Sunday brings the final afternoon of Cheltenham’s November Meeting with the Greatwood Hurdle taking centre stage at 3.00pm.
There are a total of six races from the Cotswolds track (1.15-4.05), with four being broadcast live on ITV’s main channel, including the Shloer Chase, which has the look of an early trial for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
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Horse racing tips – Cheltenham November Meeting, Sunday 15 November
Enda McElhinney has Cheltenham tips for all six races on Sunday. You can read the analysis behind his selections below.
Odds correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.
1.15 mallardjewellers.com Novices’ Chase (3m ½f)
Soldier Of Love had a prolific summer, winning four on the spin for trainer Paul Nicholls and looking very progressive. He lost nothing in defeat here last month when seven lengths second behind Gordon Elliott’s Galvin, now firm favourite for the National Hunt Chase at the Festival in March.
It might be a similar tale now for the son of Yeats given that he’s going to be conceding 8lb to Colin Tizzard’s chasing newcomer THE BIG BREAKAWAY. The five-year-old has the makings of a good chaser and ran well in the Ballymore here in March (fourth) despite shedding his unbeaten record.
This longer trip should be ideal for the Irish point-to-point winner and with his trainer now starting to fire in the winners, he should take some halting on his reappearance.
Tip: The Big Breakaway @ SP with Paddy Power
1.50 Planteur at Chapel Stud Handicap Chase (Grade 3, 3m 3½f)
It could be a very happy start to the afternoon for Team Tizzard if WEST APPROACH can repeat last year’s win in this contest. As he did then, he arrives after finishing second on his comeback at the Showcase Meeting last month, this time having pushed the gallant front-runner Frodon hardest.
He has only been inched up 1lb for that run and he travelled strongly over this extended trip last year on soft ground, which looks the order of the day once more. Discorama has yet to run a bad race in three visits here and stays further than this. He ran a cracker over much shorter at Galway last month and, from the same mark, is a big player in bidding for a deserved Cheltenham success.
Tip: West Approach @ 3/1 with Paddy Power
2.25 Shloer Chase (Grade 2, 2m)
This Grade 2 contest has only been around since 2009 but it has already produced some really memorable races, the highlight being Sprinter Sacre’s resurgent win in 2015.
Last year was another good one, DEFI DU SEUIL doing well to hold off Politologue, form that was reversed in spectacular fashion when Paul Nicholls’ charge bludgeoned his rivals to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March.
He now tackles Arkle-winning mare Put The Kettle On, former winner of the race Duc Des Genievres, who is looking to relaunch his career with new trainer Paul Nicholls, and last month’s impressive course-and-distance winner Rouge Vif. Harry Whittington’s charge has to prove he can repeat the feat in this company but he looks sure to give it a real go.
That said, Philip Hobbs’ stable star Defi Du Seuil was a beacon of consistency prior to his defeat here in March and he shouldn’t be judged too harshly on that one poor run. He had bagged a brace of Grade 1 wins after winning this last year and, given he goes well fresh, is trusted to bounce back.
Tip: Defi Du Seuil @ 15/8 with Paddy Power
3.00 Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3, 2m)
Alan King has a fine record in the Greatwood and the Barbury Castle handler sends forward last year’s winner Harambe (6lb higher) and Edwardstone in his bid to make it three wins in four years.
The latter is trading as favourite and was a promising novice last season before finishing sixth here in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. There’s more to come from him but THYME WHITE could give Paul Nicholls another Greatwood win.
The Ditcheat supremo won with four-year-olds Brampour (2011) and Old Guard (2015) and has another possible rising star in the recent Chepstow winner. He looked good prior to that win in Wales where he again travelled in fine style before winning decisively. He’s up 11lb but has the profile of one who will go well and that form has been well advertised already.
Tip: Thyme White @ 13/2 with Paddy Power
3.35 Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle (2m ½f)
Third Time Lucki has impressed in his wins at Uttoxeter and Wetherby lately and is clearly well thought of by the Skelton team. He’s got plenty of scope for better but this is a tougher test and improvement is needed if he wants to make it three from three for the term.
Fidelio Vallis was second behind Mrs Hyde at Kempton four weeks ago and that form was well advertised when the mare subsequently beat Verdana Blue in a Listed Mares’ contest at Wetherby. She must be feared for the Nicholls/Cobden alliance.
COURTANDBOULD found only smart stayer-in-the-making McFabulous too good in the Persian War Novices’ Hurdle at Chepstow last month. That was over three furlongs further than today and a drop back to this stiff two-mile trip could be rewarded here for Fergal O’Brien and Paddy Brennan.
Tip: Courtandbould @ 11/4 with Paddy Power
4.05 High Sheriff of Gloucestershire Standard Open NH Flat Race (Listed, 2m ½f)
A duel is on the cards as Gordon Elliott and Paul Nicholls saddle impressive duo WESEEKHIMHERE and Stage Star respectively. The Ditcheat inmate won nicely on his debut at Chepstow 19 days ago and has definite potential but perhaps Elliott’s Irish raider will benefit from the extra experience, having impressed in his wins at Galway and Listowel. The two are very hard to split on paper.
Tip: Weseekhimhere @ SP with Paddy Power
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