Saturday’s Daily Double – 8/1 double on Trials Day
Jon Vine has rolled his NAP and NB into his Daily Double, covering two Grade Twos at Cheltenham on Saturday 25th January.
Having passed the Daily Double torch over to Chris Loader during the week, I’m back with a Grade Two double for you guys to jump on this Saturday! I’ve covered the full card on cheltenhamfestival.net, but I’ve saved my double article for Racing Tips. Best odds’ available with Coral.
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Saturday’s Daily Double
2:25pm Paddy Power Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) 3m1½f
De Rasher Counter was my biggest winner of the season so far, having tipped him at 16/1 to win the Ladbrokes Trophy. Emma Lavelle’s star deserves a crack at the Cotswold on the back of that Newbury triumph, but he has plenty to prove at this level and I can’t bring myself to back him again.
The same can be said for both Slate House and Top Ville Ben, who travel to Cheltenham on the back of career-best victories but could struggle pitched in with several horses proven at the highest level.
Santini will carry a short price into battle on Saturday but, despite a solid run in the RSA last year, he’s a horse I’ve never really warmed to. This leaves me staring squarely at BRISTOL DE MAI (NAP) and, at 5/2, the two-time Betfair Chase winner could be my best bet of the day.
Anyone who says Bristol De Mai only acts around Haydock is completely wrong. Twiston-Davies’ stable star has won big races around Wetherby and Sandown. He was only beaten three lengths in the 2017 JLT and powered home to finish third in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham 10 months ago. Bristol De Mai lost nothing in defeat to Lostintranslation at Haydock in November and I’m confident he’ll be hard to beat on his second crack at the Trials Day feature.
3:00pm Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Registered As The Classic Novices’ Hurdle) (Grade 2) 2m4½f
I was delighted when the stewards gave the win back to Protektorat, having stripped Dan Skelton’s charge of his Listed victory here at Cheltenham after being deemed to have disrupted the running of the runner-up. He has the ability to back that performance up, but could struggled under the weight of a five-pound penalty.
House Island comes into this on the back of a runner-up finish in a Grade Two at Ascot, but I thought that was a weak race and I’m not going to take the form of it literally. Time Flies By and Harry Senior are worth more than a second-look, but they’ll both have to go a long way to deny KING ROLAND (NB).
An impressive winner of two bumpers last season, Harry Fry’s charge was well-backed as he made his hurdling debut at Newbury. King Roland was forced to take a wide path that day, but was still in with a chance approaching the second last, only to find Son Of Camas a little too quick to catch on the run to the line.
King Roland then bolted up on his first start beyond two-miles at Exeter, trouncing a field – which contained an 8-length runner-up to Sporting John – by 19-lengths without ever coming off the bridle. Fry’s charge remains open to plenty of improvement over this sort of trip and could prove himself worthy of that Ballymore entry.