Vibrato Valtat to shake up November Novices field for Nicholls

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After Kings Palace duly delivered for David Pipe and our News.Ladbrokes nap backers on the second day of Cheltenham’s Open Meeting, three more runners are plucked from another fascinating card on the final day’s action.

As the Channel 4 cameras cast their glare over the famous Cheltenham track for one Sunday only in the jumps season, sit back with your chosen fayre and if you like the sound of these tips, treat yourself to a flutter.

Nap – Vibrato Valtat to win the 2.10 Cheltenham @ 2/1

The clues were there back in May that Vibrato Valtat could handle a step up in company, as Paul Nicholls’ five-year-old was only just squeezed into third at Haydock over the November Novices distance in a well-stocked Grade 3.

That result was achieved on the expected soft conditions at Cheltenham, but it is the way Vibrato Valtat took to chasing like the proverbial duck, which marks out Sam Twiston-Davies’ ride.

Already a listed winner over hurdles, victory at Warwick just over a week ago when first pointed at fences bodes particularly well for this grey, who steals 2lbs off top weight Court Minstrel.

N.B – Simply Ned to win the 2.40 Cheltenham @ 5/2

The Shloer Chase is one of the highlights on the card and the handicapper has been particularly kind to Irish hope Simply Ned, one of trainer Nicky Richards star performers.

Second in a Grade 1 chase back in April at Aintree, this seven-year-old came up trumps on his seasonal debut at Kelso last month and carries a decisive-looking 6lbs less over a furlong shorter here in the Cotswolds.

Lively Longshot – Garde La Victoire to win 3.15 Cheltenham @ 14/1

With all the attention for the afternoon’s biggest field on Nicky Henderson’s Vaniteux of festival fame, there are a few supposedly further down the pecking order afforded tasty prices given their potential claims.

Although a big disappointment in the Supreme Novices Hurdle alongside the aforementioned race favourite when 14th back in March, Garde La Victoire swiftly exorcised his Cheltenham demons with a win on reappearance at the track just a month later in the Citipost Novices Hurdle over 2m4½f.

Hampered in running when third at Aintree on seasonal bow, four wins over hurdles from eight starts speaks volumes for this five-year-old who should eat up the 2m110y.

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

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.