The November race meeting at the world renown track that is Cheltenham welcomes three days of stellar racing which kicked off in style, today Friday, November 16th. The ITV racing team bring us four televised races on the seven-race card, on the second day of the November meeting. Starting with the Grade 3 BetVictor.com Handicap Chase set to go to post at 1.50pm.
BetVictor.com Handicap Chase
The Grade 3 BetVictor.com Handicap Chase is run over three miles and three and a half furlongs the challenge welcomes a field of sixteen runners. With the going set to be good, it will be a race punters and racing fans alike will be eagerly watching.
Tom George trained Singlefarmpayment is the ante-post favourite and the eight-year-old set to be ridden by Noel Fehily. The son of Milan’s last outing was also at Cheltenham last April where he finished second in the three miles and two furlongs Weatherite Handicap Chase.
Nigel Twiston-Davies stable star Calett Mad will have connections eager to see the son of Axxos put on a good performance. Going off the back of a tough three-mile and two-furlong challenge at the Gloucestershire track last month where the six-year-old finished fourth, he will be one to watch in the betting market.
Nigel Twiston-Davies also runs Cogry who is certainly one to keep an eye on. The nine-year-old put on an excellent performance to finish second in a field on sixteen on his last outing when he raced at Cheltenham last month in the three-mile and one-furlong handicap chase. The son of King’s Sire has a lot on experience under his girth and it will be interesting to see how he fairs in this handicap.
Others to watch are Anthony Honeyball’s Looking Well and Mark Bradstock’s Coneygree.
BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase
The BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase is the feature of the three days of racing action from the November meeting. Run over a distance of two and a half miles on the old course at the hallowed Cheltenham track, this race brings together battle hardened handicappers with younger, unexposed horses in their second season over fences and the Grade 3 contest is open to horses four years and older. The clash produces a fantastic spectacle and is always one of the keenest betting heats of the season.
Recent winners include Gold Cup hero Imperial Commander (2008) and dual Grade 1 winners Al Ferof (2012) and Taquin Du Seuil (2016).
All the leading fancies stand their ground – including ante-post favourite Rather Be, from Nicky Henderson’ stable, Mick Channon’s Mister Whitaker and the Neil Mulholland-trained duo Kalondra and Shantou Village.
The ante-post favourite Rather Be will be a name to keep a close eye on. The son of Oscar finished second in a Novice Handicap at the Cheltenham Festival back in March to Mister Whitaker who he also goes up against in the entries this year.
Mister Whitaker’s last outing was the Cheltenham Festival last spring where he stormed home in the Novice Handicap. It will be interesting how the son of Court Cave fares in the feature of the weekend and we will be keeping a close eye on him.
However, the name Frodon is on many racing fans lips. Carrying the top-weight in the race, the Paul Nicholls trained six-year-old is burdened with 11st 12lb and has to give between 9lb and 26lb to his rivals after making a successful seasonal debut in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree last month.
Nicholls also saddles Movewiththetimes and Romain de Senam.
Gary Moore’s Baron Alco is another name punters will be keen to keep an eye on. The seven year old is one of two entries for the trainer as he also runs Benatar who is set to be partnered by jockey Jamie Moore.
Last year’s winner Splash Of Ginge, Neil Mulholland’s Kalondra and Nicky Richards’ Caspian Caviar Gold Cup winner Guitar Pete are all others to note.
Regulatory Finance Solutions Handicap Hurdle
The old Regulatory Finance Solutions Handicap Hurdle is run over three miles and is the third race ITV Racing are set to televise on day two of the November meeting. The race is open to horses four years and older and is set to make for some interesting sport.
Ian Williams trained First Assignment goes in as the ante-post favourite but can he prove himself yet again? The son of Vinnie Roe has an impressive form to date and although the five-year-old may not have as much experience as some of the other entries he will be the main competition to beat.
Richard Johnson takes the ride on Olly Murphy’s trained Weebill. The six-year-old son of Schiaparelli is set to take this big step up as his handicap debut and the question arises will he rise to the challenge? His form is seriously consistent and he had an impressive win on his last outing where he stormed home in front in the Novice Hurdle at Ayr.
Other names to note are Tom George-trained Boyhood, Harry Cobden-trained Theeaglehaslanded and Sophie Lynch’s Anteros.
BetVictor Intermediate Handicap Hurdle
Fifteen runners go to post in the BetVictor Intermediate Handicap Hurdle. Open to horses three years and older it is set to host an interesting field of runners.
Ian Williams-trained Speedo Boy is set to be partnered by Tom O’Brien. The four-year-old is the ante-post favourite with the bookies but will he do all the running? Philip Hobbs’ Westend Story will certainly be one to challenge.
Westend Story who is set to be ridden by Richard Johnson has a consistent form to date. Although this is his first reappearce since March he will be one to keep a close eye on, even at each way. He won with ease on his last outing at Hereford and the members of the Mick Fitzgearld Racing Club will be eager to see their son on Westener return to the winners enclosure once again.
Others to keep an eye on include Alan King’s Deyrann De Carjac and Colin Tizzard’s Christmas In April is another to consider on the betting market.
Selection: Westend Story