Three Horses To Follow At The Cheltenham festival Ante-Post


BEAKSTOWN – Close Brother Novices Handicap Chase

BEAKSTOWN – Close Brother Novices Handicap Chase

The Cheltenham festival is really not that far away and with the ante-post markets constantly moving we think we have a horse at a double figure price that is worth taking note of.

The Close Brothers Novices Handicap Chase is a very difficult race to call every year with normally plenty of horses in with a chance coming up to the last fence.

However, with some bookmakers sure to offer extra places it’s a race where there is money to be made and we think we have found a very shrewd horse at 20/1.

BEAKSTOWN for trainer Dan Skelton has been targeted at this race all season long-running to a fair standard in his competitions starting at Wetherby finishing second behind the impressive Sam Spinner in a Novices Chase.

The six-year-old although a smart hurdler was always thought to come on and become a really smart chaser with his style of running and he has shown glimpses of that this season.

He headed to Newbury for his second start of the campaign and again was a nice third behind superstar Champ and last time out winner Dashel Drasher.

He ran at Cheltenham in December over the distance of the Close Brothers Race and was a solid third behind Mister Fisher and Good Boy Bobby that will both go on to challenge in the Grade One Novice Chase contests at the festival.

Beakstown if heading for this contest will not be seen again until March with his handicap mark at 139 which is enough to get him in the race but if he was to win his next contest, he would not make the cut.

Dan Skelton is known for targeting handicap contests at the four-day meeting and it looks like he is doing that again with this gelding.

ENVOI ALLEN - Ballymore Novices Hurdle

Envoi Allen is unbeaten in all seven of his contests which include a point to point, four bumper wins including the Grade One Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham festival and since his switch to hurdles he has swept the field aside on three occasions.

Two starts ago after winning nicely at Down Royal on his debut he went on to win in the Grade One Royal Bond Novices Hurdle at Fairyhouse over two miles seeing off his stablemate Abacadabras who has since gone on to win nicely franking the form.

Having not been tried over two and half miles but ever shortening in the Ballymore market, Gordon Elliott sent his horse to Naas in the Grade One Lawlor’s of Naas Novices Hurdle where he went on to win very comfortably staking his claim as one of the bankers of the festival.

THYME HILL – Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle

The five-year-old gelding has been remarkable all season winning all three of his contests in great style and showing a clear staying ability.

He started his life over hurdles at Chepstow in the Grade Two Persian War Novices Hurdle and seeing off some smart youngsters that have since gone on to frank that form including Grade One winner Fiddlerontheroof. The gelding then went to Cheltenham in the Grade Two Ballymore Novices Hurdle and again put in a strong winning run to enhance his credentials in this division.

He was destined for big things off the back of his third in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham last season and fulfilled his potential for the term when landing the Grade One Challow Hurdle at Newbury.