cheltenham trials

Racing: Best Bets From Cheltenham Trials Day & Doncaster

8 min

Cheltenham Trials Day is upon us so here’s Tom Stanley with a summary of our Podcast preview of Saturday’s racing.

A Trials Day at Cheltenham with a difference this year – decent ground. Normally the day (abandoned last year) is run on testing ground and that has thrown up the odd shock in the past but we have a sound surface this year, so too at Doncaster.

Just the three of us on the panel this week and a new feature in the form of a ‘best lay’ for you to take advantage of opposing horses outright with Matchbook.

2m4 1/2f Handicap Chase – Grade 3 (13:55 Cheltenham)

Three different horses going up here in what looks an ultra-competitive race. Coole Cody is Steve’s shout and the horse rarely runs a bad race here. Sam thinks Whatmore should have the race run to suit and his trainer is enjoying a good time of it at the minute. I’m with Torn And Frayed who is back on better ground and still relatively lightly raced.

  • Tom – Torn And Frayed
  • Sam – Whatmore
  • Steve – Coole Cody

Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle – Grade 2 (14:10 Doncaster)

Too tricky for me but the other two have a difference of opinion. Sam thinks Miranda – who can be difficult – is very much the one to beat if she jumps ok. Steve is against her though (his lay later on) and wants the Irish mare on side who he thinks boasts the best form.

  • Tom – No bet
  • Sam – Miranda
  • Steve – Anna Bunina

Cotswold Chase – Grade 2 (14:30 Cheltenham)

I started out wanting to oppose Chantry House but what with?? Sam argues the same and thinks that anywhere near 2.0 about him is more than fair. Steve is against him though and thinks Aye Right is the more reliable play. Sam’s lay of the day lines up here in the form of Simply The Betts in the place market.

  • Tom – No bet
  • Sam – Chantry House
  • Steve – Aye Right

Bet Now

Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle – Grade 2 (14:45 Doncaster)

Again I’m struggling for a bet in a trappy looking race. Sam thinks My Bobby Dazzler is the value up in grade though also suggests favourite Unanswered Prayers is tricky to oppose. Steve is again looking to Ireland in the form of Mahler Mission with a tongue-tie added.

  • Tom – No bet
  • Sam – My Bobby Dazzler
  • Steve – Mahler Mission

Cleeve Hurdle – Grade 2 (15:05 Cheltenham)

I agree with the other two that Champ is solid and not really opposable at around 1.5. That said, Lisnagar Oscar looks too big at 26.0 not to have a nibble at in the outright and also the without market. Sam wants to take Dandy Mag in the latter market.

  • Tom – Lisnagar Oscar
  • Sam – Champ (Dandy Mag without fav)
  • Steve – Champ (no bet)

3m Handicap Chase (15:20 Doncaster)

A few each going up here and I won’t run through them all. Steve made the strongest case for Hill Sixteen at 23.0. Sam likes Kapcorse in the main whilst my best bet of the day is the frustrating but overpriced Hurricane Harvey. Really fancy he’ll go well here.

  • Tom – Hurricane HarveyCanelo
  • Sam – Kapcorse & Fusil Raffles (small saver)
  • Steve – Hill Sixteen & Storm Control (win & place)

Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – Grade 2 (15:40 Cheltenham)

Often this race is a pointer to the Albert Bartlett (particularly for the winner) but better ground for this year’s renewal might change that. Anyway, Sam and I think Hillcrest is the bet and he’s Sam’s strongest fancy of the day. He’s a stunning individual. Steve thinks there’s value in North Lodge against the top two in the betting.

  • Tom – Hillcrest
  • Sam – Hillcrest
  • Steve – North Lodge

Best Lay Bets

  • Tom – No bet
  • Sam – Simply The Betts (place lay 1.8ish) (14:30 Cheltenham)
  • Steve – Miranda (2.0 or better) (14:10 Doncaster)

Best Bets

  • Tom – Hurricane Harvey (15:20 Doncaster) / Bobby On The Beat (16:23 Lingfield)
  • Sam – Hillcrest (15:40 Cheltenham)
  • Steve – Your Darling (13:20 Cheltenham)

Best of luck!

If you’re looking for Cheltenham ante-post previews, producer Daniel Hussey and Micheál Deasy have previewed the Gold Cup, Stayers Hurdle, Arkle Chase with Matt Tombs joining them for the Brown Advisory. Read them here.

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