Mick Fitzgerald: This 3/1 shot could prove a bit Special at Cheltenham on Sunday

A tricky day for punters on Saturday but Henry De Bromhead's runner can lead from the front in the Shloer Chase 1.55pm

The Supreme Trial Novice Hurdle at 12.45pm looks to be dominated by the last two winners of the Cheltenham Bumper.

They’ve met before and because Moon Racer won narrowly he has a 4lb penalty and that should give Ballyandy the edge.

But beware of Keep In Line trained by Alan King. He was super impressive at Bangor and if the big two mess around and the contest turns into a sprint, he could end up beating both of them as he was a very good flat horse.

Paul Nicholls has farmed the Novice Chase 1.20pm in the past and it looks perfect for Le Prezien. He jumped well but definitely looked like he would benefit from the outing at Uttoxeter last time when second to Charbel. The danger ironically could be the former Nicholls’ inmate Some Plan who jumped really well at Punchestown when winning a two-horse race for Henry De Bromhead.


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The Grade 2 Shloer Chase at 1.55pm looks ideal for another De Bromhead inmate Special Tiara to blaze a trail and make every post a winning one.

However, he has Fox Norton who cost a meagre 350k to contend with. Colin Tizzard’s newest recruit was really impressive recently over course and distance in handicap company.

The ground will be riding really soft after Saturday’s rain and this will suit the penalised Top Gamble who won two Grade 2 chases to end last season. But Special Tiara will take some pegging back in receipt of 10lbs here.

The 2m Greatwood Hurdle 2.30pm has been won by some real stars in the past and you get the impression that Winter Escape could be another one. He was so impressive in the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton and the handicapper may not have his measure yet.

He’ll likely start favourite and two to take him on at fair prices are Leoncavallo who ran a cracker behind Sceau Royal here recently and Sternrubin who looked better than ever when winning at Ascot and finished third at the Festival in the County Hurdle.

Modus is a work in progress who will be worth following down the line.

Some great racing to end the Open meeting. Let’s hope we go out on a high.

What do you think?