Dave Nevison: My Saturday horse racing tips for Cheltenham

By Dave Nevison@nevisondave
Fri 28 Jan 2022

Our pundit Dave Nevison struck with a 13/2 winner on Friday and shares his four top tips for Festival Trials Day before Saturday’s shift in the studio with Tom Stanley and Steve Mellish. Enjoy every moment from an excellent card live on Racing TV and Racing TV Extra.

Nicky Henderson has two very short-priced favourites in the Paddy Power Cotswold Chase and Chapel Stud Cleeve Hurdle and both Chantry House - back from being pulled up as favourite in the King George - and Champ need to win impressively to really underline their Gold Cup and Stayers’ Hurdle claims.

I expect they will both win, but my bets are elsewhere on a cracking card.

12.15 Cheltenham: Glory And Honour

Glory And Honour looks capable of more than he has shown so far and it may just be that a strongly-run two miles at Cheltenham may suit him very well.

He fell when definitely in contention on chase debut last time but it might prove a smart move reverting back to hurdles this term as he still looks well enough handicapped to win a decent race such as this.

Glory And Honour has been tried over further and run OK but he seems better suited by this trip. In a race where it is hard to identify an outstanding candidate, I am happy to go for one at a price.

12.45 Cheltenham: Iceo

Iceo was certainly impressive over Christmas on debut for Paul Nicholls and he will be in the vanguard of the home defence for the Triumph Hurdle if he wins here.

He had everything well strung out at Kempton and a slight error at the last does not concern me given that was probably a small lapse in concentration because the race was won by that point.

Iceo has to give 3lbs to Gordon Elliott’s Pied Piper, who was useful for the Gosdens on the Flat. But it is the clock that appears to separate them at this stage – Iceo’s time-figure was hugely impressive while Pied Piper’s was less so last time despite contesting a 20-runner race.

1.20 Cheltenham: Goa Lil

He has plenty of appeal off bottom-weight here.

Goa Lil has lots of chasing experience compared to some of these and he is now 10lbs lower than when he looked a promising four-year-old novice over fences back in late 2020. Despite having more miles on the clock than several of his rivals here may still have improvement in him over fences.

His return to chasing for has latest three runs have shown that he can jump well and, while Goa Lil probably wouldn’t have won at Newbury last time if the leader hadn’t tipped up early in the straight, he went with enthusiasm and powered home in an encouraging effort.

1.55 Cheltenham: Farinet

Lucy Turner has been given a real opportunity for a big Saturday winner here - and if Venetia Williams thinks she is capable of taking over from the excellent Charlie Deutsch (and Rachael Blackmore) then I am very happy to go along with it.

Farinet pulled up last time he was at Cheltenham but that did not tell the whole story as it was a very good run for much of the way and he showed the benefit of being considerately handled once fitness told there with a very authoritative win next time at Sandown.

He was backed off the boards in that race despite top-weight and looks to be a horse to follow. I believe he could end up better than a handicapper in time.

The January form of this stable is something to set your calendar by – and, if anything, is even stronger than usual this year.

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