@TheTWETracker's Three Horses To Follow At Cheltenham This Weekend

Cheltenham - December 10 2021
Cheltenham 12:05
Harry Skelton

Hartur D'Oudairies

Harry Skelton
Dan Skelton
Age: 4
Weight: 11-4
Days: 23

The first race of the day from Cheltenham on Friday is the Novices' Hurdle over 2m 1/f and the Dan Skelton trained Hartur D'Oudairies looks a very talented youngster.

This exciting purchase for JP McManus has the world at his feet having been picked up after winning a race at Le Mans back in November 2020.

Sent to the Skelton's, who don't have many with the owner, the gelding made his rules debut this season at Warwick in a two mile Novices' Hurdle event.

He looked a superstar in the making, travelling beautifully up to the last flight and then was shrugged to improver and went clear by close to five lengths.

Being a four year old there is plenty of improvement expected and he could turn out to be something special.

This event is much tougher than his first assignment with the likes of Washington and Jpr One looking to be very smart horses themselves, so he will need to give a career best, but is expected to.

Cheltenham - December 10 2021
Cheltenham 12:40
Jonjo O'Neill Jr

Coeur Serein

Jonjo O'Neill Jr
Jonjo O'Neill
Age: 7
Weight: 11-7
OR: 142

Another runner on the Friday that is worth taking notice of is the Jonjo O'Neill trained Limited Handicap Chase over 3m1f and Coeur Serein was very unlucky last time out and can't be overlooked if bouncing back.

The seven year old for Jonjo O'Neill was seen four times last term over timber, finishing fourth of 12 on seasonal debut but since going on to land a hat-trick of wins at Warwick, Newbury and Huntingdon.

His final last term event saw him see off a good field over a staying trip and although, with the further he goes the better he becomes.

It was a strange move from the trainer to drop him back in trip for the Grade Two Persian War Novices' Hurdle on seasonal debut where he only finished fourth.

However, it looked as though it was lesson learnt for his chase debut last time out when running in a good event at Lingfield over 2m 7 1/2f when three lengths clear coming to the last and unfortunately falling.

It would have won that day and although up 7lb looks a force to be reckoned with this term.

Cheltenham - December 11 2021
Cheltenham 13:50
Harry Cobden


Harry Cobden
Paul Nicholls
Age: 9
Weight: 11-6
OR: 151
Days: 28

The Paul Nicholls trained Lalor was said to be the best handicapped horse in the 12 time champion trainers yard and in the Paddy Power Gold Cup 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 on Saturday in a similar event off 2lb higher.


James Mackie | @JMackieRacing