The final day of the Cheltenham November Meeting includes the Grade 2 Shloer Chase and the hugely competitive Greatwood Handicap Hurdle, along with four other interesting races.
GG writer Jake Russell is on hand to guide us through his through-the-card tips for the third and final day, including who he’s siding with in the Greatwood.
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1.10pm – mallardjewellers.com Maiden Hurdle (Class 2)
A horse that Kim Bailey has wasted no time getting him over Hurdles, the yards horses have kick started the season pretty well so far. The Kemble Brewery has had just the two career runs so far, both of them in bumper contests. Starting off with a 4 and a half length winner on debut at Huntingdon, he then went on to back that effort up by landing another bumper, this time at Cheltenham. Now with these younger horses, I think having a run and winning at Cheltenham is an excellent piece of form so early on in their careers, as Cheltenham is a tricky track to run at and takes some nice types to win there. He could be a nice type to come out of this race providing he can keep a hold of his unbeaten record. Course and distance form to boot, I think The Kimble Brewery could be a nice type and make it the perfect start over hurdles, for a yard who are doing so well with their first time outers this season.
1.45pm – cavani.co.uk Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (Class 3)
Although just the 7 runners head to post, this is a very trappy contest, therefore I feel it pays to look for something at a decent price currently. Ginny’s Destiny has been moved from Tom Lacey over to Paul Nicholls’s yard recently for the season ahead, and he has already had the one run for his new yard. That was at Cheltenham last time over 2m4f off the mark of 135, and that was a quite disappointing effort, however it was clear to see he needed the run as he weakened in the closing stages. That would have blown away any cobwebs and was on his chase debut, therefore you would think he would have learnt something from that experience. He has gone down 2lbs in weights for his troubles after that last run, back at a mark where he came 2nd off a few runs ago. He is a lightly raced sort, who could improve with the champion trainer here, and you would feel Paul Nicholls would have a gauge on what he can achieve already only having him for a few months.
2.20pm – Jewson Handicap Chase (Class 1 Premier Handicap)
Nicky Henderson thinks a lot of City Chief, and although he had quite the productive season last term, Nicky was disappointed that his horse lost at Ayr and connections really thought he would win the race. A two-time winner last season, including the Grade 2 William Hill Towton Novices’ Chase at Wetherby, before going on to come 3rd in that decent chase contest at Ayr. He makes his seasonal debut on Sunday, and his record fresh is a little mixed, however Nicky Henderson is great at getting his horses to run well on seasonal debut. This trip will not be an issue, and he has won or ran well on good, to good to soft and soft conditions, so very versatile on that front. He stays well and this will be the perfect test for him, to see where he is at for the season ahead.
The Unibet Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on the 19th November is the one of the first real big, competitive Handicaps on the Jumps card. This years renewal looks set to be as competitive as ever, with some nice types potentially heading to post come mid November. GG writer Jake Russell takes an ante-post look at…
2.55pm – Shloer Chase (Grade 2)
This race will obviously evolve all around Jonbon, who is most definitely the class act in the race, amongst other very decent types who could line up. Although just the four runners heading to post, it is a cracking race to enjoy on our Sunday afternoon. Jonbon has only ever been beaten on two occasions by two very, very good horses – A certain Constitution Hill and El Fabiolo (El Fabiolo he beat over Hurdles at Aintree the season before last). Nicky Henderson gets it right with this horse, and I feel he is underappreciated amongst the racing fans with all that he has done so far. A four time Grade 1 winner already and he is only a 7yo, so there is plenty more to come and given his relations, I can only see him getting better and better with each run he has over fences. He runs against the older, more experienced chasers here again, as last year was his Novice Chasing season. Apart from his last run of the season when landing the Grade 1 Celebration Chase at Sandown, with some nice Graded types well in behind him that day. I think he is still learning on the job, as his runs on his final two starts last season were very impressive. A 43 length winner of the Grade 1 Maghull Novices Chase at Aintree, and then that Grade 1 Celebration Chase win against the older horses. It will be interesting to see where they go with him this season, whether it is over 2-miles for the Champion Chase or slightly further for the Ryanair. Either way, he will be a real force no matter what race he aims for come the rest of the season.
3.30pm – Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (Class 1 Premier Handicap)
A wide open but very decent field for the Greatwood Hurdle, one of the main Handicap Hurdle races for the season as many decent 2-mile hurdlers will battle it out for the feature prize. Kerry Lee does very well with the small string she has, and her runner Nemean Lion has been aimed at this since his Welsh Champion Hurdle win 35 days ago. A very decent Novice Hurdler last term, placing in the Grade 1 Tolworth at Sandown, he ended his Novice Hurdling season with a Grade 2 win at Kelso. Connections seemingly utilised the fairly lenient mark of 135 when lining up in the Welsh Champion Hurdle last time. Although he was a shade lucky to win it the way he did last time, due to the other main rival hanging in the closing stages, I don’t think he was fully tuned up for that race last time. He still won by a length and a half however, and even though he has a 5lb rise in the weights and is currently operating at a career high mark now, I still think he can improve into a 150+ rated horse in the near future. Connections think a lot of him, and as mentioned this has been the long term plan for him since last year. I really do think he takes a whole world of beating in this.
4.00pm – Turners Open National Hunt Flat Race (Class 1 Listed)
A quite difficult race to end the November meeting this year, and majority of these do have a fair bit of experience therefore that angle can’t be utilised. I feel it could pay to side with the Champion Trainers horse Fire Flyer, who had the two bumper runs last season. Winning on debut at Ascot by 2 lengths, that was a nice performance and he won going away as they approached the line, running well through the line. He then tried to back that performance up at Newbury in a decent Listed Bumper contest, however he could only manage 7th. He looked a little more green that day, hanging late on in the race and weaking in the closing stages. There was no real explanation, but maybe just inexperience playing a factor to the disappointing display at Newbury. Harry Cobden takes the ride today, and I can see Fire Flyer bouncing back to form here.
Cheltenham November Meeting – Day Three TTC Tips
1.10 Cheltenham – The Kemble Brewery (9/4 Skybet + Coral, 2/1 Generally)
1.45 Cheltenham – Ginny’s Destiny (7/2 Generally)
2.20 Cheltenham – City Chief (5/1 Generally)
2.55 Cheltenham – Jonbon (4/7 in places, 1/2 Generally)
3.30 Cheltenham – Nemean Lion (9/1 Generally)
4.00 Cheltenham – Fire Flyer (4/1 Generally)
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