in recent years, so you’d be a brave punter to put him completely out of the reckoning.

The quirky Knocknanuss is also hard to ignore. His trainer, Gary Moore, won this race last season and signalled this as an early target for the nine-year-old after making a decent seasonal debut on heavy ground at Cheltenham last month.

He led for the majority of the race that day but looked to be lacking a bit of sharpness when caught just before the final fence, tailing off for third. He’ll be sure to come on for that run and is one to put into your considerations under more favourable conditions.

Shloer Chase (2:25pm Sunday)

Sunday’s card is jam-packed with Graded action on the Old course but the Shloer Chase looks to be the pick of the bunch.

Inaugurated in 2009, it has been blessed with some big-name winners in that time including the likes of Uxizandre, Sprinter Sacre and Fox Norton.

They’ll be a few vying to follow in their hoofprints this weekend including Sceau Royal who was an assertive winner of this race just twelve months ago. He hasn’t scored since then, but three of his four racecourse outings have been against Altior, so maybe a form card of 4,2,3,2 isn’t to be sniffed at.

He’s also won on his seasonal reappearance for the last three seasons, so clearly goes well when fresh and would be the pick of the pack.

However, Defi Du Seuil is the early favourite with the bookies and after an impressive novice campaign over fences, culminating in JLT victory, he’ll be a horse to follow for many punters this season.

His Cheltenham record is also outstanding with five victories from seven visits, but you might just have a mark over him first time out and at this distance. He flopped badly on his first run of the last campaign and was quickly upped to 2m4f.

His only run at two miles since then was at Punchestown in May, where he was well beaten by the classy Chacun Pour Soi. He might be worth resisting the temptation this weekend.

Cheltenham Top Jockeys (Last 5 Years)

Barry Geraghty: 29 winners from 174 rides (17%)

Richard Johnson: 24 winners from 235 rides (10%)

Nico de Boinville: 21 winners from 111 rides (19%)

Aidan Coleman: 18 winners from 165 rides (11%)

Noel Fehily: 18 winners from 172 rides (10%)

Cheltenham Top Trainers

Nicky Henderson: 39 winners from 309 runners (13%)

Paul Nicholls: 32 winners from 288 runners (11%)

Willie Mullins: 25 winners from 242 runners (10%)

Gordon Elliott: 24 winners from 167 runners (14%)

Colin Tizzard: 24 winners from 219 runners (11%)

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