Cheltenham November Meeting - Saturday Preview

Cheltenham - November 13 2021
Cheltenham 12:30
3
Harry Cobden

Magistrato

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 3
Weight: 10-12
OR: 131
Days: 35

The opener at Cheltenham on Saturday is the JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle where nine line up aiming to stamp their credentials on the big juvenile event in March.

Defi Du Seuil (2016) was the most recent winner to follow up at the Festival, so it isn’t the strongest trial, however many have gone on to run well and connections will be hoping Magistrato can do the same.

The French imports tend to be the classier juveniles and this gelding, who finished second to Listed winner Porticello at Auteuil, bolted up by 12l on UK debut.

He should hold Skelton’s charge Rocky Man on that form as he left him for dead once Cobden gave him a couple of cracks and the other main players look to have won weak events in the build up to this.

It isn’t a strong renewal, should take the beating.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/05/24PLU20Gd11-83
14/04/24PLU20Gd11-52
10/10/23HUN20Gd11-52
24/09/23PLU16Gd10-135
23/07/23STR19.5Gd11-26
Cheltenham - November 13 2021
Cheltenham 13:05
14
Mr Ben Bromley

Strictlyadancer

J:
 
Mr Ben Bromley
T:
 
Christian Williams
Age: 7
Weight: 10-1
OR: 115
Days: 22

Next up is the Jewson Tool Hire Amateur Jockeys' Handicap Chase where 16 line up in a typically competitive renewal.

Strictlydancer looks the one to beat near the foot of the weights having won with something in hand at the October meeting and he is taken to run another big race.

The younger generation have a good record in this race and this 7-y-o is evidently still improving.

This up and coming yard have proved dangerous in these big chase staying handicaps and as a son of Yeats he will enjoy the conditions.

Cheltenham - November 13 2021
Cheltenham 13:05
1
Mr J C Barry

Opposites Attract

J:
 
Mr J C Barry
T:
 
Dermot A McLoughlin
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: 140
Days: 222

At a bigger price we like Opposites Attract at the opposite end of the handicap.

This Irish-raider is 0-6 over fences but he has bumped into a Graded animal on more than one occasion and his most recent effort in the Irish Grand National is good form.

Carrying 11-12 is far from ideal but this son of Gold Well has a class edge and is still improving as a 7-y-o.

Cheltenham - November 13 2021
Cheltenham 14:15
2
Harry Skelton

Protektorat

J:
 
Harry Skelton
T:
 
Dan Skelton
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: 154
Days: 219

We are skipping the next race with Third Time Lucki likely to win at a very short price and heading straight to the feature race on the card; The PaddyPower Gold Cup Handicap Chase.

The first of our picks is Protektorat for Dan and Harry Skelton.

This gelding skipped the 2021 Cheltenham festival in favour of the Grand National meeting and dropping back to 2m4f he was a superb winner of the Grade One Manifesto Novices' Chase.

He drops back into a Graded Handicap for this event off a mark of 156 (2lb out) and if being the Grade One horse we all think he is, he should still go close in the event giving weight away.

Being a course and distance winner is also a huge positive and the yard are in typically good order.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/04/24AIN20Sft11-103
14/03/24CHL20.5Sft11-101
10/02/24NBY23.5Hy11-83
21/01/24LIN22Sft11-102
16/12/23CHL26Sft12-03
Cheltenham - November 13 2021
Cheltenham 14:15
9
Bridget Andrews

Spiritofthegames

J:
 
Bridget Andrews
T:
 
Dan Skelton
Age: 9
Weight: 11-2
OR: 144
Days: 9

At a massive 25/1, one who has an excellent chance of hitting the extra places is Dan Skelton’s second string Spiritofthegames.

This trusty 9-y-o rarely runs a bad race in these top handicaps and it looks as though this race has been the early season target with him having a prep run over hurdles off the back of Wind Surgery last time out.

He is another who won’t mind the drying ground and he is lower in the handicap than when second in this last season.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
01/01/23CHL26.5Sft11-67
09/12/22CHL26Gd11-62
05/11/22AIN21GS10-66
14/10/22FAK24Gd11-82
08/04/22AIN21GS10-15
Cheltenham - November 13 2021
Cheltenham 14:50
4
Sam Twiston-Davies

Ballymillsy

J:
 
Sam Twiston-Davies
T:
 
Nigel Twiston-Davies
Age: 5
Weight: 11-1
OR: 135
Days: 34

The next race on the Saturday card at Cheltenham is the Listed Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle in which we have two each-way options against the favourite.

Both Ballymillsy and Dragon Bones clashed at Worcester last April where the former came crashing down at the last when holding a slight advantage.

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge was under strong pressure from Sam but as outlined on more than one occasion he has a likeable attitude so there is every chance he would still have won that race therefore he rates the type that will relish this stiff finish over 3m.

The yard do well at the meeting and he enjoys good ground.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/12/21HAY24.5Sft11-810
13/11/21CHL24Gd11-15
10/10/21NAB26.5GS10-61
23/04/21WOR23Gd11-7F
14/03/21WAR26Sft11-72
Cheltenham - November 13 2021
Cheltenham 14:50
5
NON-RUNNER

Dragon Bones

J:
 
NON-RUNNER
T:
 
Ian Williams
Age: 6
Weight: 10-12
OR: 132
Days: 22

The Williams mare Dragon Bones also rates a solid each-way bet having an excellent record going left-handed and her strong travelling style often puts her into a nice position at the finish.

She was beaten 1l by Bardestown Lad here in October when travelling all over the winner, so there is a chance she gets out-battled again up the hill, however she evidently holds plenty of ability and it is hard to see her outside the frame.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
22/11/21KEM24.5Gd11-02
22/10/21CHL24Gd10-132
05/05/21NAB21.5Gd11-81
23/04/21WOR23Gd11-71
19/04/21HEX20Gd11-51
Cheltenham - November 13 2021
Cheltenham 15:25
8
Aidan Coleman

Mackelduff

J:
 
Aidan Coleman
T:
 
Olly Murphy
Age: 5
Weight: 10-12
OR: 122
Days: 20

The 15:25 sees 12 line up in another competitive handicap with Good Time Jonny, Gowel Road & Unexpected Party all making the shortlist, but it is the Olly Murphy trained Mackleduff who gets our vote.

This stable could not be in better form and although this 5-y-o lacks the proven form of a few of these he was mightily impressive when bolting up at Aintree on return and the manner in which he finished suggests he is another who will relish this Cheltenham hill.

The son of Martaline enjoys quick ground and the in-form Aidan Coleman takes the ride.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
14/01/23WET24Sft12-01
31/10/22HER21Gd12-13
30/03/22MAR20.5GS11-32
29/01/22UTT20Gd11-15
18/12/21HAY19Sft10-73
Cheltenham - November 13 2021
Cheltenham 15:55
15
Bridget Andrews

Signal Point

J:
 
Bridget Andrews
T:
 
Dan Skelton
Age: 5
Weight: 11-0
OR: N/A
Days: 212

The final race on the Saturday Cheltenham card is the Mares’ bumper.

These event’s aren’t one for maximum faith, especially at this time of year, therefore we are opting for small stakes on two bigger prices.

First up is Signal Point and the Skelton team.

This 5-y-o was a huge eye-catcher here in April where she made smooth headway from the rear to finish a never nearer third.

Both of the first and second have won since so the form looks solid and her debut form has also worked out nicely, although AW bumper form can’t always be trusted.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/03/22KEM16Gd11-54
25/02/22WAR19Hy11-15
03/01/22STH20.5GS11-21
05/12/21HUN16Gd11-06
13/11/21CHL16.5Gd11-06
Cheltenham - November 13 2021
Cheltenham 15:55
8
Tom Bellamy

Fire Lake

J:
 
Tom Bellamy
T:
 
Milton Harris
Age: 4
Weight: 11-0
OR: N/A
Days: 17

At a bigger price, we are taking a chance on Fire Lake, who represents a stable having an impressive start to the season.

The 4-y-o daughter of Mustajeeb poked the eye out when coming from last to second on debut behind Martha Willow and she backed that up with an impressive victory at Taunton where she passed her seven rivals with ease once popped the question.

Tom Bellamy will ride her cold which should see her passing rivals into the frame.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/08/22NAB17Gd10-9UR
18/08/22FON17.5Gd11-82
25/07/22NAB17Gd11-11
10/07/22STR16.5Gd10-111
27/02/22HER16GS11-65