We have some cracking racing this weekend with a return to Cheltenham, and a meeting that I very much like to attend - but this year, I will have to be content with watching on the tv.
I'm taking an early look to see if there's any antepost value in the markets, and the Class 2, Handicap Chase on Friday over 2-miles may be an opportunity, as I think the top-weight Magic Saint is going to struggle with 12st to carry in this field. With On The Slopes, Beat The Judge and Ballywood all exposed LTO and needing to find improvement to win, and Born Survivor perhaps lacking speed over this trip (he's usually seen over 20f), and Azzuri and Full Glass looking outclassed (although Azzuri races for the first time since winning in April 2019 off a rating lower than the OR132 he won off that day); we are left with FANION D'ESTRUVAL and Eamon An Cnoic. Personally, I think the Venetia Williams' trained Fanion D'Estruval looks well-treated on OR150 as gthe last time we saw him, which was only his 2nd chase in this country, was when 5th behind eventual Arkle 4th Global Citizen and his stablemate Rouge Vif - and Fanion started the 6/4 fav that day, so we know who his stablelads thought was the better horse! As for Eamon An Cnoic, is no world-beater, but he's a horse that likes Cheltenham and is fairly consistent - and he's also had wind surgery, so could show improvement, but he does want it soft. At the odds, as I write FANION D'ESTRUVAL is 6/1 with Bet365 is a steal for a horse that could be (just could be) 160+ and racing off OR150.