Cheltenham’s November meeting took place under testing conditions, at least that was the case on Saturday and Sunday following the abandonment of Friday’s card due to the torrential rain which hit Prestbury Park mid-week.
With fifteen races taking place over the two days, along with some high-class action from Punchestown, Cheltenham Festival clues came thick and fast at the weekend.
Punchestown’s Grade 1 Unibet Morgiana Hurdle on Saturday was expected to go to Champion Hurdle ante-post favourite Klassical Dream. While the Closutton handler duly won the extended two mile contest, it was the stable’s 7-1 chance Saldier and jockey Danny Mullins who came out on top, with the 2-5 market leader finishing third, Petit Mouchoir splitting the pair.November 16, 2019
The winner has been shortened into 4-1 favouritism for the championship contest in March with Paddy Power but can still be backed at 7-1 with Coral. The latter price is also available about Klassical Dream with Ladbrokes and with Paul Townsend’s mount looking as though he was in need of the run, it would be dangerous to write the five-year-old off at this early stage.
2015 Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen made a winning debut over fences at the age of eleven in the Naas Oils Beginners Chase, despite almost coming to grief when blundering at the first ditch on the second circuit. The JLT looks the most likely festival target for the gelding, with the 20-1 quoted by Betfred and Unibet the best on offer.
Battleoverdoyen did his RSA claims no harm when making it two from two over fences when taking Sunday’s Florida Pearl Novice Chase. The 14-1 chance with Boylesports could head to the ‘novices’ Gold Cup’ as the Gigginstown number one hope and looks an exciting prospect over a distance of ground.
The Ballymore or Albert Bartlett will be the target for last season’s Champion Bumper third Thyme Hill who is now two from two over hurdles after following up his Chepstow victory by taking Cheltenham’s Grade 2 opener on Saturday.
Philip Hobbs’s charge is more likely to contest the shorter Ballymore at the festival and at the 14-1 quoted by bet365, could prove an excellent long-range bet come next March.
Hobbs was also successful in Sundays Shloer Chase with Defi Du Seuil. Whether the six-year-old stays over two mile or steps up in trip has yet to be decided, but with Altior expected to miss the Champion Chase, the 10-1 available with Betvictor looks very fair.
November 17, 2019
Cheltenham Festival Tips
Despite the defeat of Klassical Dream, the 7-1 available with Coral looks excellent Champion Hurdle value. Both Hurricane Fly and Faugheen we’re beaten in the race before going on to win the big one at the festival and last season’s Supreme winner still looks an exciting prospect.
The Hobbs’ stable has started the season in good form and Defi Du Seuil (20-1 with Betvictor for Champion Chase) together with Thyme Hill (14-1 for Ballymore with bet365) could prove good value bets come March. Battleoverdoyen is an exciting prospect as a staying chaser for trainer Gordon Elliott and the 14-1 quoted by Boylesports for the RSA looks a few points too big.