We’re hoping big fields mean big priced winners at Cheltenham


The Open Meeting kicked off with a bang on Friday, and with the Paddy Power Gold Cup taking centre stage on Saturday, it’s only going to get better at Cheltenham.

The big handicap chase will be the focal point for many punters this weekend, but there is a plethora of good contests to enjoy at the home of jumps racing.

And with plenty of large fields in the contests in Gloucestershire, there are sure to be loads of massive prices to get stuck into.

With more opponents to see off, your selection might well find one too good, but fear not, you are covered with Ladbrokes.

If your horse finishes second in any race shown live on Channel 4 the bookmaker will give you your money back as a free bet, up to £25*(all T&Cs here)!

Here’s who we think you should keep on side…

Soll – 13:50

A change of yard has seen David Pipe’s gelding come to life in the past 12 months. Two wins in his first pair of starts for the Nicholashayne yard saw the 10-year-old recapture the form of years gone by.

He ran a good race when finishing ninth in the Grand National in April, using his excellent jumping talents to get around Aintree’s daunting course.

Even more impressive was he managed to finish the race in that respectable position having broken a blood vessel in the latter stages.

The trip will not be a problem, and although he’s seven pounds higher than his last win, his new trainer is a dab hand at getting more out of his new recruits.


Soll is a four time winner over fences

Present View – 14:25

With a price of around 20/1 on offer for last year’s favourite for the race, it would be barmy not to have some sort of interest in Jamie Snowden’s charge, especially running off a one pound lower mark.

He finished third that day last year, going down just two lengths to Caid Du Berlais, and on better ground could be expected to get even closer.

You do have to forgive him his last run if you are to get involved, but in truth he was never in the race at Ascot, and the three mile trip may have stretched him.

He runs in blinkers for the first time on Saturday at a track he has some excellent form at and with the drop back in trip an undoubted positive, he looks over-priced.

Present View is a previous winner at the Cheltenham Festival

Present View is a previous winner at the Cheltenham Festival

Atlantic Gold – 15:00

Sometimes it pays to simply follow the horses with some 1s next to their name, and Charlie Longsdon’s horse fits the bill in this handicap hurdle.

The yard has been enjoying plenty of winners at this early point of the season, and the five-year-old could add one more at Prestbury Park.

He was a facile victor over three miles at the venue last time out and while he goes up a furlong in trip, he won in the manner of a horse that wasn’t at his absolute limit.

He’s now 11 pounds higher than when second in his last handicap contest at Market Rasen, but with Aidan Coleman taking the ride in his last two runs and delivering two victories, he must be taken seriously.

Charlie Longsdon's horses have been in good form

Charlie Longsdon’s horses have been in good form

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.