A packed weekend of racing kicks-off with an exciting seven-race card from Cheltenham on Friday.
With runners including Sceau Royal and the promising Slate House, it should be an intriguing afternoon of action.
While the first day’s racing from Cheltenham may not be on TV, we’ve still picked apart the form guide to give you an in-depth look at the course’s first meeting of the season…
NAP – Fagan – 15:45, Cheltenham
Fagan is taken to claim his first win of the season in this five-runner Class 2 contest.
Why? Well, he was only beaten by 1l when up against 2016 Champion Bumper winner Ballyandy at Perth last time out.
Not only that, but Gordon Elliott’s seven-year-old also got the better of closest competitor in this race – Beat That – the last time the pair met.
Form like that can’t be ignored.
Back up in trip for this one, Fagan has the staying power to be able to live up to his great expectations.
NB – Blairs Cove – 14:00, Cheltenham
Our NB comes from the first race of the day.
Blairs Cove justified favouritism at Warwick last time out to land a second prize over hurdles.
And we reckon he can repeat the feat for the third time in four races, even if he is upped in trip for this one.
The extra 5f shouldn’t be an issue for Harry Skelton’s mount, although he’ll do well to defy top-weight in this contest.
Main challenger Brillare Momento was beaten as favourite last time out, while Treackle Tart will have to show improvement from an albeit impressive win at Worcester if she’s to challenge here.
Lively Longshot – Mizen Master – 15:10, Cheltenham
There are plenty of chances in this Class 2 Handicap Hurdle, but it’s Mizen Master that gets our vote.
The four-year-old has been placed in every race over hurdles since switching trainers to Olly Murphy in July and can take advantage in what looks to be a wide-open contest.
He may be off a high-mark, but he’s one of only eight runners to have won over this distance and with his good recent form, is worthy of each-way claims if nothing else.
Friday Racing Tips
14:00 Cheltenham – Blairs Cove (NB)
14:35 Cheltenham – Sceau Royal
15:10 Cheltenham – Mizen Master (Lively Longshot)
15:45 Cheltenham– Fagan (NAP)
16:20 Cheltenham– Regal Flow
16:55 Cheltenham – Slate House
17:30 Cheltenham – Cool Macavity
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.