Owen sets his sights on Cheltenham with 40-1 and 25-1 Friday ITV picks 🎯

Owen's Outsiders

We’re back to Cheltenham this weekend, and I couldn’t be happier! The two-day meeting at the home of jump’s racing kicks off in style, with the Grade 3 Betfair Handicap Chase being the feature contest. There’s also one race from Bangor and we’ll have ITV Racing tips for all of the action.

After some disappointing fields in recent weeks, it’s nice to see four of the five ITV races having double-digit entries! I’ve found a pair of runners at huge prices who I think can run a mighty race and you can find all the details below.

1.50 Cheltenham – CF Roberts Electrical & Mechanical Services Mares’ Handicap Chase

This is a stronger race than she’s used too, but Methodtothemadness (25-1) is extremely consistent and the Lucinda Russell stable are in rampant form. She’s won with seven of her last 29 runners and that 24% strike-rate makes this seven-year-old mare all the more appealing under Derek Fox.

She’s just 1/7 over fences, but she’s reached the frame of her last three runs, including her latest third at Kelso. She rallied well that day on her first try of three miles and there could feasibly be more improvement to come from her. This stiffer test is another positive and with ground conditions ideal, she’s a strong each-way fancy.

3.00 Cheltenham – Glenfarclas Crystal Cup Cross Country Handicap Chase

He’s a long way out of the handicap, but cross country races are a unique test and Super Citizen (40-1) could easily out-run his huge odds. He does have plenty to find on bare form, but he caught my eye on his cross country debut at Punchestown in November. Over those banks, he was held up throughout and looked well beaten as they turned in.

He made up plenty of late ground, however, and that run suggested he could relish a step up to 3m 6f, especially over these obstacles. Charlie Deutsch, who has a 20% strike-rate in the last two weeks, is likely to employ the same tactics and will look to pick up the pieces on the run for home.

Given the maximum field and plenty of potential pace angles, it would be no surprise to see this run at a good clip for the type of race. If that scenario does occur, I can see him sneaking into the top four for some nice each way money.

If you back any of our selections you can watch them live on the free Racing Post app or racingpost.com. Simply log in to one of your bookmaker accounts and click ‘Watch live’ on the racecards.

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