National Hunt racing takes another step up this weekend with the November meeting at Cheltenham.
There’s plenty of interesting action over the three days at Prestbury Park, and our horse racing betting expert picks out his best bets across the meeting.
Siruh Du Lac can make it a Cheltenham hat-trick
As we have seen time-and-time again, Cheltenham form counts for so much when backing horses at the Gloucestershire track.
In the feature race on Saturday, I like the chances of Siruh Du Lac who has won his last four races, the last two of which have come at Cheltenham. The Nick Williams-trained six-year-old is one of the most improved handicappers in training and has incredibly risen 23 pounds in the handicap since December 2017.
He was a game winner on Festival Trials Day off a mark of 143 and a seven pound hike for that was no barrier to him at the Festival where he was victorious in the Brown Advisory Plate. On both occasions, he got the better of Nicky Henderson’s Janika, Haldon Gold Cup winner, so there looks plenty of substance to the form. He goes well fresh too and he looks a very solid bet at 11/2 with Grosevnorsport.com.
Greatwood won’t be a Bridge too far for Benny
For not wanting to sound like a broken record, my other selection is chiefly based on his Cheltenham form. Benny’s Bridge has run twice at Cheltenham and, you guessed it, he’s won twice. The most recent of those victories was a very stylish success at last month’s Showcase meeting where he cruised through the race to eventually win with his head in his chest by eight lengths.
His trainer Fergal O’Brien couldn’t be in much better form right now and given his contender has had just the eight runs over hurdles, there is plenty of reason to suggest he’s got plenty more improvement in him.
Back the six-year-old to take another step forward in his flourishing career at 6/1.
Hoping Defi Du Seuil doesn’t bottle it in the Shloer Chase
While the Greatwood Hurdle might be the big betting race on Sunday at Cheltenham, there’s some top quality action across the rest of the card including the Shloer Chase. This looks a hot race with Defi Du Seuil, Politologue and Sceau Royal all entered, but I’m pretty sure Phillip Hobbs’ runner is the best of these and I’m confident he can take this on the path to bigger and betting things.
The six-year-old was a very talented hurdler, winning three Group Ones including the Triumph Hurdle at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival and although he took his time to get going over fences, he really came into his own at the back end of last season.
Having been beaten in the Dipper Novices’ Chase on New Year’s Day at Cheltenham by Lostintranslation, he got the better of that rival in both the Scilly Isles at Sandown and the in the JLT at the Festival. Given Lostintranslation is now a genuine Gold Cup contender, that looks incredibly strong form. His final run of last season wasn’t bad either, a very good second to Chacun Pour Soi at the Punchestown Festival, who if the hype is to be believed could be quite special.
Running over this two mile trip is a slight concern as the best of his form last season was over 2m4f, but his run over that distance at Punchestown was very good, while he ran over two miles exclusively during his hurdles career.
Politologue and Sceau Royal are good horses in their own right, but if Defi Su Seuil wants to be targeting the big races over the rest of the season, he needs to be winning this and I’m confident he will. Back him at 11/8.