Cheltenham Saturday Preview - 16/11/19

12:05 - Thyme Hill

Saturday's card has managed to beat the rain and the first race of the day is the Grade Two Ballymore Novices Hurdle over 2 miles 5 furlongs and we fancy last time out winner Thyme Hill.

This Phillip Hobbs trained five year old was smart in bumpers last season with a win on his debut and then two placed efforts which included a third in the Grade One Champion Bumper at the festival.

He made his debut last month at Chepstow in a decent Grade Two event and got off the mark in good style beating some smart horses and it looks as if the extra few furlongs will suit today.

The strength of the Champion Bumper form is superb and he will be looking to extend that on Saturday.

12:40 - Allmankind

Another Grade Two contest follows and the JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle over two miles sees a superb field of runners head to post and we have sided with Allmankind.

The Dan Skelton trained three year old absolutely hosed up on his debut run over hurdles at Warwick beating a field of four runners by 37 lengths.

The gelding was a smart performer on the flat and has flourished even more since joining the Skelton yard and could be a serious contender at the festival in March.

13:15 - Poker Play & Rockpoint

The Class 2 Novices Chase over three miles sees some smart hurdlers from last season and even with a small field we fancy two horses at big prices.

The first is the top weighted Poker Play for David Pipe and this six year old scored nicely over two and half miles on his chase debut at Ffos Las handling soft conditions.

The extra half a mile should suit his style and the second place that day has gone on to frank the form by winning next time out.

The other runner we fancy is the Colin Tizzard trained Rockpoint who is entered at the bottom of the weights and was a decent hurdler winning over course and distance.

The six year old is a half brother to Santini and is predicted to be better as a chaser and should come on for his fourth at this track on his fence debut.

13:50 - Big River 5/1

The first of the the Grade three Chase contests at Cheltenham on the Saturday is the 3 mile 3 furlongs contest and Big River for trainer Lucinda Russell looks to have a solid chance.

Staying seems to be the game for this nine year old finishing a strong fifth in the Scottish Grand National when last seen showing clear stamina.

Before that at the Cheltenham festival he finished a smart fourth of 24 runners in the Grade 3 Ultima Handicap over slightly shorter than this and anything matching that run sees him in the frame.

14:25 - Slate House 11/2

The feature race of the day is the BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase over 2 miles 4 furlongs and Slate House for Colin Tizzard will take all the beating if running to standard.

The seven year old back in 2017 landed back to back hurdle contests at Cheltenham taking to the track superbly but since then had lost his way.

However, on his seasonal bow he bounced back to form with an 11 length win over course and distance also on heavy ground although up in the weights represents a big chance.

15:00 - Hear No Evil 8/1

The Listed Big Buck's Handicap Hurdle over three miles is always a tough affair and the horse we think can run a big race is the Dan Skelton trained Hear No Evil.

The seven year old gelding finished fourth of five at the back end of October in his first run in nearly two years having been off the track for some time.

He will come on for that run and the further he has gone in the past the better he has been meaning this step up in trip should be the making of him.

15:30 - Remastered 7/1

In the intermediate Handicap Hurdle over 2 miles five furlongs we like the look of Remastered for trainer David Pipe with the gelding sure to come on for his run.

He ran at Chepstow in a really competitive Grade Three handicap on his seasonal debut and it was a bit much for him first time but should now be fitter for the run.

His last two wins have come on heavy ground which will see him revel in the conditions and the further he has raced in the past the better he has seemed to go.

16:00 - Midnight Callisto

To finish the day at Cheltenham they have the Listed bumper over two miles and Midnight Castillo for Anthony Honeyball is the filly that takes the eye.

She has only had one run to date winning a 12 runner event by eight lengths at Fontwell which came on soft ground meaning she should handle these tricky conditions.

This trainer has been in decent form for the last two weeks with an 18 percent strike rate and it would not be a surprise to see her go well again.