By Dave Nevison
The Cotswold Chase has been kind to followers of this column in recent years but not from backing the winner.
Hopefully some with good memories remember backing Theatre Guide each-way at 66-1 a couple of years ago and watching him plod on into third place for a good payday.
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It was a toss up between recommending him or Perfect Candidate as the ambitious each-way bet this year and I have decided to stay loyal in no small part because of the timely resurgence of the Tizzard yard plus the fact the horse has had a wind op since we last saw him.
There is no doubt the 11-year-old is a twilight horse and I very much doubt he will win but he runs this track well and there are enough holes in his rivals to think he will pass enough of them late on in the race to reach the frame once more.
Bristol De Mai will win at his best and showed he likes the track when second as a novice at The Festival but he comes here on the back of a disappointment at Kempton and although I have no issue backing horses short I prefer them to have run well last time out.
Definitly Red jumped well in a small field at Aintree but got into a rhythm in a small field then and certainly did not when he contested the four miler here in 2016, when he eventually fell.
Tea For Two is ideally suited by Kempton and has not yet completed at Cheltenham. The Last Samuri hails from a stable in form but runs at flat tracks and is being readied for Aintree again and has never been to Cheltenham.
American is classy but fragile and wants it bottomless and once again ideally on a flat track. To my mind it does not seem impossible that Theatre Guide can reward us again this year.
Le Patriote is the nap in the last at Cheltenham. Hopefully it will be an each-way price as well (usual recommendation, take the most advantageous place terms if any bookie offers).
The Lanzarote was in my view a very strong renewal this year and this horse was quietly backed and travelled and jumped well for much of the race.
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I feel this contest has nothing like as many progressive types and Dr Newland will know what he has. Market support once more would boost confidence further.
Obviously L’Ami Serge could be a certainty back over fences but there is definitely a chance he won’t like it and him being at a short price improves the each-way propositions elsewhere in the field.
Kim Bailey is in very good form, as mentioned, and Thumb Stone Blues will be much better suited by this massive track that he won at over hurdles than the likes of Fakenham and Catterick where he ran well recently.
Jockey Cieran Gethings is improved this season also and takes 3lb off his back.
Dave’s Nevison's top tips for Saturday:
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