The BetVictor Gold Cup is the highlight of Cheltenham’s three-day November Meeting and 18 quality chasers will go to post for today’s extended two-and-a-half-mile contest.

BetVictor Gold Cup

The great Martin Pipe saddled the winner of this corresponding race eight times and the Pipe name will always be synonymous with this iconic chase. Martin’s son David, trainer of the race winner with Great Endeavour in 2011, made a slow start to the season. However, his string have picked up in recent weeks and his Starchitect (2.25) gets the each way vote at 9/1 and we are betting ew five places on the contest.

The selection has been raised 4lbs for winning at Stratford on his reappearance at the beginning of the month and a strongly run race at this trip is ideal for the progressive six-year-old who will be stepped back up in trip later in the season. The confirmed front-runner Foxtail Hill will ensure the race is a true test. Decent ground suits and I’ll be disappointed if the selection doesn’t run a big race with underfoot conditions ideal.

BetVictor Gold Cup

There are any number of dangers with Le Prezien 7/1 and Lee Westwood’s Ballyalton 10/1 at the front of a very long short-list. Do remember we are paying five places on the contest.




In the opening Triumph Hurdle Trial Gumball (12.40) can maintain his unbeaten British record for Philp Hobbs having won at Stratford and Chepstow already this term. The selection is 10/1 market leader for the Triumph itself back here in March. This keen-going sort reminds me of the yards Defi Du Seuil who won this corresponding race 12 months ago before following up at the Festival.

The French import Apple’s Shakira makes her British debut for Nicky Henderson. It will be interesting to see if the market speaks in favour of the mare who was an impressive winner at Vichy back in May and was subsequently sold privately to JP McManus.

Ballyoptic (1.15) made an impressive chase debut at Exeter for Nigel Twiston-Davies. He can land a fascinating three-runner Novices’ Chase with Richard Johnson taking over from the injured Sam Twiston-Davies. The selection must give 3lbs to Ffos Las winner West Approach. That form was franked when the runner-up Jameson scored at Sandown last weekend.

Doing Fine (1.50) will appreciate the step back up to three-and-a-half miles in the BetVictor Handicap Chase which has produced a top-class nine-runner field. The selection (9/2) is 3lbs out of the handicap but he is entitled to come on for his reappearance. He must go close for Neil Mulholland with Tom Scudamore in the saddle.

The dual Scottish National winner Vicente (8/1) and the progressive Three Faces West (7/2) are others to consider in a race that could easily have a bearing on the Grand National next spring.

The jury is still out on whether Stamp Your Feet (3.30) truly stays today’s 2m 5f trip. That said, the form of his second to Bags Groove at Aintree last time was given a boost earlier in the week when the winner followed up at Kempton. The handicapper has had his say and the selection has been raised 5lbs. However, he remains potentially well-treated and is another each way recommendation.




Doing Fine

Stamp Your Feet


At Uttoxeter, I hope to see Monty’s Award (12.50) land the Novices’ Hurdle for Charlie Longsdon and Paul O’Brien who takes off a valuable 5lbs. The selection wasn’t beaten far on his hurdles debut on soft ground over C&D last month. This good ground Bumper winner should find today’s conditions (described as good to soft) ideal.


Monty’s Award


On Sunday, the first 2 home in the Champion Chase Special Tiara and Fox Norton (2.25) lock horns. The latter is taken to gain his revenge having subsequently won at both Aintree (2m 4f) and Punchestown (2m) back in the spring. The selection is 5/4 market leader and is taken to chase down the Irish raider.

Jenkins (4/1) has been all the rage in the market for the Greatwood Hurdle this week. But, at double the price, I fancy the chances of last weekend’s Elite Hurdle winner London Prize (3.00). He must shoulder a 5lbs penalty and gets the each way vote in what looks a top-class renewal.

The Florida Pearl Novices Chase is a cracker and Presenting Percy (1.40) is taken to give 7lbs to Shattered Love. The selection won the Pertemps Hurdle at the Festival back in the spring. He looked a potential Gold Cup chaser when making a winning debut over the larger obstacles at Galway last month.

The Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle sees the reappearance of the 2015 Champion Hurdler Faugheen (2.15). He takes on his stablemate Vroum Vroum Mag following a 665-day absence. The hope is that the selection has retained all his old brilliance.


Fox Norton

London Prize

Presenting Percy


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