Day One Cheltenham November Meeting Preview - 11/11/22

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 13:10
Sam Ewing

Enki Flacke

J: Sam Ewing
T: Gordon Elliott
Age: 5
Weight: 11-12
OR: 122
Days: 124

The first event of Cheltenham's November meeting sees the Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle and we think the Irish have a strong hand in this one.

The Gordon Elliott trained Enki Flacke has been a model of consistency for the yard since being sent over hurdles making his debut back in November at Fairyhouse when seventh behind the smart Grangee.

A better third at Navan behind the likes if Au Fleuron and Ha D'or, he then went to Cork in January and again had to settle for third behind Ebasari and Adamantly Chosen.

His last run of last season saw him finish another fair fifth in a 20 runner Maiden behind the smart Kilcruit and since then he has gone unbeaten.

Given a break he returned in May at Perth when getting off the mark over 2m4f by 11 lengths and then over the same C&D under a penalty scored again.

Making it a hat-trick at Perth, this time at two miles, he was an impressive winner under a double penalty and now handicapping off a mark of 122 with the talented Sam Ewing taking 3lb off, he looks interesting.

Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 13:10
Kieren Buckley

Sweet Will

J: Kieren Buckley
T: Gavin Cromwell
Age: 5
Weight: 11-4
OR: 107
Days: 3

With it being 20 runners we have has two stabs at the race and the second selection is another Irish raider, this time in the way of Sweet Will for Gavin Cromwell.

He is being turned around extremely quickly and may be a non-runner on the day if not spot on, but having recently got his act together since being stepped up in trip he looks very interesting.

Showing bits of form over 2m4f at the start of the year off a lowly mark, he lost his way slightly but moved up to 2m 6 1/2f at Galway in September he was a good second of 17.

Moved up another 1/2f for his last run on Tuesday he landed a 16 runner handicap at Fairyhouse and obviously improving for a stamina test, it looks as though 2m5f at Cheltenham will suit massively.

Progressive of late.

Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 13:45
Brendan Powell

Amarillo Sky

J: Brendan Powell
T: Joe Tizzard
Age: 6
Weight: 11-9
OR: 140
Days: 216

The second event of the afternoon is the Paddy Power Handicap Chase over two miles and we think the value lies with the Joe Tizzard trained Amarillo Sky.

The £280,000 purchase really came into his own last season and having been dropped back to a mark of 140 for this event he looks interesting.

Being an up and down hurdler showing signs of ability but then never running any races, he took to chasing much better last term.

Finishing a fair fourth on chase/seasonal debut at Chepstow in a handicap, he then went to Wincanton and got off the mark for the season in decent style, beating the smart Thyme White.

He then went to Ascot off a mark of 131 and finished a good second to the progressive Brave Seasca who went on to run in the Arkle last season.

Looking the likely winner next time out he took a novicey tumble, but got back on track in a big way at Newbury when winning a good handicap event by 10 lengths.

Raised 8lb for that he went into the Grand Annual Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham festival and in torrential conditions plugged on well for fifth.

Last seen in Grade One company at Aintree he was outclassed and probably the run came way too soon after the festival and now 3lb lower to a mark of 140 in much calmer waters, he looks a good bet.

Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 14:20
Tom Cannon

Unanswered Prayers

J: Tom Cannon
T: Chris Gordon
Age: 6
Weight: 10-13
OR: 124
Days: 34

The Novices' Limited Handicap Chase over 2m4f looks a fascinating punting event and we are siding with the Chris Gordon trained Unanswered Prayers.

A smart hurdler for the inform yard, winning two events last season and staying over hurdles for his seasonal debut when a very good fifth of 10 in the Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle at Chepstow.

The form of that race has been massively franked with winner Knappers Hill since landing the Grade Two Elite Hurdle, second Lord Baddesley won next time out, sixth Masters Legacy won on chase debut and Proschema back in seventh landed the Grade Two bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby.

Making his chasing debut on Friday if taking to fences he looks to have a solid chance off the back of the form.

Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 14:55
Sam Twiston-Davies


J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Age: 11
Weight: 11-13
OR: 142
Days: 51

Another interesting event is the Glenfarclas Veterans' Handicap Chase over 2m4f and we can't make our mind up between two horses.

Ballyandy looks to have solid credentials at a track he loves, being a Champion Bumper winner at the festival whilst also running big races in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, Coral Cup, Champion Hurdle and Pertemps final last year.

A superb horse for the yard, running other solid races at Cheltenham throughout his career, he now heads back here in a Veteran Chase that lacks depth.

Sent chasing at the grand old age of 11, he made his debut on seasonal debut this term at Perth over three miles and jumped superbly well to finish a narrow third.

Dropping back to 2m4f is ideal having just laboured late on giving weight away last time out and at a track he loves, being 3lb lower than his last winning mark he makes big appeal.

Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 14:55
Richard Patrick

Magic Dancer

J: Richard Patrick
T: Kerry Lee
Age: 10
Weight: 10-10
OR: 125
Days: 205

Another course specialist and getting heaps of weight off Ballyandy is Magic Dancer for trainer Kerry Lee who could go close aswell.

Having a bit more chase experience than the fav, he has shown at this track that he does his best work landing two of his six winning races at the course and having also placed twice round Prestbury Park he makes obvious appeal back here.

A winner when last seen in April at Ludlow in a Handicap Chase over 2m4f off a mark of 120 beating Red Happy who has franked the form a few times this season, off 5lb higher he should go well.

Decent record fresh.

Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
Paul Townend


J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-2
Days: 40

The feature race of the afternoon on day one of the November meeting is the Grade Two Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and what a spectacle it is set to be.

We are siding with the Willie Mullins trained Hubrisko who could be a class above the English this event if taking to the step up in trip, which his pedigree suggests he will.

A much talked about horse having been bought by Rich Ricci in 2020 after winning a good event on the flat in France, he made his debut for the yard in January 2022 when third over 2m4f at Fairyhouse.

Sent to the Galway festival this term in July he was a good second of 17 in a Maiden Hurdle and at the same track in September finally got off the mark for his career in convincing fashion.

Last seen at Tipperary in October he was a good third behind stablemate Champ Kiely and Cheltenham festival winner Brazil in a Grade Three.

Stepping up in trip he will need to improve as this is a hot race but he could just be a class above the English.

Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 16:00
Sam Twiston-Davies


J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Neil Mulholland
Age: 4
Weight: 11-7
OR: 117
Days: 34

The final race of the afternoon is one of the trickiest betting races of the season so far with plenty of different angles into the event and we have made a case for two British horses.

The first is the Neil Mulholland trained Mothill who heads into the event seeking a hat-trick and only 4lb higher than his last winning mark could see him well in.

A winner at Fontwell in May when beating a stablemate convincingly, he then went to Chepstow in October and beat a good field with ease.

The third has since finished seven lengths behind Pied Piper at Cheltenham and the latter has won again since in Grade Two company.

The fifth that day has also franked the form winning a Handicap Hurdle at Huntingdon ahead of a nice horse and that looks solid form.

Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 16:00
Brendan Powell

Master Dancer

J: Brendan Powell
T: Richard J Bandey
Age: 5
Weight: 11-8
OR: 118
Days: 39

Another runner with some very smart form is the Richard Bandey trained Master Dancer who looks a shrewd buy from France off the back of his British debut.

Sent into a Novice Hurdle event over 2m 1/2f he went on to beat a decent field that has since since seen the third placed horse Parramount bolt up at Hereford.

Now handicapping off a mark of 118, he should be better than that and getting his optimum conditions on Friday, he is one to watch out for.