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Cheltenham November Meeting Preview

Cheltenham November Meeting Preview

This weekend sees Cheltenham's biggest meeting outside of The Festival in March, as the Cotswolds course hosts its three-day November Meeting from Friday until Sunday. It really is a weekend packed with quality racing, stars of the future, and some cracking handicaps on Saturday and Sunday in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and the Greatwood Hurdle. The Racing Post previews some of the key November Meeting races across the weekend.



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FRIDAY

1.45 - Mucking Brilliant Paddy Power Handicap Chase (2m)

Gold Cup-winning jockey Sam Thomas knows this place well. He, of course, was the man that took the 2008 Gold Cup by the scruff of the neck on Denman, breaking the wills of a field of good horses with a power-packed effort.

Thomas will have related then to the effort of STOLEN SILVER on his stable bow at Market Rasen last month, as he went from the front in a pleasing all-the-way success under Charlie Deutsch. He's only gone up 4lb and this is tougher company with the likes of Magic Saint, Hatcher, and Kap Auteuil around, but he could be up to it.

Selection: Stolen Silver


2.20 - SSS Super Alloys Novices' Chase (2m4f)

Gordon Elliot and Henry De Bromhead are bringing over Fancy Foundations and Gin On Lime - both winners over fences already. The latter took advantage of the former falling at Tipperary in a Grade 3 last month but both are going to be tested by MY DROGO here.

Dan Skelton's runner went 4-4 over hurdles last season, three at graded level, and ended the term winning an Aintree Grade 1 novice in convincing fashion. He's amongst the more exciting of the UK novices heading into the new term.

Selection: My Drogo


2.55 - Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase (3m6f)

Aintree Grand National runner-up Balko Des Flos - winner of the Ryanair Chase at The Festival here in 2018 - has his second go at this quirky C&D having unseated in March. This being a handicap, he's got to give a stone and more to the field and that's a major ask. Former Welsh National winner Potters Corner is one to note but so, too, is last season's shock Irish Grand National winner FREEWHEELIN DYLAN.

Winner or placed in half of his 20 starts over regulation fences in Ireland, this stamina-laden nine-year-old will likely be up on the pace throughout and, if he takes to the assortment of jumping tests, he might be hard to take on.

Selection: Freewheelin Dylan


3.30 - Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2, 2m5f)

The first of the weekend's graded contest and a trial for the race carrying the same name back here in March. Listed-placed in bumpers back in the spring, GELINO BELLO was well-backed for last month's hurdling introduction at Aintree and he made every post a winning one with a convincing display under Harry Cobden for champion trainer Paul Nicholls. He'll be popular for the follow-up.

Irish raider Off Your Rocco is getting better with each start and is capable of going well, while recent winners Kayf Hernando and Current Mood for Dan Skelton and Evan Williams respectively aren't crossed off in haste either.

Selection: Gelino Bello

SATURDAY

12.30 - JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2, 2m½f)

After a winning start in very striking fashion last month at Chepstow, it's likely that Magistrato will be popular here for Paul Nicholls and the French import is clearly one to be noted. Alan King's been enjoying a fine time of things lately and he has high hopes for CARAMELISED, who is 2-3 over timber for the Barbury Castle handler since joining from Richard Hannon. He's a danger, as can be Knight Salute and Mister Allegro.

Selection: Caramelised


1.40 - From The Horse's Mouth Podcast Novices' Chase (Grade 2, 2m)

THIRD TIME LUCKI was one of the most impressive scorers at last month's Showcase Meeting here, dominating with a bold display over C&D for Dan and Harry Skelton. He's already being touted for the Arkle back here in March and should further his case with another Cheltenham success. Captain Tom Cat just about repelled Mick Pastor at Wincanton last weekend but has to concede his re-opposing rival 5lb now.

Selection: Third Time Lucki


2.15 - Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3, 2m4f)

AL DANCER was third in this contest behind Coole Cody last year and could have a major challenge in him now on first start for new handler Sam Thomas. He goes well fresh and is a dual Cheltenham winner in the past, over hurdles and fences. Regular pilot Sam Twiston-Davies has been secured for the ride. The likes of Protektorat and Lalor are dangers, as are recent Chepstow one-two Paint The Dream and Manofthemountain, both solid each-way contenders at the forecast prices.

Selection: Al Dancer


2.50 - Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle (Listed, 3m)

Things went awry for Sporting John last term over fences, despite his Grade 1 Scilly Isles win at Kempton in February. He has failed to complete in two starts previous at Cheltenham and hasn't always been one to trust in a finish, so even allowing for a drop in class back over hurdles, caution is advised with Philip Hobbs' runner. This has a wide open feel to it and VALENTINO DANCER is put forward as one that could have something to say if stamina doesn't prove an issue. Fergal O'Brien typically does well at this meeting.

Selection: Valentino Dancer


3.55 - Stirrups Restaurant And Cocktail Bar Evesham Mares' Open NH Flat Race (Listed, 2m½f)

The judge will be hoping for a dry and crisp bright November evening here in case another photo-finish is called! Where's Maud Gone won both bumper starts last season before a fair fifth in the Grade 2 at Aintree in April - she sets the standard on that form but there are dangers lurking. BONTTAY made it 2-2 when scoring here last month, coming up the hill strongly to get in front late on. There is more to come from the Westerner mare. Bolintlea, Betty's Belle, Starlyte and Time For Bell are potential dangers in a deep field.

Selection: Bonttay

SUNDAY

1.45 - Jewson Click And Collect Handicap Chase (Grade 3, 3m3f)

Tiger Roll will attract plenty headlines here but he's typically only come to life in the spring in recent times. His record at this meeting isn't strong and - in all probability - this appearance is about putting some pressure on the handicapper to ease his mark downwards with the Grand National in mind. PORT STANLEY is also potentially coming across from Ireland and Jessica Harrington's charge could go well at a price.

Selection: Port Stanley


2.20 - Shloer Chase (Grade 2, 2m)

The last two winners of the Queen Mother Champions Chase draw swords here as Politologue faces PUT THE KETTLE ON. Henry De Bromhead's mare flew up the hill to grab this prize last year and took out the two-mile Championship in March. Her love-affair with Prestbury Park sees her unbeaten in four starts at this track. This is no gimme, with Champion Chase second Nube Negra and Festival winner Sky Pirate joining C&D winner Rouge Vif and veteran Bun Doran in what has the potential to be race of the entire weekend.

Selection: Put The Kettle On


2.55 - Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3, 2m½f)

TRITONIC was a little underwhelming in the Triumph Hurdle back in March but he put up a solid enough showing over C&D last month on his seasonal return, finishing second behind the promising I Like To Move It in a race where he was conceding weight to all of his rivals. A mark of 142 isn't beyond him and three 4YOs have won this race in the last decade.

Selection: Tritonic


3.30 - Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2, 2½f)

French import SONIGINO is given a chance to impress for Paul Nicholls here on his first start for the Ditcheat handler. He has winning hurdles form from Auteuil and, while that's hard enough to quantify, it does seem notable that champion trainer is willing to pitch him straight into a Grade 2.

Selection: Sonigino


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