Britain’s most prestigious Sunday card takes place at Cheltenham this weekend as the three-day November Meeting reaches a thrilling climax. Some high-quality Grade Two heads are sandwiched around the main event: The Greatwood Hurdle. The likes of Rooster Booster, Sizing Europe and Menorah feature on its illustrious roll of honour, who will add their name to the list this year? Here are the tips for the day’s action.
Cheltenham Sunday Preview - 18/11/2018
Cheltenham Sunday Preview - 18/11/2018
1:15 Cheltenham – Sword of Fate
An ultra-competitive Handicap Hurdle for Conditional Jockey’s opens the card, and Sword of Fate can come out on top of the 24 runners.
The five-year-old has been busy this season already, yielding three victories from five starts over the Summer.
Since his last run, not only has he had a little break, but also changed Trainer and is now based with Leonard Kerr.
He didn’t serve his full potential over fences, and one his first start for a new yard and back over the smaller obstacles, Sword of Fate can regain that winning thread.
1:50 Cheltenham - Lalor
The first Racing Post Arkle Trial of the season is up next, Lalor can make his Chasing debut a winning one and follow in the footsteps of Best Mate and Azertyuiop.
The gelding has raced at the highest order throughout the whole of his career, including a victory in the Aintree Champion Bumper, and last year’s emotional success in the Top Novices Hurdle at the same venue.
He’s been seen as a chaser in the making throughout his career, and in what looks to be such an open affair, Lalor can start life as a chaser unbeaten and provide another heartwarming success for Kayley Woollacott.
2:25 Cheltenham – Sceau Royal
One of the more surprising revelations over fences last season, Sceau Royal can continue his marked progression with success in the Shloer Chase.
While the six-year-old tasted his only defeat of a successful season at Prestbury Park last year, he hosed up in a hotly contested Grade One only two starts later.
Injury cut his season short and the Alan King-trained charge has a 295-day absence to overcome. But he already has the measure over his main rival, Brain Power, and he can put his foot in the door of the Champion Chase sphere here.
3:00 Cheltenham – Verdana Blue and Silver Streak
The main race is up next, and both Verdana Blue and Silver Streak can stake claims for victory. It’ll be a quick turnout for Verdana Blue, who has been thriving this season. She’s unbeaten in two starts, and firmly staked her claim as a Champion Hurdle contender with her Elite Hurdle victory last Saturday.
She’s paid the price for that success and carries the welter burden of top weight, but on her favoured Good ground, success here will definitely create dreams of Festival victory in March. Silver Streak on the other hand, has got a Champion Hurdle to his name, albeit the Welsh version.
The Evans Williams’ trained Grey may only be five, but he has been a fruitful money spinner for the yard, including a Swinton Hurdle success in May. He fits the perfect profile for a race of this calibre: progressive, good ground horse and major handicap experience. Silver Streak could be anything here.
3:30 Cheltenham – Seddon
Another race with illustrious history follows and Seddon can make it two from two over timber with success here.
While he pulled hard on his debut, Seddon jumped well and still had plenty in the tank when pulling away for a four-and-a-half length success.
He may be up against some unexposed types here, but he has been subject to glowing reports from his Trainer, and he can be another smart Novice Hurdle to come through the ranks of Tom George’s hands.
4:00 Cheltenham – Master Debonair
An informative Bumper Race concludes the card, and Master Debonair can send the punters home happy.
In what is likely to be his final start before going over Hurdles, Master Debonair will be looking to get back on the winning keel after tasting his first defeat here last time out.
While he may have lost his 100% record, he kept on well and wasn’t disgraced. The Colin Tizzard yard is in flying form at the moment, and in an open race with unexposed youngsters, Master Debonair’s experience will set him in good stead here.