Saturday’s TV Tips: Cheltenham bonanza in store for jump racing lovers

This content originally appeared in the Racing & Football Outlook, which is available weekly in all newsagents every Tuesday.

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1.40 Cheltenham

It’s hard to look beyond THIRD TIME LUCKI in this decent novice chase. Dan Skelton’s gelding won three times over hurdles last season but looked better than ever when switched to fences here last month. Despite pulling quite hard, he jumped like an old pro and pulled comfortably clear when Harry Skelton asked for an effort. The runner-up Buddy Rich franked the form with a win at Navan on Sunday and the also-rans were beaten miles so it will take a smart performance to stop him from following up.


2.15 Cheltenham

LALOR can get back to winning ways on his first start for Paul Nicholls. The nine-year-old hasn’t tasted success since landing the novice chase on this card in 2018 but he produced some smart form in defeat last season, notably here in January when beaten just a short head off the same mark. His new trainer has been complimentary about his homework in recent stable tours and this has long been a target.


2.50 Cheltenham

The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained BALLYMILLSY looked better than ever when winning at Newton Abbot last month and should make another bold bid here. He ended last season on the floor but was still in front when suffering a final flight fall at Worcester in April and he gained compensation when reappearing five weeks ago, beating Blackjack Kentucky by more than seven lengths. He looked to have a bit in hand that day so an 8lb higher mark may not be enough to stop him.


3.05 Lingfield

GOOD EFFORT has every chance of winning this Listed race for the second year in succession. He was completing a five-timer when beating Lampang in last year’s renewal and this year’s patchy-looking profile is mainly due to him being set some really stiff tasks, including a Grade 2 at Belmont last month where he bumped into two rivals who ran in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. He wasn’t far off his very best when winning at Deauville in August and will appreciate dropping back to a more realistic level.


3.25 Cheltenham

UNEXPECTED PARTY lost out in two maidens but he took a huge step forward when making his handicap debut at Wetherby recently. Dan Skelton’s charge travelled powerfully throughout and cruised to victory without coming out of second gear. He is going up 11lb and taking on much better rivals here but it would be a huge surprise if we have seen the best he has to offer.


3.40 Lingfield

Connections have endured a frustrating time with PYLEDRIVER recently but their patience can be rewarded in Lingfield’s finale. A setback has kept him off the track since June but he proved that he was a genuine top-class performer when winning that latest race at the expense of Al Aasy. That form is far superior to anything the rest of these can offer and he should be able to defy his Group 1 penalty before heading abroad in search of more prestigious prizes.


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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