Cheltenham Saturday Preview – Runner-by-runner Comments & Big Race Verdict for Saturday’s Feature Race!

The nine Cheltenham Festival handicaps have attracted 654 entries, down slightly on last year.The nine Cheltenham Festival handicaps have attracted 654 entries, down slightly on last year.

Runner-by-runner Preview & Verdict for Saturday’s Feature Cheltenham Race

Cheltenham’s two-day Showcase Meeting concludes on Saturday with a seven-race card. Here at Racing Tips, we have produced a runner-by-runner preview and big race verdict for the main race on Saturday’s card.

2:20pm – 888Sport What’s Your Thinking Handicap Chase (3m1f)

1. Cloth Cap (T: Jonjo O’Neill, J: Tom Scudamore)

Upwardly mobile last season, chasing home subsequent King George hero Frodon in this very race before bolting up in the Ladbrokes Trophy. A Listed victory in similarly impressive fashion at Newbury followed, a win which propelled him into favouritism for the Grand National. Pulled up there after having breathing difficulties and subsequent wind operation should help on that front. Big player on reappearance.

2. Truckers Lodge (T: Paul Nicholls, J: Lorcan Williams)

2019 Welsh Grand National runner-up who subsequently demolished a smart field in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter. Not quite at that level in three starts last season, albeit latest 7th when attempting to retain his Midlands National crown was a creditable run. 3lb lower on seasonal reappearance and has won fresh but the ground conditions could prove a touch lively.

3. Domaine De L’Isle (T: Sean Curran, J: David Bass)

Stable flagbearer who improved significantly for wind surgery last season, building on a 14/1 Kempton success when scoring over 3m2f here in April. 5lb higher on reappearance but that course victory was his first over real staying distance and therefore he remains open to improvement beyond 3m. Ground no concern and certainly enters calculations if fully tuned up on the back of a break.

4. Go Another One (T: John McConnell, J: Sean Bowen)

Irish raider who has finished first or second in an impressive 21 of his 35 career starts. Notched his 13th career win last month when rallying gamely to deny stablemate Roi De Dubai at Perth. Runs off just a 2lb higher mark here and he gets his preferred ground conditions. Warrants respect with Sean Bowen retaining familiarities, but no shock if he finds at least a couple of these better handicapped.

5. Didero Vallis (T: Venetia Williams, J: Charlie Deutsch)

Broke a two-year losing run when going in at Catterick in February. Pulled up when a 33/1 shot for the Kim Muir subsequently, but he bounced back to form with a subsequent second at Kelso (first-time cheekpieces). That headgear is removed on reappearance, however, and it is questionable whether he wants conditions quite this quick. Last two wins have come off a mark of 130 and finds himself on a rating of 139 here.

6. Shoal Bay (T: Colin Tizzard, J: Tom O’Brien)

Gained wins at Southwell and Ludlow last year but he has failed to complete in both 2021 runs, unseating at Worcester on reappearance and then finishing pulled up at Ludlow earlier this month. Gets his ground but it is very difficult to trust him in this company on the back of those recent performances.

7. The Hollow Ginge (T: Nigel Twiston-Davies, J: Sam Twiston-Davies)

Experienced 8yo but it’s coming on for two years since his last win, which came in a handicap chase at Leicester. Failed to complete in four of five starts last season, coming into this on the back of a pulled up finish in April’s Scottish Grand National. Has won fresh and is currently 3lb below his last winning mark, but he is currently 0-9 in double-figure fields.

8. Jersey Bean (T: Oliver Sherwood, J: Brendan Powell)

Gained successive handicap chase wins at Newton Abbot and Exeter around this time last year, and ended the campaign with an impressive victory over the new course here in April. Undoubtedly aided by some of his main market rivals underperforming that last day, but this mark isn’t beyond him on the pick of his form and he remains relatively unexposed in this sphere, definite each-way player.

9. Storm Control (T: Kerry Lee, J: Richard Patrick)

Showed a game attitude to make all twice at this venue last season, the initial victory coming over this course and distance. Not at that level in three subsequent starts, finishing mid-field in the Topham when last seen in April. Reappears with his yard in fine fettle, however, and he is now back down to his last winning mark. Dangerous to dismiss but he does tend to come on for his seasonal reappearance.

10. Minella Bobo (T: Rebecca Curtis, J: Adam Wedge)

Has benefitted from the addition of cheekpieces recently, gaining two wins from three starts in this headgear, the latest victory coming with a tongue-tie applied. Bolted up by 11l that day, and the victory didn’t go unnoticed by the handicapper, who subsequently forced him up 12lb. Remains relatively unexposed over fences but this is by far his toughest assignment to date.

11. Definite Plan (T: Gordon Elliott, J: Jordan Gainford)

Has run up a string of seconds over fences of late without ever really threatening the judge, beaten over 11l at Gowran (2m4f) last time. Looks like an out and out stayer at this stage and therefore going back up in trip is expected to suit, with first-time cheekpieces also an interesting addition. Difficult to see him as thrown in off a mark of 131, however.

12. Cool Mix (T: Iain Jardine, J: Conor O’Farrell)

Claimed the scalp of Sky Pirate at Wetherby last October, and backed that up with third-place finishes at Aintree, Newcastle and Musselburgh. Pushed right up in trip in the Scottish Grand National latest and seemed to stay the trip fine. Remains unexposed over staying distances, and he can go well fresh. Certainly enters calculations even though he did bomb out here on only previous course visit.

13. Just Your Type (T: Charlie Longsdon, J: William Kennedy)

Winner at Uttoxeter around this time last year and had won on the back of an absence prior to that. Not seen since bumping into the handicap blot Royale Pagaille in Haydock’s Peter Marsh Chase. Runs off a 6lb lower mark on reappearance, so now just 2lb above his Uttoxeter winning mark, but ground this quick is a slight concern and he is unlikely to be allowed to dictate matters.

14. Redford Road (T: Nigel Twiston-Davies, J: Jordan Nailor)

Grade 2 winner over hurdles here as a 5yo, but he hasn’t really kicked on since then. Three most recent chase starts have resulted in defeats by 22, 23 and 42 length margins, and he was pulled up in the Pertemps over hurdles here when last seen. Remains young enough to get his career back on track, but others look more reliable betting propositions at present.

Big Race Verdict

COOL MIX disappointed here on only previous course visit, but it’s easy to forget that little over a year ago he was claiming the scalp of Sky Pirate at Wetherby, with that rival now rated a whopping 27lb higher. Cool Mix proved his proficiency for stamina-sapping distances when a close-up fifth in the Scottish Grand National last time out, and he has a solid record when fresh. Cloth Cap had looked very progressive prior to bombing out in the Grand National and if wind surgery has worked the oracle he is entitled to be right in the thick of the action, whilst Jersey Bean could also run into a place having won impressively here when last seen.

  2. Cloth Cap
  3. Jersey Bean