Cheltenham Friday Preview - 11/12/20

Cheltenham - December 11 2020
Cheltenham 11:30
6
Tom Scudamore

Make Me A Believer

J:
 
Tom Scudamore
T:
 
David Pipe
Age: 5
Weight: 10-12
OR: N/A
Days: 50

The first race of the day at Cheltenham is a Novices' Hurdle over two miles and the horse we think can give a bold showing is the David Pipe trained Make Me A Believer.

The five year old gelding looks to be a youngster with big potential having only raced twice under rules to date and showing clear ability on both starts.

He made his debut in a bumper last year at Chepstow, getting off the mark in taking style in what looked a deep race.

This term his handler sent him over hurdles for the first time at Lingfield and managed to finish a good second behind a nice type for Nicky Martin.

He should improve for that run and on Saturday he will be getting weight off the two market leaders whilst also dropping back in trip which is sure to suit.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/01/21WAR21Hy11-03
11/12/20CHL17GS10-121
22/10/20LIN19.5Sft11-22
12/10/19CHP16Sft11-01
17/03/19BTR24Sft/Hy11-11F
Cheltenham - December 11 2020
Cheltenham 12:05
1
David Bass

Happygolucky

J:
 
David Bass
T:
 
Kim Bailey
Age: 6
Weight: 11-6
OR: 142
Days: 24

The Class 2 Novices' Chase sees a small but hot field take to the track and Kim Bailey and David Bass team up with Happygolucky.

Having been a smart horse over hurdles last year, the experienced handler sent him over fences this term and on his first try over the bigger obstacles he landed a nice event at Stratford.

Put into a better race last time out he finished a close second of three runners at Fakenham and although a beaten favourite that day gave another solid round of jumping.

He is respected on both his runs in this sphere so far this season and looks one of the most likely winners for the inform yard.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
10/04/21AIN25GS11-71
16/03/21CHL25Sft11-12
11/12/20CHL25.5GS11-61
17/11/20FAK21Gd11-62
29/10/20STR21GS11-41
Cheltenham - December 11 2020
Cheltenham 12:40
8
Bridget Andrews

Crooks Peak

J:
 
Bridget Andrews
T:
 
Dan Skelton
Age: 7
Weight: 11-6
OR: 130
Days: 54

The Catesby Handicap Hurdle Over two miles looks a minefield from a punting perspective, but we believe we have found a nice priced each way selection.

Dan Skelton as ever have been in flying form since the start of the season and he fields Crooks Peak in this one, with the gelding making his debut for the yard.

Skelton has been known in the past to be superb with horses running first time out for the yard and with this eight year old having been a nice type for previous trainer Philip Hobbs it would not be a surprise to see him go close.

He seems to be heading into the race off a nice mark and also recently having wind surgery should bring him on slightly.

He finished second on his final start for Hobbs in October over fences and now dropping back over hurdles and being a past course and distance winner makes him appealing at the prices.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
03/10/21UTT16GS11-13
17/04/21BAN17.5Gd11-94
06/04/21EXE17GF11-03
26/03/21NBY16.5GS10-45
01/03/21PLU16Gd11-104
Cheltenham - December 11 2020
Cheltenham 13:15
3
Mr Kieren Buckley

Nikap

J:
 
Mr Kieren Buckley
T:
 
Nigel Hawke
Age: 6
Weight: 11-11
OR: 120
Days: 23

The Class 3 Mares' Handicap Chase over 2m4f is another tough punting proposition and with that in mind each away value seems to be the route we are taking.

The Nigel Hawke trained Nikap has a lot of things going for her in this race and at the prices when compared to the second favourite is worth taking on.

The six year old has raced twice this term, placing on both outings over fences and last time out at Warwick she finished a nice second behind Arian.

This time around she is much better off in the weights, gets an extra hand with a 7lb claimer and takes on 2m4f at a stiffer track which will suit her.

At a bigger price than the fancied Arian, Nikap looks easier to back on those terms for us.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
01/01/22EXE18.5Hy10-125
24/11/21HER19.5Gd11-94
05/11/21FON19.5Gd10-91
28/10/21FFO16Sft12-01
06/09/21NAB21Gd11-43
Cheltenham - December 11 2020
Cheltenham 13:50
4
Tom Scudamore

Clondaw Castle

J:
 
Tom Scudamore
T:
 
Tom George
Age: 8
Weight: 11-0
OR: 155
Days: 14

The feature race on the card is the rerouted Grade Two Peterborough Chase and in what looks a competitive renewal we fancy Tom George's Clondaw Castle.

The eight year old has been a fair chaser for many years, but has really taken his form to a new level this term when placing and winning in some competitive handicap events.

On seasonal debut he managed to finish a narrow second to Nuts Well in the Grade Two Old Roan Chase and then last time out got off the mark in fine style At Newbury in a decent Handicap off top weight.

He looks to be much better than a handicapping horse now and if improving on what he has done this season then he looks the value angle.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/10/21WET24GS11-43
08/04/21AIN25GS11-72
27/02/21KEM24Gd11-81
09/01/21KEM20.5GS11-02
11/12/20CHL20Sft11-03
Cheltenham - December 11 2020
Cheltenham 14:25
3
Robbie Power

Court Maid

J:
 
Robbie Power
T:
 
Thomas Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-0
OR: 143
Days: 12

One of our best chances on the day comes in the Grade Three Handicap Chase over 3m2f and the Irish raider Court Maid is a mare with bags of staying ability.

The seven year old has been a highly consistent horse for her trainer Thomas Mullins Winning four of her five races since March.

Having been running well at shorter trips her trainer decided to step her up to 3m5f at Fairyhouse last time out and it worked a treat with her landing the Poterstown Handicap Chase by 13 lengths.

Having proven her staying ability this trip should not be an issue and getting 12lb off her closest rival in the market makes her even more appealing.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/04/21PUN21Y11-2P
05/04/21FAI29Y11-99
11/12/20CHL26Sft11-03
29/11/20FAI29Sft11-11
15/11/20PUN22.5Hy10-124
Cheltenham - December 11 2020
Cheltenham 15:00
7
Micheal Nolan

Beau Du Brizais

J:
 
Micheal Nolan
T:
 
Philip Hobbs
Age: 8
Weight: 11-2
OR: 135
Days: 28

The penultimate event of the afternoon sees the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase over 3m6f and in a race that has fallen apart we think Beau De Brizais can pick up the pieces.

The Philip Hobbs trained eight year old has been a frequent runner in similar events this season and having finished second twice on his last two outings means he has been knocking on the door.

Last time out the gelding gave his best run of the term to finish second over course and distance in the Cross Country Chase at the November meeting.

Although finishing five lengths behind the winner Kingswell Theatre he is getting weight off him today and we believe that will make the difference.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/05/21NAB26Gd11-15
14/04/21CHL26Gd10-86
15/03/21TAU28.5Sft11-63
11/12/20CHL30GS11-25
13/11/20CHL30Gd10-02
Cheltenham - December 11 2020
Cheltenham 15:35
12
Sam Twiston-Davies

Come On Teddy

J:
 
Sam Twiston-Davies
T:
 
Tom George
Age: 6
Weight: 10-2
OR: 127
Days: 19

The final selection of the meeting is the Citipost Handicap Hurdle over three miles and at a big price Come On Teddy for Tom George could run a cracker.

The unexposed six year old son of Fame And Glory is certainly one to keep an eye on in this event being near the bottom of the weights and holding plenty of ability.

The gelding was smart over hurdles last term winning and placing in some nice events and having made his seasonal debut at Uttoxeter on November and finished a good fourth of 13 runners, it would have set him up perfectly for this contest.

There are some very experienced handicappers in this field but with him getting weight off all but one runner he can not be overlooked.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/01/22NCS23.5GS11-82
01/01/22CHL20.5Sft11-05
07/12/21UTT20Sft10-111
10/04/21AIN24.5GS11-06
18/03/21CHL24GS10-93

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