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It is the calm before the storm of the Cheltenham Festival on Saturday with the traditional warm-up at Sandown. The Imperial Cup is the feature race on the day, with a bonus for any horse winning that goes on to win at the festival. Don’t forget that race also plays host to our Millionaire Chase too!
There are lots of young horses who will be winning races down the line in this contest. This has been used as a stepping stone for plenty of good horses and one that jumps off the page at me is PATROCLUS.
He won very nicely at Doncaster, even though he made a silly mistake two out that cost him valuable momentum. He beat a couple of Saturday’s rivals Riggs and Jeremy Pass in the process and I feel without that mistake at the second last he would have won even more comfortably.
He has a bright future over fences and can bag this big prize on the way. Tile Tapper is another on the shortlist being well handicapped, he has kept good company and has performed well for his young trainer Chris Honour.
Natural History bolted up at Plumpton after his very lenient handicap mark and he has since gone up 16lbs in the ratings. This will be much more difficult for him, even though he is an honest type and Gary Moore has a good record at the track.
Langer Dan was eye-catching at Market Rasen after a wind operation. He has some really good form to his name, including finishing sixth in last years Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival. The Skelton team are flying and he is bound to be on everybody’s shortlist.
Malaya won this race two years ago and is on a very similar mark, but she has been deserted by stable jockey Harry Cobden who rides Diego Du Charmil instead. I like MIRANDA in here, she won very nicely at Doncaster and with a good 7lbs claimer taking weight off, in the form of Angus Cheleda, she is a very each-way price.
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This one is bumper for the fillies. Tweed Skirt is only a four-year-old and won a race at Wetherby over 12 furlongs comfortably. This is a much tougher task against her elders, but I do reckon she will run well.
MISS LAMB ran in the race that Eileendover won at Market Rasen and that form got a boost when the third Grandee, trained by Willie Mullins, has won since. Marshmallo stayed on really well to win last time at Doncaster and beat Billams Legacy in the process.
This is a good little contest with Rainyday Woman, who was impressive winning at Huntingdon and Stratford, likely to be your favourite. Conditions of the race mean she has to give away 4lbs to the others and I just feel Miss Lamb to do the business.
Paddy’s Rewards Club Novices’ Handicap Chase was unfortunately the race to get the chop at the Festival, but Cheltenham’s loss is Sandown is gain and we have a competitive handicap. High Up In The Air has won his last five races and this horse loves jumping. At Fontwell and at this track he never missed a beat, that is huge asset for any horse round this track.
Lust For Glory won nicely at Ludlow, but this is much harder. Meanwhile, No Getaway bolted up at the track last time, but is up 10lbs higher for it. ADMIRAL BARRATRY is the one I like, he chased home Fire Away at Fakenham and gave him a real scare. He is up 4lbs for that, but Fire Away has won again since.
SATURDAY TIPS SUMMARY
- Horse Racing tips: Matt Chapman’s best bets for Saturday’s ITV races
- Horse Racing tips: Timeform’s trio of solid plays at Wolverhampton on Saturday
- Horse Racing tips: Timeform’s 7 best bets at Sandown on Saturday
- Horse Racing Tips: Paddy Power’s super 7 picks for Saturday’s ITV racing
READ MORE ON CHELTENHAM 2021
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- Cheltenham tips: St James’ Place Hunters’ Chase antepost bets from Frank Hickey
- Cheltenham tips: St James’ Place Hunters’ Chase antepost bets from Ruby Walsh
- Cheltenham tips: Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey’s Coral Cup antepost best bets
- Cheltenham tips: Envoi Allen a slick pick at current price for Marsh Novices’ Chase