Cheltenham Tips: Three for Trials Day on Saturday

 | January 26 | 

3 mins read

Cheltenham racecourse races generic scaled

It's Trials Day - when Festival prospects are put to the test - at Cheltenham on Saturday and I've got a few selections for the occasion.

Cheltenham Tips

  • 12:05 - Sir Gino @ 5/4
  • 12:40 - Persian Time @ 8/1
  • 13:50 - Capodanno e/w (3 places) @ 7/1

12:05 - Sir Gino @ 5/4

I can't wait for this - 'this' being what looks a match between Triumph Hurdle contenders Burdett Road and Sir Gino in the opener.

The former was very impressive here at this level in November last year, but I was equally taken by the latter's wide-margin victory in a Class 2 at Kempton over Christmas.

Given how poor Nicky Henderson's four-year-old jumped that day, including at the final flight, he must be blessed with a serious amount of ability to have eventually put 14 lengths between him and his nearest rival.

That rival, Royal Way, subsequently bolted up by 17 lengths at Ludlow earlier this month and the third-placed Torneo, who was 19 lengths behind Sir Gino at Kempton, won by even further at Wetherby on Thursday, so it looks like fairly strong form too.

For me, he has more scope than the current Triumph favourite and can leapfrog him in the market for that race with a victory here.

Sir Gino to win the 12.05 Cheltenham at 5/4

12:40 - Persian Time @ 8/1

Just over half-an-hour later is a novices' handicap chase over 2m4½f that's attracted 12 runners.

Of those, I like Persian Time - another for the Nicky Henderson/James Bowen combination.

I was keen on the six-year-old when he made his chasing debut in a six-runner handicap at Newbury on the first day of December, but he bumped into one in Djelo - who looks a Grade 1 horse to me - when lacking match-fitness.

He made amends next time out, at Ascot just before Christmas, when capitalising on Authorised Speed's fall at the second-last to beat Homme Public by a widening 3¼ lengths. There's no doubt Gary Moore's runner was travelling well at the point of his departure, but I don't think there'd have been much at all between the pair if he'd have stayed on his feet.

Raised just four pounds for that win, I'm expecting another big run from Persian Time who should have no problem with this step back up in trip.

Persian Time to win the 12.40 Cheltenham at 8/1

13:50 - Capodanno e/w (3 places) @ 7/1

Finally, I'm taking a bit of a punt on the rank outsider in what rates a fascinating renewal of the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase.

In receipt of weight from all rivals, Willie Mullins' Capodanno looks overpriced and, with Betfred paying 3 places on this six-runner contest, is well worth an each-way play.

The eight-year-old was a Grade 1-winning novice chaser a couple of years ago before an interrupted 2023, but I'd say he's back to something like his best after a solid third in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

If you take away Galopin Des Champs, who's performance was nothing short of freakish, Capodanno was beaten only a head by Gerri Colombe and finished eight lengths in front of previous Grade 1-winner I Am Maximus, which surely gives him as much chance as anything in this field.

The caveat to all that is this could be just a step on a journey to the Grand National, so caution is advised, but I've just listened to an interview with Patrick Mullins who seemed quietly confident about his chances, so I'll be taking the chance.

Capodanno each-way for the 13.50 Cheltenham at 7/1

Find more Horse Racing Tips here at Betfred Insights

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