NAP Of The Day | Cheltenham Trials Day Tips

1.55 Cheltenham – Magic Saint (E/W)

For some reason Magic Saint has fallen off many punter’s radars even though he is still a 147-rated chaser and has loads of Cheltenham back form in his locker.

The eight-year-old has not won seven of his 26 career starts by just being an average horse and back in November 2020 he was winning the Paddy Power Chase here.

Three runs in top company thus far this season should see him bang on for this 2m 4½f Grade 3 contest, and at 7/1 in our online betting he holds a great each-way chance.

Of the others, the mare She'sasupermack deserves a crack at this level and could be an interesting outsider.


2.10 Doncaster – Miranda (NAP)

Miranda proved that she was all heart 12 months ago when she scooped Grade Two honours in this Yorkshire Rose Mares' Hurdle and she can blossom once again on Town Moor on Saturday afternoon.

Paul Nicholls’ mare should retain her crown in the Yorkshire Rose if she knuckles down to the job in hand. An indifferent start at Ludlow last time would have put most horses out of the reckoning but amazingly she just managed to get up on the line.

The runner-up that day has won since and her second place to Molly Olly’s Wishes at Wetherby has been franked since. She won’t be much of a price but we make her our 888Sport NAP of the day.

Those looking for an each-way alternative should consider the highly consistent Miss Heritage who should run her usual race.


2.30 Cheltenham – Aye Right (WIN)

Harriet Graham has been bullish about Aye Right's chances ahead of Saturday's big race at Cheltenham and he is fancied to come out on top in this small but select field.

With a shot at the Cheltenham Gold Cup potentially on the cards, Aye Right can take the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase in his stride en route to the Festival in March.

Nicky Henderson's Chantry House is the obvious danger but he ran poorly in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day and it might be worth siding with Aye Right after his Listed success at Newcastle.

Simply The Betts cannot be dismissed getting weight from the top two in the betting and the change from Gavin Sheehan to Harry Cobden may eek out further improvement.


2.45 Doncaster – Not At Present (E/W)

If one trainer has the pedigree and the knowhow to win this Grade 2 River Don Novices' Hurdle, then it’s Ben Pauling.

The Bourton Hill incumbent has taken the event three of the last six years, starting off with Barters Hill in 2016, then Nadaitak in 2019 and The Cob last year.

Winless last the season, the penny has finally dropped with the seven-year-old gelding and in handicap company this season he has won four and finished runner-up twice in his six starts.

Hillcrest is heading the betting at 2/1 for this 3m ½f contest and on paper is the one they all have to beat, but at odds of around 14/1 in the horse racing betting, this son of Presenting is well worth an each-way dabble.


3.05 Cheltenham – Paisley Park (WIN)

Paisley Park bids for a third Cleeve Hurdle here today and will probably have his work cut to do so.

However Champ’s successful last race foray into the staying hurdle division may well be just a flash in the pan and it can pay to side with an old tried and trusted head again on this occasion.

Trainer Emma Lavelle has scrapped any plans for this Stayers' Hurdle hero to go over fences just yet, with this Cleeve Hurdle once again the next logical step for the 10-year-old.

Having finished third in each of his three starts this season, many pundits have been hailing Paisley Park as a bit of a slow boat now, but if anything he’s just a little temperamental nowadays and he can still mix it with the best.

McFabulous for the Paul Nicholls stable ranks as the biggest danger to the selection.


3.20 Doncaster – Hill Sixteen, Nuts Well & Hurricane Harvey (E/W)

It may also be Cheltenham Trials Day today but the best betting race of the afternoon is at Doncaster where a competitive field lines up for the Great Yorkshire Chase.

The Sandy Thomson-trained Hill Sixteen went into the Welsh Grand National with a fair degree of expectation behind him having run Snow Leopardess to just a nose defeat in the Becher Chase at Aintree, but he was pulled up that day in stamina sapping conditions and where just five horses completed the course.

If he can be excused that blip then the trip and a track like Doncaster look to be right up his street.

Older horses have a great record in this contest and coming in at eleven-years-old is a longstanding favourite of mine – Nuts Well.

The veteran performer is trained and owned by the loveable darlings of the moment – Ann and Ian Hamilton.

A winner of 12 of his 43 starts, Nuts Well has been a remarkable servant to the farming pensioner couple having previously won an Old Roan Chase off this mark and a step up to this trip appears to be a shrewd move. He can go well at a generous each-way price.

Of the others, I will even extend my portfolio to having three value each-way picks in this race as I really like the look of Hurricane Harvey too down at the bottom of the handicap.

His best ever run over fences came here when he won the Grade 2 December Novices’ Chase in 2020 but to date hasn’t been able to replicate that form in handicaps. A 50 day break is sure to have done him good and I do believe that he is a very dangerous floater.


3.40 Cheltenham – North Lodge (E/W)

Considered a “nice young prospect” by his trainer Alan King, North Lodge can take another baby step towards the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival with a bold showing in this Grade 2 Classic Novices' Hurdle.

The McNeill family-owned five-year-old impressed me greatly at Aintree on his debut and I put him down as one to follow from that day forwards.

Green Book for Venetia Williams is interesting too coming back from his unfortunate unseat in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton.


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*Credit for the main photo belongs to Alastair Grant / AP Photo*

 

FIRST PUBLISHED: 12th November 2020

About the Author
By
Steve Mullington

Steven is a sports and horseracing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 25 renewals of the Grand National.