The Racing Horse looks at 3 races from the Cheltenham November Meeting and filtered ahead of time the contenders from the pretenders. The piece will be updated with prices once we have best price guaranteed available. Hopefully we have not only highlighted the winners but found a forecast or two...
1.50 Cheltenham: Mucking Brilliant Paddy Power Handicap Chase (Class 2) 2m ITV
16/17: Won by 9yo or younger
15/17: Carried 11st 7lbs or less
15/17: Raced at Cheltenham previously
14/17: Ran 5 or more times over fences
..0/17: Irish-trained winners
COLD LIST: JOCKEYS & TRAINERS with a ride or runner today.
- Brian Carver 31
- A Sadik 195
BEAT THE JUDGE wasn't seen to best effect when going for a hat-trick in a similar event over C&D 3 weeks ago, forced wide throughout and finishing with running left, so he remains one to be positive about. Magic Saint rates a big threat returned to what is probably his optimum trip, while Fanion d'Estruval is worth another chance given how impressive he was at Newbury.
CONTENDERS (not selections)
4 On The Slope 7/2 (general)
5 Beat The Judge 6/1 (Bet365 & Boylesports)
6 Ballywood 15/2 (BetVictor)
7 Eamon An Cnoic 11/1 (BetVictor)
2.25 Cheltenham: SSS Super Alloys Supports Racing Welfare Novices' Chase (Class 2) 2m4f110y ITV
17/17: Aged 5yo or older
16/17: Won 0 or 1 time over fences
15/17: Priced 6/1 or shorter
15/17: Ran between 0 and 2 times over fences
13/17: Raced at Cheltenham previously
10/12: Won by a 6yo
Dynaste, Denman, Weird Al, Imperial Commander, Time For Rupert and Grands Crus are all big names to win this race in recent years.
PROTEKTORAT created a fine impression under positive tactics when making a winning chase debut at Carlisle last month, and with improvement forthcoming, he is marginally preferred to last-time-out course winner Southfield Stone in receipt of 3lbs. Mossy Fen failed to meet market expectations on his first go over fences but there's surely more to come from him.
2 PROTEKTORAT 5/4 (general) ~~~PACAFI 1pt WIN ADVISED~~~
3 MOSSY FEN 4/1 (general)
3.35 Cheltenham: Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m5f ITV
15/15: Priced 10/1 or shorter
15/15: Raced in the last 5 weeks
13/15: Finished 1 or 2 last time out
12/15: Won a NH Flat race
12/15: Won by an Irish-bred
10/15: Aged 5yo
DOES HE KNOW put up a useful performance to double his hurdle tally over C&D 3 weeks ago, and sets a clear standard on that form, so he should prove hard to beat. If there is one lurking it may be Ballymillsy, who could prove a different proposition second time up over hurdles after shaping better than the distance beaten suggests at Lingfield.
CONTENDERS (not selections)
1 Does He Know 11/8 (general)
3 Grand Mogul 3/1 (Bet365, William Hill & BetVictor)
5 Polish 12/1 (William Hill & Bet365)
7 Wild Romance 13/2 (general)
The best beginners' chases run so far this season might have been the Beginners' Chase (Class 3) at Carlisle over 2m on good to soft ground (12 fences) on 22 October 2020. The race has a decent history, last year's winner Brewin'upastorm having gone on to be a leading fancy for the Arkle. Only one of these had run over fences before but with one exception they were all rated between 129 and 143 over hurdles, so it represents strong novice form.
This 5yo Saint Des Saints gelding was the best of these over hurdles and justified the high hopes his connections have of him as a chaser with a thoroughly convincing display. The switch to front running tactics paid off handsomely and he was never challenged, setting a pace that had the field well strung out by halfway, barely putting a foot wrong other than a slight tendency to jump left, and coming home well clear. In the long term he is evidently regarded a 3m chaser, but connections are in no hurry and he can take high rank at much shorter trips this season.
It was the most PERFECT START to a CHASING CAREER. His jumping was spectacular throughout, we might have seen one twig touched and this keen going sort should start even fitter on his second start of the season after a 225 day break. How the Skeltons allowed him to start at 5/4 is a mystery, he won as a 2/7 shot. He handles Cheltenham which is always keen and now raced there 5 times from his 9 UK starts. Rivals Southfield Stone and Paint The Dream like to be prominent also but we will be surprised if they take on the Pacafi, they will hope for a mistake.
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