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Cheltenham November Meeting – Surrounding Races Offer Plenty To Savour

Who To Look Out For Away From The ITV Cameras

There’s no shortage of excitement away from the ITV cameras on Saturday. For Cheltenham fanatics, there’s plenty to savour in the surrounding races as well, with all three promising clues for the season ahead.

JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle, Saturday, 12.30pm

Won in the last five years by Defi Du Seuil and Allmankind, the Triumph Trial regularly points to horses who are likely to feature at that season’s Cheltenham Festival and beyond. Indeed, the 2021 Triumph Hurdle runner-up, Adagio, was beaten in this race a year ago.

This year looks to be headed by the exciting MAGISTRATO for Paul Nicholls, a wide-margin winner of his first start at Chepstow. This French import has all the makings of a very talented recruit and he should take all the beating.

That said, dangers abound in a pair of unbeaten rivals. Milton Harris’ Knight Salute has won at Sedgefield and Kempton already this autumn, while Anthony Honeyball’s Mister Allegro has been transformed since switching to hurdles from the flat.

The most fascinating opposition, however, may come from Gary Moore’s yard, famous for their juveniles in recent seasons. Yorksea is a recruit from Freddy Head’s and could be anything at this stage.

Jewson Tool Hire Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase, Saturday, 1.05pm

Three of the last five winners of this handicap have ended up in the top five in the Kim Muir at the Festival, so this is another contest which provides valuable form.

The weights this year are held up by a powerful Irish contingent. Opposites Attract and FORZA MILAN have kept good company in the last couple of seasons. The latter has done so in some particularly high-profile contests and this looks significantly easier for him. Maxine O’Sullivan is a familiar name to those who watched the rise of Dreal Deal last season.

Of the Brits, the 1-2 from last month’s amateur jockeys’ handicap over course and distance appeal most: Strictlyadancer was winning on his first start at the track, while Fact Of The Matter, despite being 2lbs out of the weights, has won on the Cross Country course before.

Stirrups Restaurant And Cocktail Bar Evesham Mares’ Open National Hunt Flat Race, Saturday, 3.55pm

Expect this to be a close run thing as two of the last five renewals have resulted in dead heats. Expect there to be quality too: all of Irish Roe, The Glancing Queen and Elle Est Belle have won this race in recent years.

The standard this season is set by WHERES MAUD GONE for Laura Morgan and Adam Wedge. This will be her second season in bumpers, but her fifth in Aintree’s Grade 2 mares’ bumper is particularly encouraging form and the less-experienced in this field will have to go some to beat her.

The eighth from that contest, Finest View, re-opposes, while of those stepping up in class, Leading Theatre and Martha Willow are of most intrigue.