Who To Follow At Cheltenham On New Year's Day - 01/01/23

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Cheltenham - January 01 2023
Cheltenham 13:20
A P Heskin

Thunder Rock

J: A P Heskin
T: Olly Murphy
Age: 7
Weight: 11-2
OR: 150
Days: 44

One of the feature events of the afternoon is the Grade Two Dipper Novices' Chase and the horse we like is the Olly Murphy trained Thunder Rock.

The gelding has won on both of his runs over fences this term, starting at Uttoxeter over two miles when winning well and improving again last time out when stepping up in trip at Ascot to land a good Novices' Limited Handicap Chase.

Sent into a graded race for the first time rated 150 in handicaps he could take the beating again in his bid for a hat-trick.

He is the highest rated in the field and although performing to his best on good or good to soft ground, he has shown form on heavy to suggest he should handle the rain aswell.


Nicky Henderson

Nicky Henderson sends a strong team of runners to Cheltenham on New Year's Day and with that in mind he is the trainer to follow across the day.

In the opener he fields the potentially talented Firestep who has not been seen for 651 days but has been tipped to be a very nice horse.

One of the big races of the day is the Paddy Power New Year's Day Handicap Chase and Fantastic Lady looks to be of some value at 14/1.

Two of the Seven Barrows' yard best chances on the afternoon come in the Grade Two Relkeel Hurdle with Marie's Rock and First Street both holding leading chances in the race.

Henderson' final runner of the afternoon is Call Me Lord who is looking for redemption in the three mile Handicap Hurdle.

The trainer heads into the meeting sporting a strike rate of 19% having had eight winners from his last 42 runners.

Harry Cobden

Harry Cobden has a nice book of rides at Cheltenham on New Year's Day starting in the opener with Iliko D'Olivate, who could turn out to be another bright star for the Ditcheat yard.

Cobden then sits on Switch Hitter who should strip much fitter for his last run at Cheltenham in December and then the rider could be on his biggest chance of the afternoon with Monmiral in the Grade Two Dipper Novices' Chase.

Il Ridoto is looking for big race glory in the Paddy Power New Year's Day Handicap Chase needing to price he can stay out the trip and then in the Relkeel Hurdle, Knappers Hill steps back up in trip looking for more Group Two glory.

The rider gets the leg up on Jet Of Magic who looks to have a solid each way chance in the three mile Handicap hurdle ane then in the lucky last, Meatloaf is looking to make it 2/2 in bumpers.