By The Tote Team www.tote.co.uk
Without the crowds, the atmosphere of Cheltenham races won’t be the same as usual, but for the horses on the track it’s all the same and the gates of Prestbury Park open Friday for the first meeting of the season.
We have plenty of interesting races to look forward to on Friday and below, you’ll find our tips and hints to give you a headstart ahead of the Tote Placepot.
How’s the going?
The ground at Cheltenham is Good, Good to Soft in places and with showers in the area, it could yet change to the latter all over. The following rail movements need taking into account on Friday: 1.50 & 3.00 +66yds, 2.25 +126yds, 3.35 & 4.45 +63yds, 4.10 & 5.15 +44yds
The Big Trend:
On this day last year, Fergal O’Brien trained 3 of the 7 winners on this card and the Cheltenham based trainer leads the winners count with 41 so far this season. He’s second only to Paul Nicholls on the prize-money front and all of his runners on Friday are worthy of close attention. These are the ones which make the Tote Placepot pool:
Leg 1 - 1:50 Global Fame
Leg 2 - 2:25 Ask Dillon
Leg 3 - 3:00 Lungarno Palace
Leg 4 - 3:00 Imperial Elysian (Suggested perm)
Leg 5 - 4:10 Art Approval
SOLDIER OF LOVE (Leg 2, 2.25pm) has been a thoroughly progressive chaser for Paul Nicholls through the summer months and he may not be done with yet. A horse who has improved with every one of his last six runs, the 7yo stays really well, arrives fit, in-form and represents a stable that can do little wrong just now. He’s up in class a bit, but might just catch these slipping today.
Outsider to Consider:
Dan Skelton’s MIDNIGHT RIVER runs in Leg 1 at 1:50 and with only seven runners set for post, we only have two places up for grabs. On last time out speed figures, this 5yo son of Midnight Legend has every chance, but may be overlooked a little in the market. He was a good winner at Uttoxeter last time and there should be more to come.
IMPERIAL ELYSIUM (Leg 3, 3:00pm) was noted above running for Fergal O’Brien and this horse would make plenty of appeal with four places if trading in double figures. Consistent and open to improvement. The other dark horse to note here is HOMETOWN BOY, for Stuart Edmunds and rising jockey Ciaran Gethings. He didn’t show his best when last seen in March, but has a lovely profile and should prove to be a horse to follow this season for a shrewd yard.
Leg 4 at 3:35pm is a tough and competitive handicap chase over two miles, where it could pay to have 2-3 horses on side. Katpoli has amassed good experience for his age and has interesting place claims. Dan Skelton’s Azzuri looks interesting on average speed figures, as does Western Miller who is likely to be one of the outsiders but is worth a look of a low weight.
Our Placepot Perm:
Leg 1: 5 Leg 2: 3 Leg 3: 10,12 Leg 4: 7,8,9 Leg 5: 5 Leg 6: 1
1 x 1 x 2 x 3 x 1 x 1 = 6 lines
Select any odd to add a bet