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ITV Racing Tips for Sunday’s Cards at Cheltenham and Fontwell

ITV racing schedule

ITV Racing moves into it’s fourth and final day on a bumper weekend of coverage and once again the Cheltenham races are the feature. There is also a Grade 1 at Punchestown but Saint Roi looks a banker in that one so it’s left out of the preview at a short price.

The big race at Cheltenham is the Shloer Chase where Defi De Seuil is the favourite but faces stiff competition from Rouge Vif. Ant has picked some bigger prices elsewhere and you can see all his Cheltenham tips below.

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1.50 Cheltenham

The first selection comes up in the Planteur At Chapel Stud Handicap chase which is a grade 3 event contested over the marathon trip of 3m 3f. The top weight Yala Enki is an out and out stayer and is always a threat in these long-distance chases and I expect the 10 year old to be staying on strongly up the hill.

The horse I like here is Discorama (4/1) who ran a cracker last time out at Galway only finding Milan Native to good. The selection also stayed on well up the hill at the festival to finish third in the Ultima at this track earlier this year finishing ahead of Vinndication. I cannot see the step up in trip being a problem for the Paul Nolan trained seven year old and the good to soft ground should not pose a probelm. With Robbie Power booked we can expect a bold effort.

 

2.25 Cheltenham

Next up is the Shloer Chase which is a grade 2 ran over the shorter trip of 1m 7f. Those who listen to the On The Nod Podcast will know I’m against Henry and Oli Bell who both like the look of Rouge Vif here after his impressive win last time out in handicap company. I feel this may be s step to far for the Whittington horse and I’m siding with the proven class horse here in Defi Du Seuil (2/1) NAP who may prove to be unbelievable value at that price. The Philip Hobbs trained charge is a multiple Grade one winner and should be entering the peak of his career. We all know Defi can throw a stinker of a run in but if peak Defi turns up here we will be heading to the pay-out window.

 

3.00 Cheltenham

The Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle is a grade 3 contest ran over 2m. This is undoubtedly the most competitive race of the day and I am taking two of the bigger priced horses to stamp their authority here in handicap company. I have been really impressed with Hunters Call (14/1) E/W NB since returning from over a two year absence in the summer were he landed a class 2 event at Southwell. Olly Murphy then pitched his charge in at the deep end in an ultra competitive Galway Hurdle were he finished an excellent fourth when finishing ahead of some useful sorts.

My other selection here is Ballyandy (12/1) E/W who will have to shoulder the burden of top weight to the spoils here. The Twiston Davies charge finished an excellent second behind Sceau Royal in the welsh champion hurdle last time out at Ffos Las on his season reappearance and we would expect the horse to come on for that run. Ballyandy ran a decent race is Champion Hurdle in March and if that form can be reproduced, we can certainly expect the selection to be troubling the places at a minimum in Handicap company.

 

3.15 Fontwell

Next up is the Paddy Power Southern National Handicap Chase which is contested over another marathon 3m 3f. This is not the strongest of contests and the top weight Christmas In April will pose a major threat to my selection here if you’re willing to forgive his Midlands National performance last time out.

I’m going to side with locally trained Diable De Sivola (13/2) who I’m hoping will enjoy this step up in trip and has already been notably been backed in which is always a good sign with a Gary Moore trained horse. The selection returns here after a wind op and should handle the current going of soft ground.

 

3.35 Cheltenham 

The final selection comes up in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle Trial which is ran over 2m. This trail for the festival curtain raiser is unlikely to provide us with the winner for the big race in March with the ante post market principles heading elsewhere for their preparation. The short priced Jolly here is the Dan Skelton trained Third Time Lucki who finished an excellent fourth in the champion bumper and probably does bring the best form into the race on paper but I am happy to take the Jolly on with a potential improver.

The horse I like here is Fidelio Vallis (4/1) who impressed me last time out at Kempton when looking like he needed the run only to be beaten by Mrs Hyde by a length. Both horses pulled well clear of the field that day and Mrs Hyde has gone on to frank the form by beating Verdana Blue at the Charlie Hall meeting at Wetherby. I’m expecting improvement from the Paul Nicholls trained five year old today and we can be hopeful of a bold showing up against the short priced fav.

 

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OntheNod Podcast with Oli Bell

This weekend, the OntheNod Podcast had a very special guest in the form of ITV Racing presenter Oli Bell. The guys went over this weekend’s racing at Cheltenham and picked out some best bets for the weekend.

You can listen to the full episode below:

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