Cheltenham tips: Friday’s best TV bets from Paddy Power’s panel

The Paddy Power November Meeting gets underway at Cheltenham on Friday.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change

The Cheltenham November Meeting sponsored by Paddy Power gets underway on Friday, and we pulled together an expert panel to preview the action at Prestbury Park.

From The Horse’s Mouth podcast host Tom Nugent was joined by trainer Emma Lavelle, legendary jockeys Ruby Walsh and Mick Fitzgerald and the main man Paddy to dissect Friday’s card – check out their tips in the videos below.

1.50pm – Paddy Power Handicap Chase

Paddy – Beat The Judge: “Magic Saint is going to be favourite for Paul Nicholls ahead of On The Slopes, Beat The Judge and Fanion Destruval, but he is a pretty weak favourite to be honest. He is highly-tried and usually runs in better handicaps than this, but never runs his best races at Cheltenham. Ballywood for Alan King is pretty solid and that was the one I was going to tip up, but the more you look at him the more you see that BEAT THE JUDGE has the beating of him.”

Mick – On The Slopes: “The race that ON THE SLOPES and Beat The Judge ran the last day behind Rouge Vif is strong form. Chris Gordon’s horses have just looked like they’ve been needing a run and that certainly looked the case with On The Slopes. He will definitely strip a lot fitter and he’s very dangerous. He’s the one that I want to be on here. Gary Moore’s Beat The Judge is a novice, so he’s a real improver and he finished the race off really well, having been outpaced at the wrong time, but On The Slopes with the run under his belt is the one for me.”


Emma – On The Slopes: “I have to follow Fitzy on this – Chris Gordon’s horses have just needed a pipe-opener and I thought ON THE SLOPES was running a cracker of a race before he got tired up the run in. He will have improved and that will be the one I will be behind.”

Ruby – Beat The Judge: “I would be slightly cautious that Paul Nicholls has gone for Bryan Carver to claim 5lbs off Magic Saint’s back. To me, that makes it look like Paul doesn’t think he’s got all that in hand. I agree with Paddy and I like BEAT THE JUDGE. He’s only had five runs over fences but ran really well the last day and came home really strongly behind Rouge Vif. If Josh Moore rides him a little more prominently then Beat The Judge could get his head in front. He ran well in the County Hurdle when he finished eighth, he ran well behind Epatante last November over hurdles in Newbury and has some strong form. He was third behind Fusil Raffles at Wincanton and he’s not a bad horse – I think Beat The Judge could be better than the opposition.”

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2.25pm – The SSS Novices’ Steeplechase

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Mick – Southfield Stone: “If you were just looking to get a run in for Protektorat, you would probably have tried to find an easier race. This is not a walkover. He was very strongly supported when he was second in a handicap at Sandown off a lowly mark of 128, and this is an awful lot tougher. His race at Carlise was a bit of a hack around, although the he jumped really, really well. He looked smart winning that, but any of the others in opposition here would have looked as smart winning that as well.

“He deserves to be favourite but SOUTHFIELD STONE – having had a wind operation – jumped really well last time out at Cheltenham and course form is all-important here. This horse has got that bit of experience, and I would just go with him here. Mossy Fen is an interesting one, having run over 3m the last day and was very keen. He jumped out to his right as well but it would be folly to dismiss him off that one run. He’s got some good form and dropping in trip he is dangerous. This is a good little race, even though it’s only got four runners.”

Emma – Southfield Stone: “With SOUTHFIELD STONE, you’re never sure what’s left in the tank. He only ever does enough, and those horses are always just saving a bit so there is a bit of improvement each time he goes out. Protektorat was obviously impressive when he won but I just like Southfield Stone and the fact that he doesn’t always put it all out there.”


Paddy – Protektorat: “It looks a match between PROTEKTORAT and Southfield Stone, but I’m taking a little bit away from the latter because when he won at Cheltenham a few weeks ago Pileon ran no race at all and he was one of the favourites. It is only a small negative about that form, but it was still impressive. Protektorat was very good at Carlisle, and I’ve got to pick one of them!”

Ruby – Mossy Fen: “I’m going for MOSSY FEN because I think he’s a 2m 4f horse – 3m has never suited him. If you look at his run in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the festival, Envoi Allen easily won ahead of Easywork, The Big Getaway and The Big Breakaway. Mossy Fen finished fifth and he could be a genuine graded novice chaser himself.”


More Friday tips

3.00pm – The Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap

Paddy – Easyland: “I was trying to make a case for Tiger Roll, thinking that the fact that he’s had a prep run which might give him an advantage over EASYLAND. But Easyland won by 17 lengths at the festival and is also getting weight now, and Tiger Roll is better in the spring, so it all adds up to Easyland being a good thing. There has been money around for Potters Corner, the Welsh National winner, but Easyland could be so good that he’s just one to follow blind for the foreseeable future.”

Emma – Easyland: “It would be so lovely to see Tiger Roll run a mighty race which sets him up for later in the year but it’s very hard to see past EASYLAND, based on how impressive he’s been so far.  This is one to sit back and watch.”


Ruby – Easyland: “Unless he jumps and lands on his head, which he can do – while he did give the timber rails a fair dig at the festival this year – EASYLAND will win.”

Mick – Potters Corner (EW): “Easyland looked very good at the festival. It is a handicap this time so he is having to give a little bit of weight away and the outside bet – and the only bet as far as I’m concerned – is POTTERS CORNER each-way. You’re going to get paid if he finishes third, and this horse seemed to enjoy himself schooling. There is no substitute for experience around Cheltenham but at the prices, with only 10st 1lb on his back with Jack Tudor riding him, Potters Corner could be a bit of a steal as an each-way bet.”

3.35pm – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

Ruby – Wild Romance: “Does He Know won well here the last day for David Bass and Kim Bailey but I’m not certain about the strength of the race and he has 11st 3lbs with a penalty. I’m going to take a chance on WILD ROMANCE, who did okay to win a maiden hurdle at Chepstow, and she only has 10st 7lbs on her back. Harry Skelton rides and I just think, getting all the weight, she could be the one.”

Emma – Does He Know: “I’m going to stick with DOES HE KNOW because Kim Bailey can do no wrong at the moment. Her horses are absolutely flying and this one has won round here already. He was impressive winning around Ludlow before that and I think he can do so again.”


Mick – Does He Know: “I’ve done some time analysis on Does He Know and Captain Tom Cat who both ran on the same day at Cheltenham last month, and DOES HE KNOW comes out a couple of seconds quicker than that horse which won the handicap – and normally you don’t see that happening. I thought that was impressive and he is going to be hard to beat here. Wild Romance picked up the pieces of a race that fell apart in front of her at Chepstow – that wasn’t her fault and it would be dangerous to dismiss her.”

Paddy – Wild Romance: “I actually own a small bit of WILD ROMANCE, and it’s a big step up for her so we’re taking a bit of a chance. We’re hoping for the best with her, but she was probably a bit better than expected the last day and there could be more to come. Does He Know is the one to beat but fingers cross for Wild Romance.”

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change

Bet summary – Friday, November 13

1.50pm – Paddy Power Handicap Chase
Paddy – Beat The Judge
Mick – On The Slopes
Emma – On The Slopes
Ruby – Beat The Judge

2.25pm – The SSS Novices’ Steeplechase
Mick – Southfield Stone
Emma – Southfield Stone
Paddy – Protektorat
Ruby – Mossy Fen

3.00pm – The Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap
Paddy – Easyland
Emma – Easyland
Ruby – Easyland
Mick – Potters Corner (EW)

3.35pm – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
Ruby – Wild Romance
Emma – Does He Know
Mick – Does He Know
Paddy – Wild Romance

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