Cheltenham Saturday Preview - 23/10/21

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Cheltenham - October 22 2021
Cheltenham 12:45
2
Lorcan Williams

Samarrive

J:
 
Lorcan Williams
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 4
Weight: 11-11
OR: 132
Days: 187

The first selection of the day comes in the Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle and although high in the weights, Samarrive for the 12 time champion trainer Paul Nicholls looks the one to beat.

The four year old gelding has been seen twice to date and is currently unbeaten, winning on hurdles in debut in France back in December and then off the back of that was bought by Johnny de la Hey and given to Nicholls.

Samarrive made his British debut in April at Kempton over two miles and showed bundles of ability to bolt up by 13 lengths.

Now thrown into handicap company off a mark of 132 he looks as though he could be tough to beat if being able to concede weight all round.

Handy claimer on board.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
23/10/21CHL16.5Gd11-87
19/04/21KEM16Gd10-111
12/12/20AGR17Hy10-61
Cheltenham - October 22 2021
Cheltenham 13:20
9
Richard Patrick

Storm Control

J:
 
Richard Patrick
T:
 
Kerry Lee
Age: 8
Weight: 10-7
OR: 137
Days: 197

Next up is the 3m1f Handicap Chase and a horse who loves it round here is the Kerry Lee trained Storm Control who looks to be on a lovely mark for his seasonal debut.

The eight year old last term was seen seven times with the best of his runs coming between October and December, especially at Cheltenham.

Having needed his first run back at Warwick, he then went to Wetherby and finished a good third behind the likes of Cool Mix over 2m4f.

Stepped up in trip to today's course and distance for the first time in his career, he revelled in the extra few furlongs to win a nice handicap chase.

He then made it 2/2 when landing another staying event at Cheltenham in December off the same mark as he runs off today.

After that he was pulled up at Warwick, but bounced back to form at the Cheltenham festival when a good fifth of 21 runners in the Kim Muir Handicap Chase.

He was less good at Aintree when last seen, but it goes to show how much he enjoys racing round Prestbury Park and off this mark looks dangerous if fully wound up.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
23/10/21CHL25Gd10-7P
09/04/21AIN21GS10-90
18/03/21CHL26GS11-95
16/01/21WAR29.5Sft10-8P
11/12/20CHL26Sft10-31
Cheltenham - October 22 2021
Cheltenham 13:55
1
A P Heskin

Tritonic

J:
 
A P Heskin
T:
 
Alan King
Age: 4
Weight: 11-6
OR: 142
Days: 218

One of the best races on the card at Cheltenham is the Masterson Holdings Hurdle and we can't look past Alan King's superstar hurdler.

A smart animal on the flat, Tritonic hit an impressive rating of 99 on the level and last term was then sent hurdling by Alan King in January.

He made a pleasing jumping debut, despite the soft ground maybe slightly blunting his turn of foot, he still managed to win impressively at Ascot.

That saw him get backed in the betting for the Triumph Hurdle and next time out he laid down his festival claims by demolishing the field in the Grade Two Adonis Hurdle at Kempton.

Backed into favourite for the Triumph over course and distance at Cheltenham he never ran his race unfortunately finishing a tame fifth of the eight runners.

He has since been back on the flat and ran to an average level, but those runs should have set him up perfectly for this event and he is the one to beat.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
23/10/21CHL16.5Gd11-62
18/06/21ASC12Hy9-58
29/04/21CFD10St9-74
19/03/21CHL17GS11-05
27/02/21KEM16Gd10-121
Cheltenham - October 22 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
1
Nick Scholfield

Sky Pirate

J:
 
Nick Scholfield
T:
 
Jonjo O'Neill
Age: 8
Weight: 11-12
OR: 159
Days: 220

Next up is the Cheltenham festival hero Sky Pirate, who makes his seasonal debut back over the course and distance that saw him land the Grand Annual Handicap Chase at this year's festival.

During the eight-year-olds career he was slightly frustrating, being tried at the wrong distances, but at Cheltenham in December when sent over two miles for the first time in his career, he looked unstoppable.

The gelding won a Handicap Chase by close to four lengths, never coming off the bridle and then off the back of that went to Warwick and backed it up in taking style.

With the form of both the races working out, Jonjo O'Neill tried him in Grade Two company and he ran a stormer finishing second behind Grade One winner Allmankind.

It sort of ruined his handicap mark going up to 152 for the Grand Annual at the festival in March but under a superb ride he went onto narrowly land the event by a short head to Entoucas.

Back at Cheltenham, over his preferred trip and ground he should be tough to beat even though he is conceding a fair bit of weight to the field.

He looks a class above.

Cheltenham - October 22 2021
Cheltenham 15:05
8
Tom O'Brien

Push The Tempo

J:
 
Tom O'Brien
T:
 
Robert Stephens
Age: 8
Weight: 11-1
OR: 129
Days: 40

One of the trickiest contests across the day on ITV is the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle over three miles and the value seems to lie with the Robert Stephens trained Push The Tempo.

The eight year old gelding seems feasibly treated off a mark of 129 and heads into the event in great form from his two runs this year.

Making his first start this season in May at Market Rasen over 2m4f he was a good second behind a nice type for the Skelton's, but used that run to get off the mark for the season last time out when stepped up to 2m7f at Worcester.

He will need to improve again in this company but seems to love going further and with getting his good ground conditions he is a big each way player.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
13/09/21WOR23Gd12-01
20/05/21MAR20.5GS11-72
26/12/20KEM21GS11-10
28/10/20NOT14Sft9-74
10/10/20CHP19.5Gd10-34
Cheltenham - October 22 2021
Cheltenham 15:40
4
Brendan Powell

Oscar Elite

J:
 
Brendan Powell
T:
 
Colin Tizzard
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: 139
Days: 197

The penultimate event at Prestbury Park on Saturday is the Novices' Chase over three miles and it sees the exciting return of Oscar Elite.

The six year old gelding last term really took the eye in big Grade One races at the spring festivals over hurdles and if being able to convert that form to fences then the Tizzard's have a seriously sharp animal on their hands.

Having finished third at Exeter on heavy ground in a Listed event over two miles behind some nice types, he then stepped up to three miles at Cheltenham and finished a good second behind the runaway winner Vanillier in the Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

With the Tizzard team having a less than impressive season and the horses on show in the race, for this horse to do what he did showed serious talent.

He proved last time out that the run was not a fluke when another good third at the Aintree Grand National meeting behind Ahoy Senior and Bravemansgame in the Grade One Sefton Novices' Hurdle.

Both those animals have franked the form over fences already this season and Oscar Elite now looks a big player on his chase debut, getting 8lb off the favourite.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
14/11/21CHL24.5Gd11-0F
09/04/21AIN24.5GS11-43
19/03/21CHL24GS11-52
14/02/21EXE17Hy11-33
16/01/21WAR21Hy11-09
Cheltenham - October 22 2021
Cheltenham 16:15
6
Niall Prendergast

Ocean Of Mercy

J:
 
Niall Prendergast
T:
 
Paul Hennessy
Age: 5
Weight: 11-0
OR: N/A
Days: 35

The final race of the afternoon at jumps racing HQ is the Open National Hunt Flat Race and we are going with the Irish raider Ocean Of Mercy who could be something special.

The Paul Hennessy trained gelding has been seen once to date and it came at Navan in September when finishing a nose second in a 20 runner bumper.

This yard aren't known for having loads of horses and bringing this one over to race here is a fairly big statement

Looks to have bundles of ability and should not be far away if improving for his first outing.

Will enjoy the good ground.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
23/10/21CHL16.5Gd11-03
18/09/21NAV16Gd11-92
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