Betting expert Dave Nevison suggests his best bets for Cheltenham on Saturday.
Backing two horses each-way, including the favourite, might be a belt and braces approach but I will be disappointed if stakes are not at least returned, especially with William Hill offering seven places in this 15-runner handicap chase.
Backers of the favourite in this event have had a lean time of it in recent years but must have thought they were going to collect 12 months ago until Guitar Pete arrived late on the scene and overhauled the Paul Nicholls-trained good thing in Clan Des Obeaux.
Our experts reflect on last year's Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
Guitar Pete seems to be in good form at this time of year (his stable certainly is this time around) and he ran a very promising race here last time out.
He gets on well with Ryan Day, who takes over in the saddle and he will definitely get a race run to suit him once again.
I will be gutted if he doesn’t make the first six and am reasonably convinced he will help with the Christmas expenses.
I believe Rather Be would have won the BetVictor Gold Cup last time had he not been brought down and I thought he ran brilliantly in the Close Brothers Novices chase at this year’s Festival.
His runs before his Cheltenham appearances were purely to give him experience and preserve his mark and he is possibly unlucky not to arrive here unbeaten over these fences. He is a class act off a handicapper’s mark and can make it third time lucky over these fences.
The Unibet International Hurdle is often contested by in-between horses who struggle off high weights in handicaps but aren’t good enough to win championship events.
This race can often be their chance and this year’s line-up definitely fits that billing. I am hoping all eight declared line up so I can back Western Ryder each-way.
He has plenty to fine with Summerville Boy on Supreme Hurdle form but could have been closer that day but for being hampered and that one disappointed in the Fighting Fifth on his reappearance. Weston Ryder ran a cracker on his comeback in the Greatwood and Warren Greatrex runners have often made significant improvement from first to second run this season.
This mare has only been put up 1lb for winning a four-runner event at Ludlow last time out and I can only assume the handicapper and many odds compilers think she was a fortunate winner as Floral Bouquet fell two out when in a challenging position.
I believe that is taking a dim view of what may prove to be strong form for mares’ handicaps and she is certainly worth at least an each-way punt at double-figure odds.