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Saturday tips: Dave Nevison's best bets at Cheltenham and Newbury

By Dave Nevison@nevisondave
Sat 24 Oct 2020

In-form tipster Dave Nevison has three fancies for Cheltenham on Saturday plus one at Newbury. Watch how his selections fare live on Racing TV.

3.15 Cheltenham: Story Of Friends

A bad mistake at the last stopped this six-year-old from following up an easy victory last time out and although the handicapper has penalised him for getting beat, he does look as though he is ready to step up from summer-jumping grade now.

David Pipe has engaged his excellent 7lb claimer Fergus Gillard to offset the rise in the weights - so he will carry a feather weight over a tough three miles - and I expect this trainer/jockey relationship to blossom this season.

If this horse’s jumping can pass the test of this level of competition, then he is capable of getting back to winning ways.

3.50 Cheltenham: Cobra De Mai

Cobra De Mai looked a horse who struggled last season as a result of being overly handicapped, but is now 2lb lower than his last winning mark and 13lb lower than the rating he started last season on.

He ran a good race over course and distance in the Ultima at the Festival and would have been much closer with a better run, so is clearly capable of a good run off this mark.

He has had a run this season and he will hopefully have come on from that effort, and headgear is reapplied for this contest which looks like his early-season target.

4.45 Newbury: Surrey Pride

Surrey Pride might have this race run to suit given there are a number of front runners and it looks like it will be set up for a Jamie Spencer special!

He had been on a steep, upward curve on soft ground over this trip and then got dropped a pound after a slightly unlucky run last time out.

He is a course and distance winner already this summer, which is another positive.

5.00 Cheltenham: Ballymalin

I have no doubt this horse will be fit for this race given the nature, and the form, of his stable, and a positive market move will confirm this race is part of the season’s plan.

He has run well off much higher marks at this track in the past, so his rating will not be an issue.

His jumping has been an issue on occasions though, but his mistakes seemed to be getting ironed out during last season and if he jumps as well for the experienced Zac Baker, as he does for Tom Bellamy, he will go close in what is always a competitive contest.

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