Five Horses To Take Out Of Cheltenham's November Meeting

Oscar Elite

The first horse that took the eye from Cheltenham on Sunday was the exciting chaser Oscar Elite for the inform Colin Tizzard, with the gelding making his debut over fences at the weekend and before falling he travelled beautifully.

The six year old gelding last term really took the eye in big Grade One races at the spring festivals over hurdles and if being able to convert that form to fences then the Tizzard's have a seriously sharp animal on their hands.

Having finished third at Exeter on heavy ground in a Listed event over two miles behind some nice types, he then stepped up to three miles at Cheltenham and finished a good second behind the runaway winner Vanillier in the Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

With the Tizzard team having a less than impressive season and the horses on show in the race, for this horse to do what he did showed serious talent.

He proved on his final run over hurdles it was not a fluke when another good third at the Aintree Grand National meeting behind Ahoy Senior and Bravemansgame in the Grade One Sefton Novices' Hurdle.

Always bought to be a chaser he was sent to Cheltenham on Sunday in the three mile Novices Chase and when looking prominent he took a tumble at the third last.

Before that he was travelling well and would have gone close, he remains a horse to keep on side with him only going to improve for that run.


Next up is the Paul Nicholls trained Lalor who was said to be the best handicapped horse in the 12 time champion trainers yard and on Saturday in the Paddy Power Gold Cup he showed the enthusiasm and ability of old.

Lalor has been a forgotten horse over the last two years or so since his rise to fame in the sport, but this season we are predicting he can get back to somewhere near his best and land a big event.

The gelding was a horse with superb potential in the 2018/2019 season winning the Grade Two Arkle Trial at Cheltenham in November and from there being one of the favourites to land the Grade One at the festival.

However, after a poor run in the Grade One Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown, he went to the festival in lesser form and ultimately flopped in the Arkle when being pulled up.

The German bred gelding lost his way for a while after that putting in weak performances in defeat at both Aintree and Exeter at it looked like the demise of what could have been a promising career.

However, in January 2020 he was rejuvenated into a stunning third in a three-way photo finish in the Paddy Power Handicap Chase, only being beaten by a short head and he used that run again to finish a good third at the Trials meeting.

With hope for the horse to rebuild his career, it was cut majorly short with vets then diagnosing him with an irregular heartbeat just as he was gaining fitness ahead of the 20/21 season.

He returned this year after over a year off at Aintree and was pulled up in a 3m2f Handicap Chase at the Grand National meeting and then was seen in May at Newton Abbot down in trip, he was again pulled up.

Having been given to Nicholls from Kayley Woollacott, he returned at Cheltenham after a wind op to finish a superb third of 19 runners and he will certainly improve for that run.

One to follow in big chasing handicaps this term.

Unexpected Party

The Skelton's had a mixed bag at the November meeting with some of their big runners falling, but also landing races like the Grade Two Shloer Chase and Grade Three Greatwood Hurdle.

A horse that caught the eye for the yard came on the Saturday in the Intermediate Handicap Hurdle with Unexpected Party finishing a nice second behind Gowel Road.

The €155,000 purchase started life over hurdles in September by finishing a good second at Southwell and off the back of that was a fair fourth.

He then stepped up in trip at Wetherby next time out and was an emphatic winner, which suggested the 2m5f was his trip going forward.

Up in the weights for the Cheltenham event he ran a superb race to stay on into second and he is worth following next time out.


Another runner for the Skeltons who is not to be given up on next time out is the smart Proschema, who was a faller in the Listed Handicap Hurdle, but before that was travelling well and looked set to hit the frame.

Having been a smart horse on the flat, he has turned out to be an even better exploit over timber and having finished last term off in fine style by winning at Cheltenham and Aintree, this term he started in similar form when a good fifth of 17.

He put in his best performance of the season next time out at Wetherby when finishing a good second in the Grade Two bet365 Hurdle, finishing ahead of Paisley Park.

Looking set to back that up at Cheltenham he was going well in the Listed three mile event off top weight before falling at the second last and is certainly a staying hurdler to watch this term.

The Mighty Don

The final runner from the three day meeting that we believe won't be far away from winning a race this term is Nick Gifford trained The Mighty Don.

The staying chaser has been a hard horse to win with during his career, last getting his head in front at Chepstow in October 2020.

The nine year old had been hit and miss but was well backed before the 3m3f Handicap Chase on Sunday and he stayed on well into second only going down by just over a length.

He loves a trip and back in grade could be seen to better effect this season, still being on a reasonable mark.

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