Cheltenham’s two-day December meeting gets underway on Friday afternoon, the final four races due to be covered by ITV4. Sixteen horses have been declared for the 3m 6f cross country handicap chase at 3.00pm, one of the three races we will provide a Horse Racing tip, preview and prediction for.
Our first Horse Racing tip runs in the 3m 2f Betfair Handicap Chase at 2.25pm, with our final selection of the day coming in the last race on the card, the 3m Citipost Handicap Hurdle at 3.35pm.
Our Tip for the 2.25pm at Cheltenham:
2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Santini heads the weights for this 3m 2f handicap. Now in the care of trainer Polly Gundry, the underachieving chaser is best watched on this occasion in a race where unlucky Ladbroke Trophy faller Enrilo looks sure to be sent off a warm favourite.
Disqualified after passing the post in first place in last season’s bet365 Gold Cup, the mount of Harry Cobden deserves a change in fortune after falling at the 14th fence in Newbury’s historic handicap when yet to be asked a question. While Paul Nicholls’ charge looks sure to go well, the gelding may struggle to concede a stone to Commodore from the in-form stable of Venetia Williams.
The grey produced his best performance of last season first time out when going down by half a length to recent Becher Chase winner Snow Leopardess at Haydock. The mount of Charlie Deutsch didn’t run up to that form in three subsequent attempts. But following a wind op, the nine-year-old can make light of his featherweight in a race that should suit.
Our Tip for the 3.00pm at Cheltenham:
The first eight horses home in the cross country race at Cheltenham’s November meeting take each other on again here, the two most interesting being the third and fourth horses, Diesel D’Allier and Plan Of Attack.
The latter looked well beaten when losing touch with the leaders at halfway but stayed on with such effect that the Henry De Bromhead-trained gelding was beaten only two lengths at the finish. Darragh O’Keeffe’s mount is not the most consistent of performers however, with preference going to the ex French-trained Diesel D’Allier now in the care of Richard J Bandey.
The eight-year-old grey, winner of five chases in his native land, looked all over the winner when taking the lead two-out at Prestbury Park until headed inside the closing stages. Now that jockey Harry Bannister knows how to get the best out of the gelding, and with that track experience under his belt, the son of Kap Rock is fancied to come out on top this time.
Our Tip for the 3.35pm at Cheltenham:
Reverting back to hurdles after mixed success over fences, the Philip Hobbs-trained Sporting John made it four wins from five starts over the smaller obstacles when running out a comfortable winner over course and distance last month.
The Getaway gelding is a class act on his day but may not be one to take a short price about, especially off a 5lb higher mark and conceding 9lb and upwards to all of his rivals. The second and third horses behind Sporting John last time, Onagatheringstorm and Kansas City Chief, both hold claims on these revised terms. But on his first attempt at this trip of 3m, Botox Has from the Gary Moore stable makes plenty of each-way appeal.
The five-year-old has some excellent course form to his name (two victories along with a second place behind the talented Allmankind in a Grade 2 juvenile novices’ hurdle). Ninth in the valuable Greatwood Hurdle on his most recent start, Botox Has looked to be crying out for a step up in trip and off a 4lb lower mark could be the value against the market leader in receipt of 15lb.
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