Cheltenham Friday - One Horse, One Trainer, One Jockey to watch

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HORSE TO WATCH

The sixth race of the day is the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase and it is here we think you can find the bet of the day. Enda Bolger’s runner Josies Order is a talented horse. She is now ten-years-old but is taking on some similarly aged horses. Her comeback run for the season was a victory over course and distance last time and whilst she runs under a penalty she should come on for the run.

Her run at Punchestown back in April shows she retains much of her undoubted ability and she has won at this track on four of her six outings here. Some decent horses oppose including Tiger Roll and Ballycasey but she is the rightful favourite and will take all of the beating.

TRAINER TO WATCH

Whilst Paul Nicholls does not have a huge amount of runners on Friday, most of them are coming off of victories and have a good chance. In the first race of the day he saddles Southfield Stone. The horse is coming off two victories in comfortable fashion at Class 4.

This is a Class 3 but the five-year-old is on an upward curve and has a real chance. In the second race he has Ibis Du Rheu, an experienced seven-year-old who won on his seasonal return here in November. This is a similar race. He does carry a penalty but his performances last season give him a strong chance of at least hitting the frame.

nicholls

El Bandit is set to go off at a decent price in the fifth race of the day. The seven-year-old was pulled up on his seasonal return at listed level in mid-November. That was his first run for eighteen months and his form prior to that would give him a winning chance in a race like this.

He won a grade 2 back in 2016 and whilst he has not won a race of that level since he has proven himself to be relatively consistent. Nicholls’ final runner of the day is in the last. He saddles likely favourite Worthy Farm who won at Taunton on his last outing. The horse is utterly exposed and heading in the right direction. The handicapper looks to have been kind and he can bag the lucky last for our trainer to watch.

JOCKEY TO WATCH

Whilst he doesn’t have a ride in the first two races, champion jockey Richard Johnson looks to have some good chances. He is aboard C&D winner Magic Dancer in the third race. Whilst she is likely to go off around 10/1 her form of the spring would give her every chance. Straight after that he is on the favourite Synopsis in the fourth race.

richard johnson

Trained by Gordon Elliott the horse is making his British debut and he is no stranger to the winner’s enclosure over in Ireland. He is aboard current second favourite Rock the Kasbah in the fifth race of the day and there is no doubt the horse is a big player in the feature race.

The horse has strong course form and looked better than ever last month when winning here. He will be tough to beat. Johnson’s final ride is in the last aboard Lygon Rock. The Henry Daly trained five-year-old is Johnson’s least likely winner but should not be ruled out. She showed here credentials at this level when second on her penultimate start and whilst her last run was disappointing there could still be more to come.

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