Cheltenham Saturday Preview - 17/11/2018

12:40 - Cracker Factory

Alan King looks to have a good one on his hands in the form of Cracker Factory, who goes for the opener; the JCB Triumph Trial Hurdle.

He bolted up at Wetherby a fortnight ago, beating the Gordon Elliot-trained Chief Justice, who could not land a blow to the winner, and the form looks strong.

Has won four of his last five, and should take all the beating.

13:15 - The Worlds End

The Worlds End got off the mark over fences at the first time of asking at Chepstow last time, and now steps up in class for the Novices Chase.

This is much more competitive understandably, but he jumped fluently enough to believe that there is more to come. He was only briefly shaken up by Adrian Heskin, and the response he got resulted in a 14 length extension.

Hopefully more to come.

13:50 - The Young Master and Coneygree

Next up is the Handicap Chase, a Grade 3 contest over 3miles and 3 furlongs, and we have selected both The Young Master and former Gold Cup winner Coneygree.

The Young Master - trained by Neil Mulholland won a valuable handicap at Chepstow a month ago, beating the subsequent Sodexo Gold Cup winner at Ascot, and the form guide looks good.

He should make the frame, whilst we also have tipped Coneygree - who if returning to his absolute best, will surely be a class apart from these based on ratings. That is a big 'if' however, as he has not looked in the same shape for a long time, and was pulled up on both of his starts last season.

It really is the last throw of the dice for the 2015 Gold Cup winner.

14:25 - Mister Whitaker

Mister Whitaker is in stunning form, and is only one of three course and distance winners in the BetVictor Gold Cup Field.

That success came at the festival eight months ago, in the Close Brothers Handicap Chase, beating a number of today's rivals.

He also won a valuable listed contest at Carlisle a fortnight ago with showed plenty of improvement and future promise, and that stands him in good stead here for further progression. Will be in the frame.

15:00 - First Assignment

First Assignment was a narrow winner at the festival venue at the end of last month, when beating Vive Le Roi in a Handicap Hurdle over slightly shorter.

Trainer has now pushed him up to trial listed company, and does not look too far out of his depth, so should certainly make a challenge.

Strong claims if repeating performance from three weeks ago.

15:30 - Point Of Principle

Point Of Principle returned to a racecourse setting when finishing a good second in Grade 3 company at Chepstow.

Drops down to a Class 2, but does find it hard getting his head in front over timber - just one win in six outings.

Needs to put that right soon, for a trainer who needs a boost.

16:00 - Danse Idol

The card at Cheltenham closes with a Listed National Hunt Flat Race, and Paul Nicholls has a smart 5yo mare on his hands.

Just two runs for Danse Idol (both for John O'Callaghan) - one of which was a victory in a point to point in Ireland.

His second start was an excellent second to subsequent Cheltenham Champion Bumper winner Relegate at Punchestown nearly twelve months ago, so the form is top of the tree.

Danse Idol can back that guide up, and is given a golden opportunity to prove he is a class apart.