RACING fan Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) picks out his best bets from Saturday’s action.
1:55 Cheltenham | ITV4
The Caspiar Caviar Gold Cup is generally a hugely competitive race however this year it’s only attracted a field of 10. On soft ground it could be testing but the smaller field will make it easier for them to get in to a rhythm and there could be one who is a cut above the rest.
Starchitech is no stranger to these types of races and always seems to run his race. He was a solid second in the BetVictor last time out and a repeat of that puts him in contention. He enjoys soft ground and I fully expect him to pick up place money here.
Le Prezien is a really talented horse and has both course form and handles the ground, although he isn’t one for maximum faith. He’s been a well-backed favourite for big races here and connections clearly think he’ll win a big one, but he’s not for me.
Clan Des Obeaux (7/2 Betfred) was a high-class novice last season and has returned looking better than ever. He looks to have a huge future over fences and this could be a springboard to bigger things.
His form behind Whisper looks red hot and he dismissed a decent field on heavy ground without much fuss last time out. I make him a confident selection.
3:05 Cheltenham | ITV4
The International Hurdle can be a stepping-stone to the Champion Hurdle but it’s a Grade 2 in it’s own right and well worth winning. There may be only seven lining up but it’s a fascinating race and there is one I thinks slightly overpriced.
Melon was second in the Supreme Novices Hurdle and is the least exposed of all these. Personally, I don’t think he’s Champion Hurdle class and is slightly short in the betting here. He has to concede weight to some of these too and isn’t for me.
Ch’Tibello (8/1 William Hill) is another relatively unexposed sort and if you look through his form he is well overpriced. He will enjoy the ground, his stable is in form and seems at his best at this time of the year. He holds My Tent or Yours from previous meetings and is weighted to reverse form with The New One. He is backable each-way.
1:55 Cheltenham – Clan Des Obeaux (7/2 Betfred)
3:05 Cheltenham – Ch’Tibello (8/1 each-way William Hill)