Who To Follow On Cheltenham Trials Day - 28/01/23

James Mackie | @jamesmackieee

Cheltenham - January 28 2023
Cheltenham 15:00
Aidan Coleman

Paisley Park

J: Aidan Coleman
T: Emma Lavelle
Age: 11
Weight: 11-8
OR: 161
Days: 33

The Grade Two Cleeve Hurdle has seen Paisley Park win the last three renewals of the race and we think he will make it four on the bounce on Saturday.

What a superstar he has been for the yard over the years, notching up a superb roster of wins, going seven races unbeaten between 2018 and 2019, whilst also picking up races like the Grade One Long Walk Hurdle on three occasions, Stayers' Hurdle, Three Cleeve Hurdles and a Long Distance Hurdle from Newbury.

Making his seasonal debut this term in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury he ran a stormer to finish second in a photo-finish to long time leader champ.

Showing that he still retains all of his staying ability event at the age of 11, last time out over Christmas he went to Kempton for the rearranged Grade One Long Walk Hurdle and staying on better than ever he landed the race from Goshen quite comfortably in the end.

He is getting on now but he has shown on both runs this season that fire well and truly still burns in his belly and looking through this field I don’t think there is any horse of the same staying ability as him, which makes him hard to oppose.

Dashel Drasher the big danger.


Trainer To Follow - Dan Skelton

Dan Skelton sends a strong team to Cheltenham on Saturday looking to keep his tremendous season going and his first runner of the afternoon is Unexpected Party in the Handicap Chase over 2m 4 1/2f.

Spiritofthegames is then looking to pick up some place money in the Premier Handicap Chase having a good placed record at the track.

The big chance of the afternoon for the yard is the stables leading Gold Cup hope Protektorat who is looking to build on his Grade One Betfair Chase win last time out.

Molly Ollys Wishes is taking on the boys in the Cleeve Hurdle and she will need to be better than ever to see of some of these but could sneak a place.

Another big chance for the yard on the afternoon is Pembroke in the Grade Two Ballymore Novices' Hurdle with the gelding looking to make it a hat-trick of wins.

Finally the Skelton's finish the afternoon with another live chance with Pikar looking to get back in track and can do from a very lenient mark.

Dan Skelton could not be in any better form heading into the weekend, currently running at a strike rate of 43% for the last two weeks, managing nine winners from his last 21 runners.

Jockey To Follow - Harry Cobden

The jockey to keep an eye on this weekend is the superstar Harry Cobden who has some classy rides for retained trainer Paul Nicholls across the afternoon.

In the Grade Two Triumph Trial he sits on Dixon Cove who has a big chance of reversing the form with Comfort Zone at the weights from their last meeting at Chepstow.

Cobden then sits on the second favourite Stage Star in the Handicap Chase over 2m 4 1/2f, with him having a confident booster last time out and can now show his true potential again.

Il Ridoto is back at Cheltenham for a third straight time tackling 2m4f and off a mark of 138 can go close again, but he may be better in time dropping back in trip.

Gelino Bello is an interesting ride for the jockey, dropping back to hurdles having been tried over fences this season and having been a Grade One winner in this sphere it might work out to be a very smart move.

Cobden's final ride of the afternoon comes on Henri The Second in the Grade Two Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and although giving weight away to the field he could go close.

The rider heads into the meeting at Cheltenham currently sporting a strike rate of 38% for the last two weeks, managing three winners from his eight rides.