Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 17:41 31/12/2013
Cheltenham stage a high quality card on New Year's Day with the likes of Oscar Whisky, Annie Power and Zarkandar on show but it is the three handicaps which make more appeal from a betting perspective, particularly the Foundation Developments Ltd Handicap Chase. Double Ross should follow up his game victory over Cantlow in the December Gold Cup by taking the Fairlawne Handicap Chase, one of four races shown live on Channel 4, where Cedre Bleu could cause Nigel Twiston-Davies gelding the most problems in the 2m 5f contest run at 2.30.
Whispering Gallery and Barry Geraghty bypassed a possible clash with Annie Power and Zarkandar in the Dornan Engineering Hurdle at 3.05, electing to go the handicap route instead via the Rewards4Racing Hurdle at 1.55 and the decision can pay off for connections of the dual hurdle winner who landed a Group 3 contest when last seen on the Flat at Meydan in March 2011. While both Double Ross and Whispering Gallery look sure to go close they are unlikely to offer a great deal in the way of value but one horse who is capable of running a massive race at good odds is Restless Harry in the extended 3m 2f chase at 12.45.
The 10-year-old was rated as high as 157 when racing over hurdles and reached a mark of 140 over fences, 18lb less than he will be racing off tomorrow, and while the son of Sir Harry Lewis has failed to live up to his lofty reputation the mount of Charlie Poste is capable of winning a decent prize under the right conditions, which look ideal on this occasion. Robin Dickin's charge got no further than the 6th fence at Newbury on Saturday when he unseated his rider after being hampered by a faller. Sent off the 7-2 favourite after being available at 8-1 in the morning connections were obviously expecting a return to form from Restless Harry and the fact that they are prepared to have another go less than a week later suggests confidence is high in the Dickin camp.William Hill and bet365 are currently top price about Restless Harry at 15-2.