LiveScore Racing Preview: Cheltenham, November 13, 2021
Cheltenham is very much the focus this weekend as the November Meeting takes places at the Cotswolds venue from Friday-Sunday.
This is Cheltenham's biggest meeting outside of The Festival itself in March and it's brimming with quality National Hunt racing.
They race on Saturday from 12.30pm-3.55pm with conditions set to be 'Good to soft-good in places' and we've selected five to follow on the middle afternoon of Cheltenham's November Meeting.
12.30pm - JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2, 2m½f)
Magistrato is sure to be popular here for Paul Nicholls, the French import having made short work of winning at Chepstow in last month's stable bow. His earlier Auteuil form is also positive and he's got improvement to come.
There are plenty of dangers - with Caramelised, Mister Allegro and Gary Moore's debutant Yorksea chief amongst them - but KNIGHT SALUTE looks a key contender for the in-form Milton Harris string.
The Sir Percy gelding is 2-2 over hurdles having been quite useful previously on the Flat for Andrew Balding. He took the scalp of Nicky Henderson's promising Impulsive One at Kempton last month and looks a young hurdler with more to come.
LiveScore Selection: Knight Salute
1.05pm - Jewson Tool Hire Amateur Jockeys' Handicap Chase (3m1f)
Strictlyadancer held off Fact Of The Matter over C&D at The Showcase Meeting last month and the winner is actually better off on these terms.
Christian Williams' charge is due plenty of respect in his follow-up attempt but top-weight OPPOSITES ATTRACT must be feared. Dermot McLaughlin's charge is 0-6 over fences but he ran well behind some talented horses in Ireland last season and, having gone well first time out before, is a danger to all here.
LiveScore Selection: Opposites Attract
1.40pm - From The Horse's Mouth Podcast Novices' Chase (Grade 2, 2m)
Another small-field turnout here as the Skelton brothers return with last month's ultra-impressive C&D winner THIRD TIME LUCKI. He really served it up to his rivals in that win, his first run after a wind operation, and that aggressive style is going to pose serious questions for these three rivals.
Captain Tom Cat got the better of Mick Pastor at Wincanton over 2m4f last weekend but the Paul Nicholls inmate could avenge that now dropped in trip, given how well he travelled through the race.
Sebastopol has ground to find with Mick Pastor on previous form and is the outsider of the quartet.
LiveScore Selection: Third Time Lucki
2.15pm - Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3, 2m4f)
Last year's winner Coole Cody is back for more, while the likes of Paint The Dream and Manofthemountain (first and second at Chepstow five weeks ago) are players alongside Haldon Gold Cup third Zanza and Nicky Henderson's Caribean Boy.
AL DANCER was third in this contest 12 months ago from a 5lb higher mark and is back with a leading chance on first start for new handler Sam Thomas - whose string have been doing well in the last month. He goes very well fresh and regular rider Sam Twiston-Davies takes the ride here.
LiveScore Selection: Al Dancer
3.25pm - Paddy Power Feel Like A Favourite Intermediate Handicap Hurdle (2m5f)
Unexpected Party was an easy winner at Wetherby on handicap bow for the Skelton team a fortnight ago and should make another challenge now despite an 11lb hike.
The likes of Gowel Road and Benson have potential upped in trip but MACKELDUFF was very strong through the line at Aintree (2m4f, good) last month on handicap bow/seasonal return for Olly Murphy and Aidan Coleman.
A 7lb rise isn't excessive and he should have more progress to come for a trainer in scintillating form, boasting as he does a 32 per-cent strike-rate in recent weeks from close to 50 runners.
LiveScore Selection: Mackelduff