It has been a long time coming, but we’ve finally made it to Cheltenham for the Showcase meeting and I have some fantastic double-figure selections lined up for you on Day 1.
I also have a weekend Jumps preview coming your way any time soon, which features two special guests, so don’t forget to come back tomorrow to see what we all have to say about Saturday’s Cheltenham action.
We have teamed up with BzeeBet for the Cheltenham Showcase meeting to bring you a great offer. Sign up as a new customer and if you bet £10, then you’ll get £30 in free bets, which you can use to make the most of my Cheltenham betting tips.
I have some really strong selections to get us underway for the first Cheltenham meeting of the season. Better still, all three are on the market at big prices. The ground is absolutely perfect, with good to soft going, and I think my picks are going to take some beating. Especially so my 11/1 NAP of the day, who defends his title in the final race.
I’m really excited about the opening race, especially as I’ll be there to see it in person, but also because I see plenty of talent here. Afadil was a really nice juvenile for Paul Nicholls last year, and he could run a big race, but he’ll definitely need to be sharp first time out to beat the older horses.
Castel Gandolfo is a very honest type and he has run some huge races here at Cheltenham for Fergal O’Brien. He’s certain to go well again will undoubtedly give it his best shot here. Teddy Blue and Black Poppy both have similar credentials, with little to choose between them on paper, but if push came to shove, my money would be on Teddy Blue. That said, I think Great Bear has a seriously solid each way chance here for the Henry de Bromhead team.
He has only had five starts for Henry’s yard, but he impressed me when he won at Cork straight off the back of a long layoff. I think that sending him back over Hurdles is a stroke of genius and he has a serious chance of getting us off to a profitable start.
This is deep, big-field Handicap Chase with 20 runners, but I do have a strong fancy here. Mole Court, for Ben Pauling, is a horse I have been on for all of his wins and I am going to have to have a sentimental punt on him tomorrow. He’s sure to really enjoy Cheltenham and I imagine he’ll get a nice prominent ride and hopefully be kept out of the trouble.
However, the standout here for me is One True King, who runs for the local Twiston-Davies team. I believe this race has been his early-season target for a while now. Last season he won on debut at Market Rasen on good to soft ground and he went for the same race again this year. That leads me to believe that the yard used Market Rasen as a prep run for this particular Handicap Chase.
Toby McCain-Mitchell has been booked for this ride for a while, so they definitely have a plan in mind. Incidentally, Toby may only have had five professional rides, but he is one smart cookie and he claims 7lb. One True King is 5lb better off than when he won last year, making him look very well-handicapped here and at 14/1, he’s a great price.
For the final race, I have a standout selection in the name of Soul Icon, who is my NAP of the day for Friday. He won the Conditional Handicap here last year, off a mark of 117 and he was really impressive on his seasonal debut at Fontwell recently, where he won off a mark of 127.
He does step up in trip this time around, but that doesn’t concern me in the slightest, as he is clearly in fine nick. Provided he gets a similar sort of ride from Harry Kimber here, I think he’ll be in the winner’s enclosure again.
🎥 GJ on Youtube
#️⃣ GJ on Twitter
Join GJ's expert Discord Channel
Users must be 18+. If you are having trouble with gambling then help and advice can be found at begambleaware.org. Please Play Responsibly.
This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.