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Today’s Racing News: Big priced Don can build your Cheltenham Festival betting pot

Money Talk

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In the opening 13:00 at Plumpton, trainer Sam Thomas has a 43% strike rate over hurdles and sends Jazz King 4.57/2 – I prefer Super Duper Sam 3.55/2, who has Sean Bowen on board and trainer Neil Mulholland has a 17% strike rate when partnering with Bowen this season.

In the 15:20 at Plumpton, trainer Harry Fry has a remarkable 37% strike rate over hurdles at this venue and saddles course winner On My Command 3.02/1.

Trainer Nicky Henderson has a 36% strike rate at Stratford this season and sends one runner Son Of Camas 5.04/1, in the 13:45.

Trainer Warren Greatrex has one runner on the Stratford card today. He saddles Top Brass 34.033/1 in the 14:20, and he has a 27% strike rate over hurdles at this venue.

Royal Act 19.018/1 will look for his third win in Taunton’s 16:20 after winning the contest in 2018 and 2019.

Jockey Rob Hornby has a 40% strike rate when riding for trainer Rae Guest at Wolverhampton. Today they partner with Kiss Kiss 11.010/1 in the 18:30.

Trainer Jamie Osbourne has a 27% strike rate with handicap debutants and today saddles Impossiblepossible 8.07/1 at Wolverhampton in the 19:30.

Horses for courses

This section highlights horses that have won twice or more at today’s tracks and could be in with a chance today.

14:45 Plumpton – Ramore Will – Has won here four times (40%)
16:20 Taunton – Royal Act – Has won here three times (50%)
18:00 Wolverhampton – Fitwood Star – Has won here three times (60%)

Cheltenham Festival Focus

Read the final Cheltenham Focus here.

Weighted to go well

“Weighted to go well” highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.

15:20 Plumpton – Ruby Yeats – Has won off 113 runs off 102
17:00 Wolverhampton – Lady Alavesa – Has won off 62 runs off 52
17:30 Wolverhampton – Sweet Bertie – Has won off 77 runs off 58

Furthest traveller

Today’s furthest traveller is trainer Will Ramsay, who made the 286-mile journey to Stratford with his runner Diable De Sivola 7.513/2 in the 16:05. This is the trainer’s first runner of the season.

Race of the day

We head to Stratford for their 15:30 Handicap Hurdle in a race where most of the seven runners arrive with questions to answer over their current form.



Trainer: Alastair Ralph
Jockey: Alex Edwards
Age: 7
Weight: 11st 6lbs
OR: 122

That’s not the case with Osprey Call, who arrives on the back of a career-best effort and a four pounds rise shouldn’t be enough to stop him going in again in this company. He has recorded progressive figures in his completed starts over hurdles, and now he has hit jumping together, it remains to be seen how high he can climb the handicap. He looks a solid option in this contest, and his price is rather a generous one.



Trainer: Olly Murphy
Jockey: A. P. Heskin
Age: 6
Weight: 11st 12lbs
OR: 128

Restandbethankful is next best on the list and can be forgiven his latest outing at Musselburgh when he lost his action two out. A repeat of his penultimate run at Huntingdon would be good enough to see him in the thick of the action here, but he now has an untrustworthy profile. He rates a risky proposition.



Trainer: Fergal O’Brien
Jockey: Paddy Brennan
Age: 5
Weight: 11st 3lbs
OR: 119

Castle Gandolfo looks handicapped to his best at this time, but this is an easier assignment than his last two at Cheltenham. He arrives off the back of a short break and goes without the usual cheek-pieces today. He could need this run.

Big race verdict

Options are few and far between in this contest, so Osprey Call gets the vote to continue on his upward curve. There are possibilities of a couple of these bouncing back to form, but it’s hard to make a solid case for any and Alastair Ralph’s charge has done little wrong to date.

Take an early look at Tony Calvin’s Day 1 Cheltenham Festival tips

It’s the first day of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival and Tony Calvin has eight bets for you to consider, including three in the Champion Hurdle…

Read Tony’s column here.

Timeform have a sweet bet at Wolverhampton

Timeform’s Adam Houghton highlights a NAP, Next Best and Each-Way selection at Wolverhampton on Monday.

Read Timeform tips here.

Take a chance at a price on the Don



Trainer: Seamus Mullins
Jockey: Ben Jones
Age: 6
Weight: 11st 8lbs
OR: 120

In the 14:55 at Stratford, The Cathal Don 15.014/1 looks like a big price to bounce back to form at the third time of asking in Britain for new connections. He has been on the radar for some time, and the handicapper has been quick to relent by dropping him 17 pounds in three runs.

He has been contesting Class 2 and 3 races this term with no success, but he has been given an easy time of things in those contests with connections clearly looking for him to get down to a workable mark, and this could be the time to catch him.

He drops into a Class 4 contest today and arrives on the back of a short break, and the tongue-tie is re-applied for the first time in Britain. He scored in a first time tongue-tie in his Maiden Hurdle at Killbeggan and over fences at Tipperary. He has shown enough to think he can land a race of this nature and is worth chancing at double-figure odds.

Final Word

How many times have you looked at the Tuesday Cheltenham declarations? Plenty I bet, searching for things you have missed, don’t worry, it happens to all of us.The best four days in the National Hunt season kicks off tomorrow, and just remember to enjoy it. We wait all year for this. It’s Christmas for adults. Don’t ruin your week by going too hard on the first day but make sure you back what you fancy. It will all be over in four days, so make the most of it!Until tomorrow, be lucky.Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7

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