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Cheltenham November Meeting & Market Rasen Selection

Morning all,

Inside today’s main piece you’ll find my preview of another of the weekend’s big races the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle. There’s also a trainer in hot form whose runners at Cheltenham’s November meeting could be worth keeping onside. Plus, a selection from this afternoon’s meeting at Market Rasen.

Cheltenham’s November Meeting

All eyes on Cheltenham this weekend. It looks increasingly likely the going will be good to soft at worst but given it’s the British weather we are talking about who knows it could be soft come Saturday afternoon.

The dry weather in the Cheltenham area means Clerk of the Course Simon Claisse has had to water the ground in the lead up to the meeting. It must be a long time since that’s happened prior to the meeting.

The big talking point in the run-up to weekend is the news that My Drogo will face only two rivals on his chasing debut in the novices’ chase on Friday. Even worse the other two declared runners are from Ireland. Now its fair to say that traditionally the race has never attracted a big field. Indeed, the last ten renewals of the race have seen only 61 runners compete. However, this year’s field is the smallest ever. It’s not a good look for the sport especially as the race will be broadcast live on ITV. Still at least the handicaps promise to provide some competitive action over the three days.

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I won’t go into the meeting stats too deeply but one trainer whose runners are worth noting are Colin Tizzard’s. Since 2016 he’s had 11 winners from 50 runners 22% +5.54 19 placed 38%. Ten of the yards winners from 24 runners were sent off 7/1 or shorter. If you backed all those qualifiers, you would have made a profit of £10.54 to a £1 level stake.

I mentioned at the beginning of today’s column a trainer whose runners could be worth noting this weekend. The trainer is Milton Harris in the past 14-days he’s had 7 winners from 19 runners 37% +7.96 13 placed 68% and has several entries on Cheltenham's Saturday card.

Something for the Weekend – Part 2

Unibet Greatwood Handicap (Grade 3) – 2m ½ f

As ever looking at some of the trends. Of the 210 horses that have competed in the Greatwood Hurdle since 2008.

Those aged 8 and older are 0 winners from 25 bets 2 placed.

Favourites have a poor recent record in the race, having produced 0 winners from 16 runners 6 placed.

The sweet spot in terms of odds seems to be those returned between 5/1 to 12/1 who have produced 11 winners from 86 runners +21.5 33 placed. Meanwhile those sent off 20/1 & bigger are 1 winner from 78 runners 3 placed.

The winning most trainers in the race are:

Alan King – 2 winners from 14 runners +14 5 placed

Paul Nicholls – 2 winners from 16 runners +10 6 placed

Philip Hobbs – 2 winners from 11 runners +7 3 placed.


Ordinary Joe trained by Nicky Henderson heads the bookies ante post market. The 5-year-old has only had three starts over hurdles and beat three rivals in a Worcester novice hurdle on his last start in May. He's open to plenty of improvement on his handicap debut and a mark of 133 could well underestimate him. That said I think given his relative inexperience he’s worth taking on especially if he goes off favourite.

There’s been plenty of support for West Cork in the ante post betting and he’s currently second favourite in the ante post betting. He won two of his five starts over hurdles last season and should go well for a yard that can place a horse to win handicap hurdles here.

Alan King looks likely to saddle Tritonic. The 4-year-old so impressive when winning the Grade 2 Adonis Hurdle at Kempton in February. He hasn’t really built on that performance but will be all the better for his seasonal return here at the last meeting and a strongly run race should suit.

There’s likely to be several Irish runners in the race and the best of them could be the Charles Byrnes trained Advanced Virgo. The 6-year-old is very effective on good/good to soft ground. He bounced back to form when back to his best when a 7 ¾ length 5th of 18 on his last start over hurdles at the Listowel Festival and has since finished third on the flat. He’s unexposed over hurdles and a mark of 133 looks more than workable for a shrewd trainer. Daryl Jacob has been booked for the ride which suggests he will come over the race.

I’m not sure if Jessie Evans will come over for the race but if he does then he would have to be respected. The 5-year-old put in a career best effort when 2 ¼ lengths 4th of 20 to Saldier in Galway Hurdle in July. He’s run well on the flat since winning a Navan maiden 25-days ago. His experience of a big field handicap hurdle will hold him in good stead and he’s likely got a nice pot in him over hurdles.

Glory And Fortune had Cormier 6 ½ lengths back in 4th when winning the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las last month. He’s returned to action in great form winning both starts this autumn and although he’s up 8lb for his last win he can’t be discounted. Cormier get’s a 9lb pull in the weights here and I fancy he can finish in front this time. Trainer Brian Ellison saddled Nietzsche to win this in 2018.

Finally, a couple at big odds we have Straw Fan Jack and Galice Macalo  Straw Fan Jack proved to be a useful novice hurdler last season and made a pleasing return to action when a head 2nd of 12 to Samba Dancer over C&D at the last meeting. It was a cracking effort given he was carrying top-weight of 11-12. Hes been nudged up 2lb for that effort and this a better race but he’s another with a decent handicap pot in him this season. If the 6-year-old was with a more fashionable yard, he wouldn’t be the 25/1 that he is with Bet365 & Coral.

Galice Macalo put in some decent performances in novice company last season and the mare returned from a 7-month layoff with a 1 ¼ length 4th of 9 in handicap hurdle at Chepstow last month. She can race off the same mark here and should be sharper for her Chepstow run. Well suited to a sound surface, if she settles, could be keen her races last season, she has each way claims.

Thursday racing

The Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase (2.25) is the best quality race today although it’s only attracted four runners you can give all of them a chance. Market Rasen has a Listed mares’ chase (1:40) which is the highlight of a six-race card at the Lincolnshire track. There are also jumps cards at Taunton & Sedgefield and the day’s action is completed by an all-weather evening fixture at Chelmsford.

Yesterday's selection Windsor Avenue ran well to finish runner-up to Snow Leopardess but in truth never looked like he would catch the winner who jumped well out in front and could now be ahead for next months Becher Chase over the National fences.

Market Rasen

1:40 – The Henry Daly-trained Chilli Filli won this 12 months ago by a length from Casablanca Mix but is 8lb worse off with the Nicky Henderson trained mare. That said the Daly mare improved further last season and ended the campaign with a win in a Perth Mares’ Listed race in April. I fancy she can confirm form with Henderson mare today.

I like the claims of the Christian Williams trained Win My Wings. The 8-year-old, three-time winner over hurdles, got off the mark at the third attempt over fences when winning a mare’s handicap chase at Cheltenham (good) in April. Granted she has a bit to find with the two fillies at the head of the betting but there could be more to come from her over the larger obstacles.

Selection: Win My Wings – 15/2 – Gen.

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Good luck with your Thursday bets.


John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk

2 thoughts on “Cheltenham November Meeting & Market Rasen Selection”

  1. Great write up again John, hit the post with yesterday’s selection, but a decent profit for ew backers at 12-1. Look forward to your posts every day! Keep up the good work!

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