It’s great that BetBright are lending their support to today’s new year’s extravaganza at Cheltenham and they’ve been rewarded with a very interesting card.
The most intriguing race of the day without doubt is the BetBright Dipper Novices’ Chase, where we’ll see the rematch between Willoughby Court and Yanworth.
Let’s be clear, Willoughby Court did everything more impressively at Newbury and a straight reproduction of their performances would enable him to concede the penalty to Yanworth without much bother, but Yanworth is a huge talent and if he can just sharpen up his jumping he could yet prove that he’s got a future as a chaser.
Two things we know about the horse: first, he has bottomless stamina and second, his smoothest performance came as a novice on heavy ground at this track. For a horse who’s won a lot of races, he gets called a lot of names, but I think he might win another one this afternoon.
BetBright sponsor a useful little Handicap Chase at 2.00pm and it might be worth siding with Quite By Chance who has got plenty of soft and heavy ground form and has run plenty of sound races off around this mark. Whether he’s quite at his best over this far is a moot point, but he certainly looks as though he wanted a bit more of the trip judged on his staying on third behind Sir Valentino at Ascot.
No prizes for realising that the BetBright Casino Handicap Hurdle at 3.00pm is going to be a fair old slog and it’s just trying to identify the horse that might be best suited by it.
Although he’s going to start fighting a battle with the handicapper soon, I think there might be another win in Arthur’s Gift. I loved his attitude in a fairly well run three-miler here last time and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him defy a 6ibs higher mark.
BetBright are also supporting the Handicap Chase at 12.50 which looks a real head scratcher, with five horses who are essentially out of form. I thought there was enough encouragement in Russe Blanc’s run before he unseated his rider at Haydock to think he was a pretty well handicapped horse at the moment and I think Harry Skelton, who’s picked up one-or-two rides for Kerry Lee recently, might well suit him. So without much confidence, he gets the nod.
Nick’s New Year Picks…
12.50 – Russe Blanc
1.25 – Yanworth
2.00 – Quite By Chance
2.35 – Arthur’s Gift
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.