It’s Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham today, and this day is normally very informative regarding the Cheltenham Festival itself, with horses that run well today going on to run well at the Festival in March. I fancy 3 horses at Cheltenham and 1 at Doncaster today, good luck!
Here are today’s racing selections
Imperial Aura (1.15) @ 3/1
This 6 year old has some solid form over hurdles, and he made a promising winning chasing debut at Fakenham after having a warm up run over hurdles at Chepstow. His trainer Kim Bailey has reported that he has taken well to fences at home, and he jumped well on his chasing debut.
He followed that chasing debut up with an excellent 2nd to the well regarded Pym from the Nicky Henderson yard,and he should come on a lot for that run. He looks like the best horse in the race to me today, and I like his chances here of getting off the mark over fences.
Slate House (2.25) @ 5/1
This 8 year old gelding likes it here, and he has a solid chance of further enhancing that good record here today. There are some good horses in opposition here today like Bristol De Mai (best at Haydock) and Santini, but I think this gelding may be overlooked in the market today.
I was at Cheltenham for the November Meeting when this horse fell when travelling strongly in the Bet Victor Gold Cup, and a good case can be made that he would have won that day if he hadn’t fallen. Jockey Robbie Power has been in fine form, and the fact he comes over to Cheltenham – in preference to riding at Fairyhouse – is a big pointer to this horses chances in my opinion.
King Roland (3.00) @ 15/8
I have liked this 6 year old gelding since I saw him destroy the field in a bumper at Uttoxeter by 22 lengths on his British debut. He has gone on from there, and has taken well to hurdling this season. He clearly needed his debut run over hurdles at Newbury when he finished 2nd to Son Of Camas. He proved that when he won at Exeter NTO by 19 lengths.
This gelding is 1 of my “10 To Follow For The Jumps Season 19/20”, and I think he can add to his hurdling win LTO by taking this race. This contest is harder, but there is no doubting this horses potential, and I think he will prove to be better than his opposition today going forward.
Quarenta (3.15) @ 5/1
Jonjo O’Neill’s 8 year old has some solid form to his name over fences, and he looks to have a good chance of adding to that good record here today. This is a big field Handicap Chase, but a lot of the other horses have a lot to prove in my opinion, and I would much rather back the horse with the proven record in the field, and that is Jonjo O’Neill’s gelding.
The trainer’s son Jonjo Jr has developed a good relationship with the horse (12), and the very promising young jockey is my “Jockey To Follow for 19/20”. He is a natural on a horse – just like his dad – and he has a good chance of taking this Listed Chase at a decent price.