The Open Meeting Preview

The Open Meeting Preview

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The Open Meeting Preview

This weekend sees the official return of the National Hunt season as Cheltenham opens its gates to thousands of punters for The Open Meeting. This is seen as a quite important meeting with most runners then going on to run in the Cheltenham Festival in March so it is seen as ideal preparation for one of the worlds most famous race meetings. In this preview we will be previewing the BetVictor Handicap Chase on Saturday, Greatwood Hurdle, Shloer Chase, SkyBet Supreme Trial Novices Hurdle and the BetVictor Gold Cup, which is where we will start.

BetVictor Gold Cup

With 22 entries into this years BetVictor Gold Cup, it looks to be one of the most open fields to run in the race in recent years. Paul Nicholls 4-y-o gelding Frodon is a tight favourite but we’ve gone for the Jonjo O’Neill trained and course expert MORE OF THAT to reign supreme this Saturday. The 2014 World Hurdle winner, and the only horse to ever beat Annie Power with her staying on four legs, has now turned his nose to fences and his record of 2/2 over course and distance surely puts him in with a phenomenal chance of making it 3/3 this Saturday. His only loss at Cheltenham came over 3m last time where he finished 3rd behind Blacklion and Shaneshill but now back down to 20f where he is 4/4, we fully expect him to put in a massive performance. You can get him best priced 7/1 at SkyBet HERE. As a decent each way shout, we are liking the look of last years winner Annacotty. He won this race off 147 which saw his mark rise to 157 for the Ryanair Chase but after a disappointing performance it is likely the 8-y-o gelding will be dropped back down a notch. Annacotty is currently 3/5 over 20f and has already beaten a fair few of his rivals in the race and we believe that 20/1 is great each way value. You can get these tremendous odds at Betway HERE.

SkyBet Supreme Trial Novices Hurdle

A race won by eventual SkyBet Novices Supreme Hurdle winner Altior last year, the winner of this race is usually quite likely to go off as fav in the main Novices Hurdle race at the Cheltenham Festival. This year sees David Pipe’s once beaten 7-y-o Moon Racer lead the market quite substantially but we are backing Champion Bumper winner Ballyandy to over turn his previous defeat to Moon Racer in their last race in September at Perth. Both horses were the same weight that day but Moon Racer is now 4lbs heavier than Ballyandy and we feel that that weight difference will be enough to overturn the half a length deficit that split the two in their last meeting. Both hold an unbeaten record at Cheltenham and it’s safe to say it will be a battle but Ballyandy at 3/1 is just too good to resist. Get these cracking odds at Betfair HERE. Or if you fancy backing Moon Racer to do the double over Ballyandy, you can get him at a price boosted 6/1 at Paddy Power HERE.

Shloer Chase

The Shloer Chase is seen as one of the most significant chase races in the early part of the National Hunt season with two of the last three winners of this race going on to win key races at Cheltenham Festival the year after, with last years winner being the infamous Sprinter Sacre who went on to win the Champion Chase in thoroughly impressive style. This year sees a relatively small field of 12 entered with the well experienced Simonsig leading the market. However, we’ve taken a punt and gone for 9/2 shot TOP GAMBLE. He’s a somewhat master of the 2m race winning four of his five races over the distance and finishing 2nd in the other. The 8-y-o chestnut gelding is in impeccable form winning his previous two races by 10 lengths and seven lengths respectively and we believe that 9/2 is an absolute steal. Get it at Bet365 HERE.

Greatwood Hurdle

A race with a mix of experienced and inexperienced horses, The Greatwood Hurdle is often a great platform to leapfrog a novice or reinvigorate an old boys or girls career. This years race looks as though it could play witness to a future Cheltenham Festival winner with the Alan King trained WINTER ESCAPE looking to maintain his unbeaten record. A Grade Two winner after just three races, this is certainly a horse with masses of potential with all of his three previous wins coming over this distance and he is now 5lbs better off than his last win in February. The 260 day lay off isn’t ideal but if this horse continues improving at the way he was last season, we may just see something very special. You can get him best priced 11/4 at BetVictor HERE. As a tasty each way shot, we’ve gone for last years Triumph Hurdle winner WOLF OF WINDLESHAM. After mixing it up over hurdles and the flat in 2016, the 4-y-o gelding makes a return to the course of arguably his greatest win to date but having finished 22l behind Sceau Royal at the end of October, he is now 11lbs better off to which can surely only enhance his chances. You can get WOLF OF WINDLESHAM at a huge 40/1 at William Hill HERE

BetVictor Handicap Chase (Saturday)

The Grade 3 BetVictor Handicap Chase this Saturday looks to be an extremely strongly contested race with 17 runners declared with no less than five grade winners amongst the field. We’ve gone for MINELLA ROCCO at 6/1 on the nose and ANY CURRENCY each way at 20/1. Firstly we will take a brief look at MINELLA ROCCO. The J P McManus horse is on a high after beating the now Grade 1 winner Native River in the National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup at Cheltenham Festival in March and he will be looking to build on that and claim his first Grade win at Cheltenham. He’s a real fan of these longer trips and 27f should suit him to an absolute tea. He’s been backed in from 10/1 to best priced 6/1 at Paddy Power HERE. Our big each way shot for the race is Cheltenham Cross Country Chase winner ANY CURRENCY. The 13-y-o gelding may be getting on a tad but he’s in the form of his life winning his last two races both over same course and similar distance. He beat a great horse in Josie’s Orders in March and we believe that 20/1 is just too good to resist. Get it best priced at Coral HERE.

NAP Of The Meeting

MORE OF THAT in the BetVictor Gold Cup – Best priced 7/1 at SkyBet HERE

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