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Ginger Joe - Cheltenham Preview & Betting Tips 16 December 2023

Publish Date: 16/12/2023
Fact checked by: James Leeland
Key Points
  • Three previews and bets for Cheltenham on Saturday
  • A well-handicapped selection for the December Gold Cup
  • Keep a close eye on Fergal O’Brien’s mare in the last

Three previews for Saturday at Cheltenham

Racing fans, we move on to day two of the Cheltenham December meeting and I have three races to preview for you. We start off in the Triumph Hurdle Trial where there are some potentially nice Novices coming through, but the highlight of the day, is undeniably the December Gold Cup Handicap Chase which looks extremely competitive this year.

I have quite a strong fancy in the race and think the one I’ve picked is primed for this race. He’s still ahead of the Handicap by a few pounds too, so he could be well in for this prestigious event. But my best bet of the day comes in the final race, and this is a mare that I think is going to take another big step forward here.

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12:05 Cheltenham - JCB Triumph Trial Hurdle 2m ½f – Kabral Du Mathan

The Triumph Hurdle Trial may not look as classy as it has done in recent years, but we have a deep field and it’s an intriguing race from a betting perspective. An Bradan Feasa has some good course form, having finished close behind Burdett Road last month and he sets a pretty decent standard in this field.

Balboa also deserves a mention (especially at a double figure price) and he has been steadily progressive in his three starts. He got off the mark last time out at Chepstow, which is a course that I always like to look at with Cheltenham in mind, and he relished the long uphill straight there. Kourash, who runs for the Skelton team, also looks a fair sort.

But Kabral Du Mathan, who is owned by Neil and Alfie Smith, has caught my attention. The Smiths have purchased a really decent bunch of horses this season and this could be another nice Novice for them. He just won on debut over in Ireland and even though we don’t know how well that form will stack up on this side of the water, he still looks a fair sort and Paul Nicholls has mentioned that he works well at home.

This is definitely not a race that I would advise getting stuck into too much, but my percentage call is to side with Kabral Du Mathan. I just have a gut feeling that he could have more to offer than his debut run revealed.

13:50 Cheltenham - December Gold Cup Handicap Chase 2m 4f – So Scottish

The December Gold Cup Handicap Chase looks to be an absolute belter this year and you can make a case for the majority of those lining up. Monmiral has never really looked like a horse that would relish Cheltenham, but the fact that Nicholls is willing to run him here may be a slight inclination of what he thinks of his chances tomorrow and must be respected.

Fakir D’Oudairies brings Grade 1 form into this race and if he is in peak condition, then he’s a decent each way punt in this contest. Il Ridoto was third in the Paddy Power and a repeat of that would also see him competitive here.

But I think that So Scottish, for Emmett Mullins, is the answer here. Emmett is well-known for targeting these races, and generally does well in them too. So Scottish is well-handicapped based on his best form and although he has already run in some big races, there is still a little bit more improvement to come from him.

15:35 Cheltenham – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f - Bonttay

There’s a decent bunch of mares in the lineup here and top-weight Theatre Glory should run well in this company. However, I think this is the day for the very progressive Bonttay to take another step forward. She runs for the local O’Brien yard, is well suited by the track here and looks to me like the one open to the most improvement in this field.

Betting Tips for Cheltenham on Saturday

  • 12:05 - Kabral Du Mathan
  • 13:50 - So Scottish
  • 15:35 - Bonttay

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