The National Hunt season kicks off in earnest this coming weekend with the November Meeting at Cheltenham featuring The Bet Victor Gold Cup Handicap Chase on the Saturday.
Outside of the Cheltenham Festival, this is Cheltenham’s highest profile meeting of the season with a wealth of graded listed races and competitive handicaps lined up.
We’ll focus on the big race on Saturday and check over some of the best bets throughout the three day meeting.
THE BET VICTOR GOLD CUP, SATURDAY 16TH NOVEMBER
This Colin Tizzard trained 7 year old showed plenty of promise two seasons ago when beating the likes of Summerville Boy at Cheltenham. However, his potential didn’t really surface after that and after putting in some poor runs and a couple of wind ops, he bounced back impressively last month to score by 11 lengths in a decent novice chase event over the course and distance.
He’s up 12lbs for that one. Nevertheless, punters have certainly latched onto him and made him early favourite for this first major trophy of the season: 11/2 best with Coral.
SIRAH DU LAC
Very progressive chaser who cemented his career with a gutsy win in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase at The Cheltenham Festival last March.
He seems to be improving with every race despite the handicapper keeping a wary eye on him. His mark is currently quite vulnerable but there is plenty of chance he will improve again. Our selection for the race:
11/2 best with William Hill, Unibet and Betfred.
THE BET VICTOR HANDICAP CHASE, FRIDAY 15th NOVEMBER
Another extremely competitive handicap chase beckons on the opening day. Despite the concern that he hasn’t won anything beyond 2 miles, Brelan D’as gains respect from his two wins last season at Fakenham and Haydock.
Most noticeably, he pegged on for a decent third in the Grand Annual at The Cheltenham Festival. Paul Nicholls’ horses are also running well at the moment and with a mark of 138, Brelan D’as looks winnable providing he can step up in distance. Best price 13/2 with William Hill.
THE BALLYMORE NOVICES HURDLE, FRIDAY 15TH NOVEMBER
One of our ten to follow for the season, Thyme Hill trained by Philip Hobbs looks likely to oblige for favourite backers on the final race of the first day.
He looks most effective at the extended distances over hurdles and confirmed this with a decent win over 2 miles 3 furlongs at Chepstow last month. Best priced at 5/2 with Coral.
THE BET VICTOR SMARTCARDS HANDICAP CHASE, SATURDAY 16TH NOVEMBER
Neal King’s gutsy little 8 year old is a seasoned campaigner now. His battling qualities are well known and he never knows when to give up a fight to the line.
His recent form, a creditable 9 length 2nd to Ballyoptic at Chepstow recently has worked out well with the latter going on to win the Grade One Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby last weekend. Lil Rockefeller loves Cheltenham and he could go well in this for a decent price. Best priced 8/1 at William Hill.
THE SHLOER CHASE, SUNDAY 17TH NOVEMBER
A fascinating renewal of this Champion Chase division leg. Defi Du Seuil is clear favourite and justifiably so after his brave 4 length defeat to Chacun Pour Soi at Punchestown back in May, a horse who looks poised to be something special. However, Politologue trained by Paul Nicholls, seems to run well in the autumn and an experimental switch to the longer distances has had mixed results.
He’s back to 2 miles again and based on his brilliant 2nd to Altior in last season’s Champion Chase, I think he can get the better of Defi Du Seuil this time around.
Best priced 5/2 with Coral.
THE UNIBET GREATWOOD HANDICAP HURDLE, SUNDAY 17TH NOVEMBER
SELECTION: RED FORCE ONE
Massively competitive handicap hurdle with umpteen in with a shout. Nevertheless, Red Force One is a much improved horse this season and his 2 runs this season have suggested he could be a consistent handicapper to follow.
He’s up 3lbs but still remains at a very winnable mark. Paul Nicholls’s horses as previously mentioned are running to form at the moment so worth taking an each way on this Bryony Frost mount. Best priced at 12/1 with Betfair, Bet Victor and Unibet.
THE BET VICTOR SMARTCARDS HANDICAP CHASE, SATURDAY 16TH NOVEMBER: LIL ROCKEFELLER
Best priced 8/1 at William Hill
THE SHLOER CHASE, SUNDAY 17TH NOVEMBER: POLITOLOGUE
Best priced 5/2 with Coral
Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (12:00 12th November 2019) and are subject to change.