Four Cheltenham Showcase Winners That Can Feature At The Festival

Al Dancer wins the Betfair Hurdle at Ascot

Although both Flat turf meetings in Britain succumbed to the weather on Saturday, Cheltenham passed a late precautionary inspection – so were able to complete their two-day Showcase Meeting.

Hopefully, we see no further deluges over the next few days, so this weekend’s planned ITV racing action at Ascot, Down Royal and Wetherby, can go ahead as planned – along with the remaining fixtures featured on our free horse racing tips page.

With Cheltenham’s season-opener now out of the way, we have picked out four winners from the meeting that could potentially make their presences felt in races at the Festival in March.

Al Dancer

The Dai Walters-owned Al Dancer got his chasing career off to a winning start with victory in the Novices’ Chase on Friday.

Sam Twiston-Davies’ mount got the better of a duel with fellow six-year-old Getaway Trump – jumping well in the main – to eventually pull clear to score by a four-length margin.

Connections feel he needs time between his races, so don’t expect him to be given a hard campaign this season – with his ultimate target set to be the Arkle Chase in March, for which he is currently a best-priced 16/1.

Mulcahys Hill

Last season didn’t quite go to plan for the Warren Greatrex-trained Mulcahys Hill, but he has clearly improved over the summer – having landed the Matchbook Most Trusted Betting Exchange Novices’ Chase on Friday’s seasonal reappearance.

Grade 1-placed as a novice hurdler, he bounded up the Cheltenham hill to score by a neck – beating the 153-rated Wholestone.

He has plenty of options for the remainder of the season, whilst his ultimate festival target also remains unclear – races like the Ultima Handicap Chase and Kim Muir Handicap Chase could well be on his radar as long as the assessor does not go overboard with his handicap mark.

Quel Destin

Giving weight all round in the Masterson Holdings Hurdle on Saturday, Paul Nicholls’ Quel Destin thrived on the testing ground to hold off the charge of the Irish raider Soviet Pimpernel.

The International Hurdle back at Cheltenham was mentioned as a potential target afterwards, and he could end up in the Champion Hurdle in March, albeit his more likely target at this stage would appear to be the County Hurdle.

Time Flies By

David Pipe’s Moon Racer completed the Showcase-Festival bumper double in 2014/15, and this year’s winner Time Flies By could be right in the mix for that race come March.

Nicky Henderson’s charge travelled powerfully through the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race on Saturday, and once asked the question by his rider, Barry Geraghty, he responded in fine style to score by just under two lengths.

As that was his debut, he is likely to have learned plenty for the initial experience – and with that in mind – quotes of 20/1 for the Champion Bumper look fair.

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