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Close Brothers Novice Handicap Chase preview

Day One of the Festival comes to an end with a nasty handicap chase, you'd want to be in front by this stage...

Keeping it brief and rolling a few dice, because you'll be seven pints in by this stage, is Stephen Conchar, @wickyman. Welcome aboard!

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Close Brothers Novice Handicap Chase
Listed, £70,000, about 2m4.5f
Cheltenham Tuesday 1730 local, 0430 AEDT


The last race on day one of the greatest show on earth is the Close Brothers Novice Handicap Chase, a new race by festival standards. It's a race that has evolved from the Cathcart Chase and is a 0/140 handicap with six previous runnings, normally won by one of the higher rated fancied horses. This year's field isn't great by Cheltenham standards but gives a chance for smaller trainers and larger stable's second strings to get a bit of glory. At the moment there are 20 runners and the place terms are 1/4 odds the first four, but on the day I am sure plenty of books will be offering the five place concession.

There are not many that can be ruled out, it will be all about who can do it on the day in a race sure to be ran at a breakneck pace.

The Contenders

1 Zandy Man - a small field, soft ground front runner likely to struggle in this.

2 Last Goodbye - Irish raider won a Down Royal novice chase, looks badly handicapped.

3 Double Ws - one of the Northern hopes, hardly thrown in but this has been his target all season.

4 Mixboy - trained in Scotland, looks to be taking on a bit much.

5 Foxtail Hill - the fav trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies (NTD) and ridden by his son Willie. Jumped well at Kempton.

6 Hammersley Lake - put in some good rounds of jumping has to be of interests with Danny Mullins booked.

7 Captain Redbeard - a fine chestnut who really comes into his own in the spring having won two points, three hurdles and two chases. Trained by Stuart Coltherd and ridden by his son Sam, I am hopeful of a big run. The horse has really improved lately and should love the big field hustle and bustle of Cheltenham. Both horse and jockey's first visit to Cheltenham.

8 Templehills - another NTD runner, was inpressive at Warwick.

9 Bun Doran - I saw him at Newcastle and was quietly impressed but I think this is a bit much for him.

10 Killiney Court - hacked up at Galway but am not sure that form's up to much.

11 Itsafreebee - they have managed to get him down to a mark that he gets in here placed in the Neptune last year, hard to rule him out.

12 Powersbomb - bit of a tearaway that makes mistakes but will set a fair pace.

13 Tully East - been running in good company was fourth in Martin Pipe hurdle last year.

14 Relentless Dreamer - don't think this one is good enough.

15 Deans Road - another that I like trained by De Bromhead.

16 Gold Present - looks out of sorts.

17 Two Taffs - looked to struggle at Catterick, it could all happen too quick for him.

18 Sizing Tennessee - blinkered first time.

19 All Hell Let Loose - ran in the Pertemps last season and beaten a long, long way.

20 Burtons Well - ran behind Waiting Patiently at Sedgefield, is that festival form though?

BETS

Itsafreebee 1 point win 9/1
Captain Redbeard 1 point ew 20/1 general
Hammersley Lake 1 point ew 16/1 Hills
Deans Road 1 point ew 25/1 general

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Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes
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Villiers StakesRandwick, G2, 1600m
1615 local time, 0515 GMT

Form link

Website
Twitter: @weekndkngracing
Facebook: /weekendking


The most reliable guide to the Gr2 Villiers has always been the Festival Stakes.

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5 [1.7] Sir Moments (56) 11-2
6 [2.5] Multilateral (54) 60-1
7 [3.8] Scream Machine (56) 20-1
8 [4.3] Aomen (58.5) 30-1
11 [6.8] Monton (60) 16-1
12 [8.0] Keep Cool (54) 80-1

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