The racing action takes centre stage at Prestbury Park on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with plenty of stars set to be on show across the three days.
The Jumps are well and truly back! The three-day November Meeting at Cheltenham is one of the highlights of the calendar, with the Paddy Power Gold Cup and Unibet Greatwood Hurdle taking centre stage on what promises to be a weekend of magnificent action at Prestbury Park.
Remember you can watch all of the action live on Racing TV this weekend, so why not start your free one-month trial to enjoy all of the racing whilst in lockdown. Click here for more details.
We’ve picked out five horses who look worth following at Cheltenham this weekend.
Trainer: David Cottin (France).
Watch how Easylsand scored at the Cheltenham Festival
Easysland dethroned Tiger Roll at The Festival in March with an emphatic victory in the Cross Country Chase.
The pair look set to face-off once again on Friday in what promises to be a fascinating spectacle given Tiger Roll will have a fitness advantage, and will be aided by better ground at Prestbury Park.
However, Easysland could develop into a very exciting staying chaser this season. Still only six, long-term targets could include the Gold Cup and the Grand National, with trainer David Cottin targeting further riches away from the Cross Country division.
This will be a fascinating test with Welsh National (and Virtual Grand National!) hero Potters Corner also in the mix, but Easysland has won his last seven starts and that 17-length victory over Tiger Roll lingers in the memory.
He put his rivals to the sword in extraordinary fashion in March and he looks to be one of the most exciting jumpers in training.
HORSE: HELL RED
Trainer: Paul Nicholls.
Well-regarded by his Ditcheat handler, this €43,000 purchase made a stylish start to life in Britain with a facile 12-length success at Chepstow last month.
The form has already taken a boost with the fifth (Jersey Grey) winning since. Nicholls has won this race four times in the past ten years, including with Quel Destin in 2018 who is owned, like Hell Red, by Sir Martin Broughton.
The unbeaten Duffle Coat would be a major player if lining up for Gordon Elliott after his recent Wetherby win, whilst Overpriced Mixer was a miraculous winner under Nico de Boinville at Kempton recently and is also respected.
However, the vibes are positive for Hell Red and he can continue Nicholls’ sparkling 31 per cent strike-rate (at the time of writing).
HORSE: SLATE HOUSE
Trainer: Colin Tizzard.
Slate House was travelling well when falling at the second last in this race 12 months ago
A horse who clearly possesses immense talent. He won three of his six starts last term and would probably have won the Paddy Power had he not tumbled out of the contest at the second-last.
Robbie Power looked in cruise control on that occasion and his frustration after the race was clearly evident. However, testament must go to Slate House who was a Grade One winner by Boxing Day when producing a smart round to win the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase.
His task for this year’s race is clearly trickier. He was rated 147 for last season’s contest and was undoubtedly seen as ahead of his handicap mark. Five pounds higher this year, he also arguably takes on slightly better opposition with Simply The Betts, Mister Fisher, Al Dancer and Saint Sonnet thrown into the mix alongside defending champion Happy Diva.
Moreover, Tizzard’s horses just seem to be needing their first run of the season. However, he remains a Grade One winner over fences and still an exciting prospect for the Sherborne handler.
HORSE: ELLE EST BELLE
Trainer: Dan Skelton.
Created a seismic impression with a facile success at Aintree last month.
Never asked a question by Harry Skelton, the daughter of Fame And Glory failed to come out of second gear as she cantered to a five and a half-length success.
Bought for €42,000, she is a half-sister to hurdle scorer Rock On Rocco and related to a couple of other bumper winners. She will clearly have to step up again in a Listed bumper which has been won by the likes of Bitofapuzzle, Copper Kay, Irish Roe and Posh Trish in recent years.
However, that performance in terms of its visual impression lingers in the memory and she could turn out to be one of the most exciting horses on show this weekend.
Ishkhara lady was also successful recently and looks the type to give Elle Est Belle the most to think about, but Dan Skelton’s filly has already been chalked up as the 13/8 favourite and makes plenty of appeal.
HORSE: DEFI DU SEUIL
Trainer: Philip Hobbs.
Race: Shloer Chase (2.25pm Sunday)__
Defi Du Seuil was successful on his return in this contest last season
The return of King Defi! A dual Cheltenham Festival hero and seven-time Grade One winner, he is undoubtedly one of the stars of the National Hunt sphere.
Philip Hobbs’ superstar landed the Shloer Chase with a stylish length and a quarter-success on his reappearance last season, defeating Politologue in the process.
Fast-forward four months and the tables were well and truly turned at The Festival, with the son of Voix Du Nord failing to display his usual zest and jumping fluency, and eventually trailing home fourth behind Politologue in the Champion Chase.
Things clearly weren’t right with Defi Du Seuil on that occasion. He had previously looked awesome in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot in January and his task was made to look easier in the Champion Chase following the late defection of Chacun Pour Soi.
Still only a seven, there is plenty more improvement to come from Defi Du Seuil and whilst recent Cheltenham scorer Rouge Vif, Elite Hurdle hero Sceau Royal and the unexposed Put The Kettle On lie in wait, Defi Du Seuil goes well fresh and can make a winning return.Bring home the Jumps with a free one month trial of Racing TV. Watch over 65 live meetings from Britain and Ireland on unlimited devices. Hurry, only 3,000 trials available. Click here to get yours now!
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