*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
We’re sponsoring three of the biggest races on today’s card at Cheltenham including the Paddy Power New Year’s Day Chase.
A field of 16 runners and riders are set to go to post at 14:00 including Coole Cody, who triumphed in the big handicap over 2m 4½f on the New Course at the International Meeting last month.
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Generous Uncle Paddy is giving away a completely free 50p Yankee for new and existing customers to use on today’s renewals at Cheltenham which you can claim HERE.
And if you’re looking for tips then you’ve come to the right place as our brains trust have delivered their best bets for the Paddy Power New Year’s Day Chase.
Matt Chapman: This might be the day for ZANZA to come through late even though he’s creeping up the handicap ratings for getting beaten. The Philip Hobbs runner, ridden by the excellent Tom O’Brien, is on 147 now having finished sixth in the Paddy Power Gold Cup off 144 and second in the Racing Post Gold Cup off 145. All he needs is for there to be a strong pace – if he gets that hard to keep out the frame.
Mick Fitzgerald: I may well be a wreck after racing on Saturday as ZANZA is another one who was a little iffy over the obstacles. Philip Hobbs has his team in very good form, and they have stuck cheekpieces here. I’m hoping that might just sharpen him up, along with the fact that we have softer ground. Coole Cody is a solid alternative, but I am happy to stick with Zanza.
Frank Hickey: I was surprised SIMPLY THE BETTS ran in the Many Clouds Chase after the Paddy Power Gold Cup because he travelled so well and I had ear-marked him for the Racing Post Gold Cup. He was pulled up in the Many Clouds, so perhaps he didn’t have the biggest slog that day and runs here off a pound lower than his Paddy Power Gold Cup mark. He’s also 2-2 on the New Course, beating Imperial Aura here in January 2020 and then winning the Plate at that season’s Festival off a mark of 149. I’d be surprised if Paul Nicholls couldn’t get a decent handicap out of him off this sort of mark and he looks a cracking price.
Timeform: FUNAMBULE SIVOLA is a stablemate of L’Homme Presse at the yard of Venetia Williams, who has her team in top form at present (22% strike rate in December). Funambule Sivola ran right up to his best when second on his reappearance in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon, probably doing too much too soon and keeping on well under the circumstances to be beaten only four-and-a-half lengths here. He is entitled to strip fitter now back in handicap company and a BHA mark of 155 looks potentially lenient judged on the balance of his form.
Ruby Walsh: I was hoping Venetia Williams would go back in trip with FUNAMBULE SIVOLA. I thought he ran a cracker in the Peterborough Chase and he got dropped a pound for that. He was 156 going into it and got dropped for finishing second and I think this race will suit him. Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch are having a great season and I think Funambule Sivola is better than 155. There’s a race in him off that mark.
New Year’s Day Tips
- Horse Racing tips: Matt Chapman’s 8 ITV racing picks for Saturday
- Horse Racing tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s 7 sweet New Year’s Day plays for the ITV races
- Horse Racing tips: Frank Hickey’s 8 best bets in the UK & Ireland on Saturday
- Horse Racing tips: Timeform’s 7 best bets at Cheltenham on Saturday
- Horse Racing tips: Ruby Walsh’s 5 best bets in the UK & Ireland on Saturday