Racing News Blog
So Cheltenham the home of national hunt racing is back! we had a good first day in the community with several trades going our way. Tomorrow will see some quality animals out in force. Below we look at one of the big races tomorrow …
15:10 Randox Health Handicap Chase (Class 2) (4YO plus) 1M 7F 199Y
Several could be up with the early pace Foxtail Hill is the strongest contender and more likely to set the tempo. He could prove difficult to pass if back to his best. He stayed on here last time out to finish a good runner up off a mark of 140 getting the run of the race at a shorter trip back in April.
The race before he never got the run of the race at Aintree and was well beaten into 9th in a field of 14 of which Double W’s took victory. However Foxtail Hill has won over this course but over a longer trip in January off a mark of 133 making all the running in a Grade 3 so has to be respected if at his best.
That made him backed in as favourite at the festival in the close brothers handicap chase and he sadly fell mid race with his front running tactics. If back to his best has to be respected although this trip might be a little too short and he could get caught late on.
Sizing Platinum could be up with the pace he finished runner up in this race last year but he goes off 8lb higher than that race after winning last time out in a small field at Newton Abbot this month for his first win since 2015 and the weight could be too much in this bigger field.
The flyingprotrait could cause early pace problems but really needs to be uncontested in front to get the best out of him and this track might not suit. He is more suited to a tighter track although in respect his last win came in a smaller field at Aintree in June.
Cobra de mai could run in touch, he is in form picking up four wins in the last five races four of them over fences. But they have all been in small fields for Dan Skelton. That said he could possibly be a danger if Foxtail Hill is not ready to dominate.
Le Prezien is likely to be held up he won over course and distance off a similar mark last year in a smaller field , He went off as favourite in the Grand Annual handicap chase at the festival in March and Paul Nichols yard has started the season well. He was last seen at Punchestown where he got pulled up two out back in April. But could possibly be one to watch for if travelling well.
Mr Fiftyone came 4th in this last year and travels across the pond for another go for Jessica Harrington he has not won since 2016 in a smaller field at Punchestown and his recent form is not great.
Vaniteux is an interesting one on his first run for his new yard since switching from Nicky Henderson to David Pipe. He goes off at top weight off a mark of 158 which won’t be easy. His last win was at Ayr running off 153 in April held up in mid division.
Eastlake has won here before but he is so unreliable being pulled up in four of the last six races.
Double W’s only run here came in the same race Foxtail Hill fell, he finished 9th and faded two out with the pace up the hill killing off his chances of victory. His last win came at Aintree in April prominently run, the question is will he get up the hill this time in front?
We could go through the rest of the field in fine detail but from a trading perspective FOXTAIL HILL gets the nod if uncontested in front could be tough to pass as long as he can master this trip he should trade nicely in running.