Cheltenham Saturday Preview - 22/10/22

James Mackie | @jamesmackieee

Cheltenham - October 21 2022
Cheltenham 12:30
Brendan Powell

Saint Palais

J: Brendan Powell
T: Richard J Bandey
Age: 5
Weight: 11-0
OR: 148
Days: 217

The first selection of the afternoon on day two of the October meeting comes in the Novices' Hurdle over three miles and we are siding with the Richard Bandey trained Saint Palais.

A five year old that had started over hurdles at the end of the 20/21 season racing three times and placing in Maiden and Handicap events, but was swiftly sent over fences last term and looked a superb talent.

Making his seasonal debut in October last year when winning a Handicap Chase at Worcester in good fashion over 2m7f, he then went up to three miles at Wetherby and made it back to back wins.

Stepped up even further in trip over the Christmas period at Newbury he made it a hat-trick of wins over fences, loving the trip and soft ground to beat the smart Gericault Roque.

Stepping out of handicap company into the Grade Two Towton Novices' Chase he ran now race at Wetherby but finished the season getting back to winning ways at Uttoxeter on soft ground in a Handicap.

Getting weight off the main contenders in the field for this event on his drop back to hurdles makes him interesting with him being a thorough stayer at the trip and not minding any rain that falls.

Cheltenham - October 21 2022
Cheltenham 13:05
Sam Twiston-Davies

The Hollow Ginge

J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Age: 9
Weight: 10-13
OR: 127
Days: 196

Next up is the 3m1f Handicap Chase for 4+ years and we can't get away from the favourite The Hollow Ginge for Nigel Twiston-Davies who is known for having his horses more forward than most at this time of the season.

A horse that has an up and down record but loves deep ground with his best performances coming under soft/heavy conditions and he could get that on Saturday.

A key piece of form makes this nine year old a good bet at the weekend starting last season off in this event and finishing a good second to a well handicapped Irish raider on ground he dislikes off a mark of 137.

He was very poor in his four runs after that going up in the handicap to the low 140s, but now back down to 127, 10lb below his mark he ran off in this race last year and getting his preferred ground conditions, he has to go close.

Cheltenham - October 21 2022
Cheltenham 13:40
Jack Kennedy

Pied Piper

J: Jack Kennedy
T: Gordon Elliott
Age: 4
Weight: 11-8
OR: 145
Days: 198

One of the big races of the afternoon is the Masterson Holdings Hurdle for 4 year olds and we are siding with the Gordon Elliott trained Pied Piper to reverse the form with Knight Salute.

Having been a fair horse on the flat for John Gosden, really coming across as a mud loving animal producing his best work in tricky conditions, he also did the same on stable/hurdles debut at Punchestown for Gordon Elliott.

Taking on the smart type Vauban for Willie Mullins, he handled the heavy ground well to see him off by a length and that horse has turned into a Grade One winning superstar.

Facing a different test at Cheltenham in January when running in a Grade Two event on good ground, he went on to shock many by bolting up by nine lengths, hard held under a great ride by Davy Russell.

Seen next back at Cheltenham for the festival he finished a narrow third behind stablemate Fil Dor and winner Vauban who reversed the form.

His last run of last term came at Aintree's Grand National meeting when losing the Grade One 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle in the Stewards Room to Knight Salute.

Given a spin on the flat at Royal Ascot when running a good race over 2m4f in the Ascot Stakes to finish sixth behind the talented Coltrane, he should be fit and ready for this.

Cheltenham - October 21 2022
Cheltenham 14:15
Niall Houlihan

Editeur Du Gite

J: Niall Houlihan
T: Gary Moore
Age: 8
Weight: 12-0
OR: 153
Days: 197

The Class 2 Handicap Chase over two miles looks a very competitive event to call and we are siding with the top weighted Editeur Du Gite, who will hopefully go from the front and will not be caught.

A winner at the back end of the 20/21 season at Aintree in the big fielded Grade Three Red Rum Handicap Chase off a mark of 132, last season he went up the handicap and put up some superb efforts showing just how progressive he is.

Unseating his rider on seasonal debut when running a big race, he then went to Cheltenham in November and landed a Handicap Chase from the front over two miles off 140.

Making it back to back wins at the December meeting at Prestbury Park when winning a similar event off 7lb higher, he then went to the festival in March and finished a superb fourth of 16 in the Grade Three Grand Annual Handicap Chase on heavy ground.

Pulled up at Aintree when last seen stepping into Grade One company he now drops back into calmer waters and although having to give weight away from the field, he is versatile when it comes to ground and just looks a class above the field.

Cheltenham - October 21 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
Paddy Brennan

Silver Sheen

J: Paddy Brennan
T: Fergal O'Brien
Age: 8
Weight: 11-1
OR: 132
Days: 177

The Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle sees a huge field of hurdlers go to post over three miles and with this event always being a tricky betting proposition, we have picked out two runners that could go way at each way prices.

The first is the ex Jessica Harrington trained Silver Sheen now handled by Fergal O'Brien and off a mark of 132 this gelding could be dangerous on soft ground.

A horse that has been up and down over the last few years for Jessica Harrington does need to bounce back but off the back of his run two starts ago when second at Fairyhouse in a big fielded handicap and finishing a good second of 17, there is plenty of ability left in this horse.

A winner over further on soft ground in England during his career, he will certainly stay the trip and having been targeted at the festival race two years ago but not making it, this season that might be his plans and he will need to win this to get in.

Cheltenham - October 21 2022
Cheltenham 14:50
Gavin Sheehan

The Real Whacker

J: Gavin Sheehan
T: Ann Duffield
Age: 6
Weight: 11-6
OR: 137
Days: 266

At a similar price for lesser known trainer Ann Duffield, The Real Whacker is the most unexposed horse in the field and could have mountains of potential off the back of his mark of 137.

Seen twice for this yard during his career, last season he got off the mark on yard debut at Carlisle when bolting up in a Maiden over 3m1f and then last time out at Doncaster in the Grade Two River Don Novices' Hurdle he was second to a decent type for John McConnell.

Very lightly raced, bundles of potential over this staying trip and having form on soft ground he is worth taking a chance on at the prices.

Cheltenham - October 21 2022
Cheltenham 15:25
Darragh O'Keeffe

Life In The Park

J: Darragh O'Keeffe
T: Henry De Bromhead
Age: 5
Weight: 11-7
OR: 140
Days: 31

The penultimate selection of the afternoon at Cheltenham on Saturday is the three mile Novices' Chase and Life In The Park for Henry De Bromhead looks an exceptional talent.

A fair hurdler last term when third on debut at Punchestown in November behind Freedom To Dream, he then went Leopardstown at Christmas and was a fair sixth of 17 in a decent Maiden over 2m4f.

Getting off the mark for his career at Tramore in a 15 runner Maiden when bolting up by 17 lengths, he then went to Punchestown at the end of the season and made it back to back wins when taking the Series Final Handicap Hurdle over 2m4f at the festival.

A horse bought to be sent chasing, De Bromhead unleashed him over the bigger obstacles this term at Listowel in September and he got off the mark in good style over 2m6f.

The step up to three miles should bring more improvement.

Cheltenham - October 21 2022
Cheltenham 16:00
A P Heskin

Strong Leader

J: A P Heskin
T: Olly Murphy
Age: 5
Weight: 11-4
Days: 168

The final event of the afternoon is the bumper over 2m 1/2f and Strong Leader for Olly Murphy looks like a very exciting talent for a yard that could have a big season.

A superb winner on his only start at Warwick in May over two miles, he powered clear in the final furlong showing a nice turn of pace and overall it was a very taking performance.

Pedigree suggests he will stay further so should handle Cheltenham and is one to keep on the right side of.