Cheltenham 1.50 – Ballyhill 7/1
He’s pretty exposed, but Ballyhill is in good form and has loads of experience in these races. If he runs up to the level that saw him finish third to Aso and Happy Diva last time, he should be thereabouts again in a race that is no more difficult. Jordan Nailor’s seven pound claim could prove very useful.
Cheltenham 2.25 – Terrefort 7/2
Clearly it has been a difficult season so far for Terrefort, but he’s been given plenty of time to recover from his minor injury at Sandown and looks a pretty reasonable price here. Frodon loves it here, but doesn’t look an obvious one to improve for the extra distance, while the selection thumped Elegant Escape at Aintree last year.
Cheltenham 3.00 Brewin’upastorm 2/1
This is a cracking novice hurdle and I’m hoping Brewin’upastorm can prove himself a strong Festival contender. He shaped like the second best horse in the Challow behind the hugely talented Champ, with inexperience slightly catching him out. That form looks very strong, as does his previous win at Huntingdon.
Cheltenham 3.35 Aux Ptits Soins 11/2
The staying hurdlers are a closely matched group, but the two who could do considerably better still are Midnight Shadow and Aux Ptits Soins, both of whom won here on New Year’s Day. Slight preference is for the latter, who has always had a touch of brilliance in a career blighted by injury problems. He looked very good last time and won’t have to improve much back in graded company.
Doncaster 2.05 Bailarico 9/2
This is a very ordinary running of this Grade 2 and Bailarico might just pull off another improbable victory. He won a poor race at Kempton, but did so cosily under a penalty. He looks a little quirky, saving a bit for himself, but there might be quite a bit left in him.
Doncaster 3.15 Dingo Dollar 5/2
No prizes for originality here, but subsequent events have shown Dingo Dollar’s third at Newbury in December to be extremely good form. His run was all the better given the extent to which he matches strides with pacesetting Thomas Patrick throughout. He has form here and on a sound surface and connections will be disappointed if he can’t land a decent prize off this mark.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.