Friday 13th November, 1.05pm, Cheltenham
The opening race from Cheltenham tomorrow is the Paddy Power Handicap Chase, which is a two-mile chase open to horses rated 0-145. There are 15 runners going to post in this one and it should be a competitive encounter.
The favourite in the betting right now is La Vaticane, who was a very good horse in France and then made an encouraging debut for David Pipe when second at Kempton back in March.
The yard often do very well with their imports from France and Tom Scudamore is on board this six-year-old. We don’t quite know how good he might be, so the 7/2 on offer right now could prove to be a little bit skinny.
Lough Kent goes for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville and is a 7/1 shot right now.
This horse was kept pretty busy in the spring, racing four times in a couple of months and during that time, he managed a win at Warwick, but was a little bit disappointing when beaten at 8/13 at Worcester in May.
The six-year-old probably found the two and a half miles a little bit too far on that day though and this trip looks ideal. He’s still unexposed over fences and should run a big race.
It’s then 15/2 about Minella Present, who was last seen finishing in second place behind Violet Dancer at Towcester last month.
That was a decent enough performance and this horse could prove to be off quite a decent mark here as he’s rated 130. He was, however, quite a long way behind Lough Kent over hurdles at Newbury back in May.
Pearls Legend had a great season last year and has managed to finish in the top three in each of his last six races.
This horse is very game and won twice at Sandown last season. He should enjoy Cheltenham and has Jamie Moore back on board, who seems to get a good tune out of the gelding.
It’s 8/1 about this horse, who does have a decent run under his belt and should be fully fit for the John Spearing team.
Colin Tizzard’s yard is in decent form at the moment and his charge Sew On Target can be backed at 10/1.
He was well beaten by Boondooma here last month when expected to go a little better, but there’s every chance he’ll have needed that run.
The horse does have a decent record here at Cheltenham and was second in this race behind Bold Henry last season. He could prove to be a big price.
It’s then 12/1 about Le Bacardy and The Clock Leary, who goes for the very much in form Venetia Williams yard.
You can get 14/1 about Astracad and it’s then 20/1 and over about the rest of the field.
This is very competitive, but we think an EW bet on SEW ON TARGET looks to be a good bet.