4.00 Cheltenham – Debutants looking to upset the old guard

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Edna Bolger has made the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase his own over the six years it has been a Cheltenham Festival race, and having won 14 of the 32 cross country races staged at Cheltenham, he’s the go to man for punters.

Despite finishing fifth in this race last year, two-time winner Garde Champetre finished second over this course in November and recently won the P.P. Hogan Memorial Chase at Punchestown which is why he is the 4/1 favourite.

Stablemate and rival L’ami is next in the betting and has finished second on both of his Festival starts in this race, and is the 5/1 second favourite.

At the bottom of the weights Maljimar is the third favourite at 7/1 alongside Sizing Australia, and on his only start over this course finished third behind Garde Champetre in 2009 but was 8lbs heavier on that occasion.

Maljimar represents the best of the British challenge but this is a race dominated by Irish-trained horses and with British-trained runners 0-50 in this race, punters should concentrate on the Irish challenge.

27 of the 32 cross country races at Cheltenham have been won by a horse in the first five of the betting, suggesting the winner will come from either Garde Champetre, L’ami, Sizing Australia (7/1) and last year’s winner A New Story (10/1).

But at 25/1, we believe Lord Nellerie – running off a very low weight – is a great each-way bet having finished second behind Garde Champetre at Punchestown on his last start.

He’s never run at the Cheltenham cross country course which is a negative, but considering he was getting 7lbs from the favourite at Punchestown, and is getting 28lbs on this occasion, he must be in for a big run.

Sizing Australia ticks all the boxes in terms of trends, but at a big price, we expect Lord Nellerie to run a big race.

A £20 stake on Lord Nellerie winning the Cross Country Chase would return £420. New customers can sign up here for a free Cheltenham bet worth up to £60.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.