Cheltenham Countdown 2020: Matt Chapman’s smart picks for Trials Day

MC Yeeehaaa's given us picks from all 7 live races on ITV this Saturday, including some that might reveal some Festival clues.

Matt Chapman Cheltenham

This Saturday is always crucial for Cheltenham clues with trials day at the home of the Festival plus some classy action at Doncaster all live on the main ITV network.

Let’s get straight to it, and the 1.50pm at Cheltenham is a handicap over an extended 2m4f. Usually I would try and take on WARTHOG, who is often weak in the finish. However, he battled well last time and is only up 4lb in the handicap. There is every chance he can get an easy lead here for the David Pipe stable and the course clearly holds no fears.

The 2.25pm at Cheltenham is a Grade 2 chase over an extended 3m1f often tackled by Gold Cup hopes. BRISTOL DE MAI has to give a bit of weight to one or two of these but he looks an absolute standout for me. The Nigel Twiston-Davies runner returned with a respectable second at Haydock, and his third in the Gold Cup shows he likes Cheltenham and is not just a Haydock specialist. Huge chance.

Next up at Cheltenham is the 3.00pm, a Grade 2 novices’ hurdle over an extended 2m4f. I think HARRY SENIOR is the one here and he is my Nap. He looked like a winner waiting to happen after finishing second at Aintree, and he did not disappoint at Chepstow last time. He stays well and gets some pounds from Protektorat so should take all the beating.

And finally the 3.35pm at Cheltenham is the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle over 3m. We all know the Emma Lavelle-trained PAISLEY PARK is miles better than these, and this should put him spot on for the newly and excellently sponsored Stayers’ Hurdle. now known as the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle. Boom! I will take L’Ami Serge to finish second for those of you playing the forecast.

Meanwhile, over at Doncaster the 2.05pm is a Grade 2 novices’ hurdle over an extended 3m. Stamina is everything in this event, and BOSS MAN FRED appears a very strong stayer. He won well at this track last time for the Dan Skelton team and will take some stopping.

The 2.40pm at Doncaster is a Grade 2 for mares over an extended 2m. Hard to oppose the amazing LADY BUTTONS who of course was brilliant in a chase success at this track last time. She is back over hurdles here, but with a BHA rating of 146 should be very hard to deny.

And finally at Doncaster the 3.15 is a tough competitive handicap over 3m. CHIDSWELL is no young improver and he’s hard to predict for Nicky Richards. That is because he breaks blood vessels. However, on a going day he’s a useful stayer and this might be the race to give him an eachway chance. Conditions are ideal for the old boy and his second last time was decent enough.

So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?

Picks Summary

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