Our resident website tipster Dave Nevison likes three contenders at Cheltenham for day one of the International Meeting. Enjoy every moment live on Racing TV!
1.50 Cheltenham: Hawthorn Cottage
There is undoubtedly a concern that this front-running mare might well get into a battle for the lead and that has happened in the past, but there are big holes in the two who are likely to take her on.
Top-weight Fortunes Melody is hardly the most resolute of performers despite recent form figures and Whatsdastory refused last time out, which is hardly encouraging.
Hawthorn Cottage lost her form after Christmas last season but tumbled down the weights as a result and made the most of her reduced mark when winning unchallenged at Warwick on her reappearance. She is back up to a mark of 119 but that is still 5lb lower than her rating back in January and she has won off this mark in the past.
Now she is back in form, she looks worth chancing to follow up.
2.25 Cheltenham: Dominateur
Maybe I had rose-tinted glasses on, but I felt he ran a more promising race last time than most observers thought even though he obviously finished well beaten in the end.
That was Dominateur’s first run for 18 months and his first since joining Ben Pauling and, though he never made his way into contention, he seemed to enjoy his jumping (which had become a serious issue) and looked to make a bit of a forward move out in the country on the final circuit. That effort of going up the hill seemed to tell and he was done for by the third last.
Dominateur did finish the course and was not knocked about in any way, so he is likely to come on for that effort having been looked after. He is still very well-handicapped too of a 4lb-lower mark.
Ben Pauling is in very good form and the booking of Nico De Boinville certainly takes my eye a little as well. I feel Dominateur might outrun his odds.
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