Paddy Power Cotswold Chase runner-by-runner guide to Saturday’s race at Cheltenham

Grade 2 honours are up for grabs!

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We’ve got our name on the feature race on Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham – and you’ve come to the right place to swot up on the runners and riders.

A field of five are set to go to post at 2.30pm for the Paddy Power Cotswold Chase, a trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup that has been won by the likes of Santini, Frodon and Many Clouds in recent years.

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The contest is back at the Gloucestershire track after last year’s fixture was moved to Sandown due to waterlogging. Native River came up trumps on that day but the 2018 Gold Cup hero has since been retired.

Keep on reading and you’ll find Timeform’s wicked guide to the Paddy Power Cotswold Chase runners plus tips from our racing boffins.

Aye Right

Trainer: Harriet Graham Jockey: Callum Bewley Age: 9 Weight: 11st 6lbs

Has developed into a very smart chaser and finally put an end to his status as one of the highest-achieving bridesmaids of recent times when narrow winner of Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle. Respected.

Chantry House

Trainer: Nicky Henderson Jockey: Nico de Boinville Age: 8 Weight: 11st 6lbs

Ended excellent novice chase campaign with Grade 1 successes at Cheltenham/Aintree Festivals. Easy win in a match at Sandown on return but disappointed in King George at Kempton. Headgear applied.

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Kauto Riko

Trainer: Tom Gretton Jockey: Brian Hughes Age: 11 Weight: 11st 2lbs

Winless since 2018 and went backwards from his reappearance when pulled up in Grade 3 handicap here on New Year’s Day. Tough ask.

Santini

Trainer: Polly Gundry Jockey: Nick Scholfield Age: 10 Weight: 11st 2lbs

Won this 2 years ago before just denied in Gold Cup in his peak years for Nicky Henderson but not the same force last season and made a low-key start for this yard in Grade 3 handicap here on return.

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Simply The Betts

Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Harry Cobden Age: 9 Weight: 11st 2lbs

Major improver over fences during 2019/20 season. Shaped well on return for new yard and looked better than ever when runner-up off 153 in Grade 3 handicap here on New Year’s Day. Should stay.

Paddy Power Cotswold Chase tips

Matt Chapman: Now one of the big ones, the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase over an extended 3m1f. CHANTRY HOUSE really should take this for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville if anywhere near his Grade 1 Aintree winning form. He was obviously pulled up when last seen so there is a doubt, but he’s the class act and should get back to winning ways. Cheekpieces on.

Mick Fitzgerald: CHANTRY HOUSE needs to bounce back from a very disappointing run in the King George VI Chase last month. Kempton doesn’t suit every horse and connections have put cheekpieces on to help him concentrate so that they cover all the bases. He should return to the form that showed him winning at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals last spring as there’s no doubt he has the class to do it.

Frank Hickey: CHANTRY HOUSE has won eight of his 11 races under rules. In three starts at Cheltenham, he was third in a Supreme Novices Hurdle and won the Marsh Chase. He did look a little fortunate when winning the 3m Novices Grade 1 at the Aintree festival, but he did easily beat Shan Blue and Fiddlerontheroof. He was very heavily punted for the King George VI Chase at Christmas and went off 3/1 favourite, but never got in a rhythm and was pulled up. He is wearing cheekpieces now and this doesn’t look a deep race. I’d be disappointed if he couldn’t win this.

Timeform: CHANTRY HOUSE ran no sort of race when favourite for the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day but he was one of the leading novice chasers last season and this looks a good opportunity for him to get back on track with headgear applied. Simply The Betts ran a mighty race on his third start for this yard when second off 153 in a Grade 3 handicap here on New Year’s Day and rates the main threat.

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