Cheltenham 3.25 runner-by-runner guide to Paddy Power Intermediate Handicap Hurdle

How do Saturday's 12 runners stack up?


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Trainer: Dr Richard Newland Jockey: Lee Edwards Age: 6 Weight: 11st 12lbs

Bumper winner who made it 3-3 over hurdles in Sandown handicap before creditable fourth from 10lb higher in Grade 3 event at Ascot. This step up in trip worth exploring on return. Had had a wind op.


Capilano Bridge

Trainer: Conor O’Dwyer Jockey: Shane Fitzgerald Age: 6 Weight: 11st 12lbs

Dual hurdles winner who eked out a bit more improvement when excellent second of 25 in 3m handicap at Punchestown on final outing in April. Not taken lightly on this return to action.


Trainer: Philip Hobbs Jockey: Sean Houlihan Age: 7 Weight: 11st 10lbs

Much-improved handicapper last term, gaining a fifth win of the campaign here (2m) in December. Went close to adding to his tally at Kempton on final outing and has since joined Philip Hobbs.

Gowel Road

Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies Age: 5 Weight: 11st 10lbs

Decisive winner of Newbury handicap in January before following up in a novice over same C&D. Things haven’t quite gone to plan since, but he remains with potential now stepping up further in trip.


Trainer: Ben Pauling Jockey: Luca Morgan Age: 5 Weight: 11st 3lbs

Useful on Flat and made an impressive winning debut over hurdles in 17f Carlisle maiden. Failed to match that form next 2 starts and now goes handicapping up in trip after 10 months off.

Good Time Jonny

Trainer: A. J. Martin Jockey: Peter Carberry Age: 6 Weight: 11st 2lbs

Posted a career best to get off the mark over hurdles in 11-runner handicap at Gowran (20f) 43 days ago, scoring readily. This is tougher but he’s still relatively unexposed at this sort of trip.

Pyramid Place

Trainer: Milton Harris Jockey: Paddy Brennan Age: 4 Weight: 10st 12lbs

Hit the target 3 times in juvenile campaign and stepped up on that form when very good second in 2m Chepstow handicap on return, though clear lacked nothing in fitness after 6 months off.


Trainer: Olly Murphy Jockey: Aidan Coleman Age: 5 Weight: 10st 12lbs

Progressive hurdler who followed up his Southwell maiden success on handicap debut at Aintree (20f) 20 days ago, quickening to lead final 1f and driven clear. Open to further improvement.

Small Bad Bob

Trainer: Paul Henderson Jockey: Tom O’Brien Age: 6 Weight: 10st 11lbs

Made a sound start for this yard, winning Newton Abbot novice and following up back in handicap company at Fontwell. However, was found out from a 6lb higher mark in a tougher race here last time.

Unexpected Party

Trainer: Dan Skelton Jockey: Harry Skelton Age: 6 Weight: 10st 10lbs

Made a mockery of his opening mark upped markedly in trip when winning with any amount in hand at Wetherby (21.1f) 15 days ago. Hit with 11lb rise but promises to go on improving for a while yet.

Vis A Vis

Trainer: Neil Mulholland Jockey: Jamie Moore Age: 7 Weight: 10st 9lbs

Fairly useful Flat winner who turned in his best effort of the season at Kempton in September. Shaped with plenty of promise when runner-up both hurdle starts in early 2019 and remains with potential.

Punxsutawney Phil

Trainer: Brian Ellison Jockey: Danny McMenamin Age: 4 Weight: 10st 2lbs

AW bumper winner who continued his steadily progressive start over hurdles with success in 16.8f maiden at Sedgefield 38 days ago. Into handicaps now up in trip and may do better still.

Timeform Verdict: UNEXPECTED PARTY hardly won the deepest of handicaps at Wetherby, but he did it with ridiculous ease and promises to go on improving for a while yet, so the 11lb rise is unlikely to prove a barrier. Mackelduff is another progressing well and commands plenty of respect, as does Gowel Road, who remains with potential, especially now stepping up further in distance.



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