Who To Follow At Cheltenham On New Years Day - The Winners Enclosure

Horse To Follow

The Noel Fehily syndicate has been doing superbly since forming a few years back when jockey Noel Fehily started it up with friend and ambassador David Crosse, and they have a runner in the Paddy Power Novices Chase (The Dipper) to give owners a fairy-tale day at the home of National Hunt racing Cheltenham racecourse.

Come On Teddy is one of the less experienced horses in the field over the larger obstacles, with only one start over fences, but that was a decent display in what looks like a race that is going to throw up a few winners down the line.

He made a few novicey jumps that day, but what really caught the eye was how he travelled from last to first coming up the back straight.

He made smooth headway down the back straight and contested the lead with 3 to jump, then was pushed along and battled on gamely when approached by the runner up Fern Hill (Who has since come second in another red-hot novice’s race) coming up to the last but he battled on superbly to win by a neck, showing some real grit and determination considering he was slightly novicey when jumping.

As mentioned, he made a few novicey mistakes, mainly when jumping but he is expected to come on for that run and learn his job a bit more over the larger obstacles for a trainer who is very good with chasers.

It also appears that he likes Cheltenham as he won over hurdles in December last year and was a fantastic 3rd in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham festival last season, that was a huge run in a red-hot contest.

With normal progression to come and the experience under his belt for fences, he will run a big race in this at a venue that clearly suits his running style

Jockey To Follow

Jockey Adam Wedge has striked up a formidable partnership with Evan Williams riding many of winners for the Wales based trainer, more recently Grade 1 success with the wonderful Grey Silver Streak in last year’s Christmas Hurdle.

Adam seems to ride Evan’s horses very well and the way they run seems to be suited to the way Adam rides.

He is currently riding with a strike rate of 25% in the last 14 days, with 5 winners in just the 20 rides, including that 7 and a half length romp with Ardhill at Ascot a few weeks back for top Irish trainer Gordon Elliott.

He has just the ride at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day and that is Coole Cody in the Grade 3 Paddy Power’s Handicap Chase, the partnership looks for their fourth win at the venue after a cracking front running display in the Grade 3 Racing Post Gold Cup 3 weeks back.  

Trainer To Follow

Henry Daly is a trainer to keep on the right side of going forward, a yard on the up who have already surpassed last year’s tally of winners and look for more as the season goes on to get their winning most season, and they have a few very good horses to go to battle with this season.

The yard is sitting on 15 winners for the season and are currently operating at a 22% strike rate in the last 14 days. Henry has two mounts at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, including the unbeaten hurdler of the late Trevor Hemmings Hilcrest, who won his second hurdle start by 20 lengths in December, and looks to be progressing with each run, looking like a very nice horse for the season ahead.

Hilcrest contests in the Listed Ballymore Novices Hurdle, the first race of the day at Cheltenham on Saturday.    

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing