Cheltenham November Meeting predictions: Lookaway difficult to avoid in Greatwood Hurdle
- Cheltenham hosts its hotly anticipated November meeting this week
- Recommended bets:
- Harper’s Brook each-way in the Gold Cup
- Lookaway each-way in the Greatwood Hurdle
The jumps season ramps up further with Cheltenham’s three-day November meeting kicking off on Friday and ending on Sunday.
Among the highlights are the Gold Cup and Greatwood Hurdle, two of the big betting races in the autumn.
Day 1 - Friday, November 17
Key talking point:
The feature race on day one is the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase and sees stablemates Delta Work and Galvin renew rivalry.
These top-class staying chasers filled the first two positions in the big one at the Cheltenham Festival last March for Gordon Elliott, although they will have more on their plate this time around given this race is a handicap.
They will need to concede lumps of weight to cross-country specialists like Back On The Lash and Francky Du Berlais, with the suspicion they might be half-cooked ahead of bigger targets later in the season. Will class come to the fore?
Friday’s best bet:
Impose Toi was well talked up in Nicky Henderson’s recent Racing Post stable tour and could have been let in lightly on his handicap debut.
However, this is a good each-way race and Showman makes greater appeal at the likely prices, with the worry that Impose Toi will not be fully fit.
Peter Fahey’s runners in Britain are always worth respecting and this four-year-old almost scored on his handicap debut recently. He is only 1lb above his Irish mark, which is a rarity for such types making the trip over nowadays, and he will enjoy the ground.
Day 2 - Saturday, November 18
Key talking point:
The Gredley family enjoyed a Royal Ascot winner with Burdett Road this year and are hoping to add a Cheltenham Festival one later in the campaign with this talented three-year-old.
Harry Cobden spoke in glowing terms about Burdett Road following his 12-length success at Huntingdon this month and it will be interesting to see if the pair can follow up in Grade 2 company for the JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle.
An impressive success here could book his ticket for the Triumph Hurdle in March and see Burdett Road established as the best British-trained juvenile hurdler.
Saturday’s best bet:
Brown Advisory winner The Real Whacker’s attempt at adding a major handicap success to his CV off a huge weight means Harper’s Brook races from 2lb out of the weights in the Gold Cup, but he would be rated much higher if he did not badly idle at Sandown to throw the race away when well clear last time.
In hindsight, Kielan Woods produced this quirky seven-year-old too early there and if the rider holds on to him for longer, he can capitalise off bottom weight. This strong traveller definitely has an engine and rates a decent each-way wager.
Day 3 - Sunday, November 19
Key talking point:
The Shloer Chase looks a cracker with Jonbon and Edwardstone set to do battle in a Champion Chase dress rehearsal.
Jonbon landed the Celebration Chase to round off a superb novice season last term from an excellent yardstick in Captain Guinness. As a seven-year-old, he is open to further improvement this term, but Tingle Creek scorer Edwardstone will be no slouch.
He goes well fresh and has 1lb in hand over Jonbon on BHA figures. Nube Negra also boasts a superb first time out record and enhances the race.
Sunday’s best bet:
Lookaway each-way in the Greatwood Hurdle (3.30pm) @ SP with LiveScore Bet
Neil King’s stable was out of form last season and Lookaway was generally running over the wrong trip on bad ground.
However, he has turned a corner in recent outings and preserving his novice status for this campaign proved a masterstroke in light of his front-running Grade 2 novice victory over course and distance last month.
A mark of 132 is not beyond him in the Greatwood and he is perfectly at home at this course, while his bumper form is top notch. He can justify an entry in the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth at Newcastle next month.