The Cheltenham Festival is now less than seven weeks away and the countdown continues this weekend with Festival Trials Day at Prestbury Park.
As always, Saturday means Ladbrokes have your back when your selection finds one too good with the bookies’ Money Back Offer seeing your stake returned on all Channel 4 races (full terms here).
It’s a day to savour at both Prestbury Park and Doncaster with favourites for the Gold Cup, World Hurdle and Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle all in action.
However we are looking elsewhere when it comes to our best bets for the day.
NAP: Shantou Village – Cheltenham 15:00
You couldn’t fail to be impressed when Neil Mulholland’s gelding bolted up over Saturday’s trip on the Old Course on November 15.
The six-year-old powered clear of a field that included Champers on Ice – who has won twice since and reopposes here – announcing himself as a real prospect.
He is two-from-two over hurdles so far, winning two races by a combined distance of 34 lengths, and with market rival Yanworth arguably only stepping up in trip to avoid Min at the Festival, Ruby Walsh’s mount could make his stamina show.
NB: Tenor Nivernais – Cheltenham 14:25
Venetia Williams’ charge is having an excellent season, placing in two valuable handicaps over course and distance after a tearaway win at Ascot.
He has a length to find with favourite Champagne West on their December Gold Cup run, but the conditions they will face here will be more in his favour and at more than double the price looks value.
He’s only three pounds higher in the weights than when second to Village Vic on New Year’s Day and further improvement is not out of the question.
Lively Longshot: Aachen – Doncaster 15:15
While it normally pays to side with something unexposed in the Sky Bet Chase, this veteran is in the form of his life, though that is shown by his career-high mark.
He was just denied a third win on the bounce by a dogged performance by Soll at Sandown after hacking up at Cheltenham and Wincanton in December.
Any overnight rain would enhance his claims further. On ground described as either soft or heavy since joining Venetia Williams reading 111P341P3112 and he could show the young’uns how it’s done again.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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