Cheltenham December Meeting - Friday Preview - 12/12/19

12:10 - Cheltenham - British Ebf 'national Hunt' Novices' Hurdle - Chantry House

We have a competitive novice race kicking us off at Prestbury Park this weekend and it is the highly-touted Chantry House that earns our selection. This well-related Nicky Henderson star was all the rage in the market when cruising clear in a Warwick bumper last season and we are excited to see how he fares over hurdles.

Alan King's Edwardstone finished well beaten in second that day and he went onto get the better of Fiddlerontheroof before following up under a penalty last weekend. This form looks rock solid and with Nicky Henderson banging in first-time out winners you can expect him to be fully tuned up.

12:45 - Cheltenham - International Decorative Surfaces Novices' Chase - Rockpoint & Pym RF

Second up on the Friday meeting looks an absolute cracker. All five have a chance of winning this but we shortlisted two that look to have a big future over fences.

Nicky Henderson's Pym jumped boldly when making all on un-favourable ground last time out and it wouldn't be a surprise if he was classy enough to win this off 11st 6lb. If the ground stays decent he rates a strong bet.

Another that will improve for the return to a sounder surface is Rockpoint. As a half-brother to Santini he was always going to be better over fences and he has plenty of course form. He stayed on stoutly behind Wholestone here recently and receives a crucial 5lb from the top-weight duo.

13:20 - Catesby Handicap Hurdle - Praeceps

Alan King's Praeceps is likely to be the rank-outsider here having finished nowhere in two outings so far this season but he finished sixth in the Fred Winter at the festival and arrives off a 6lb lower mark, which when added to the acquaintance of a 7lb claimer leaves him extremely well-handicapped if returning to form.

He has his conditions and handles the track.

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14:30 - BetVictor Handicap Chase - Singlefarmpayment

Singlefarmpayment was mightily unlucky in this race last year and he looks to have a big chance of going close on more favourable terms. His recent outing at Haydock will have left him spot on and he is already a two-time course winner.

West Approach is a justifiable favourite having cruised through his victory at the November meeting but this is a big ask off top weight.

15:05 - Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase - Yanworth

This yard dominate these type of races and Yanworth could have too much class for his rivals having picked up vital experience when winning at Punchestown recently. He stayed on strongly in the closing stages and this step up in trip may well eek out further improvement.

The big negative is obviously the burden of top weight. This race hasn't been won off 11st 11lb since 2011 but Yanworth is a multiple Grade 1 winner who is taken to break that trend.

15:40 - Citipost Handicap Hurdle - Goodbye Dancer

Ask Ben sets a high standard in the finale on Friday but at 16/1 don't rule out the chances of Goodbye Dancer. This gelding finished sixth in this off a mark of 135 last season and returns with a lightly rating of 124 on his first start for Fergal O'Brien.

The yard excel at these meetings and are having a brilliant season so it wouldn't be a surprise to see this one bounce back to form with Paddy Brennan booked.

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