The Mandarin’s Autumn Cheltenham Festival Racecard

JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) 12.30
Knight Salute
He was pretty disappointing on the flat this year, trailing in last on three consecutive runs, but the switch to hurdling seems to have lit the touchpaper, and he now arrives here on a hat-trick after wins at Sedgefield and Kempton. A different sort of track at Cheltenham, but trainer Milton Harris is sending out winners for fun and Paddy Brennan takes up the reins. Lots to like

Jewson Tool Hire Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase 1.05
Course form counts for plenty around here, so his win over C&D last month should give Christian Williams gelding as good a chance as any. Ben Bromley’s 5lb claim helps offset the hit from the handicapper, but he’s one going the right way this season and has to be in the mix

From The Horse’s Mouth Podcast Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) 1.40
Third Time Lucki (nap)
A great race is in store despite the small field, but it’s hard to get away from the attraction of course and distance winner Third Time Lucki, who was so impressive here last month. Mick Pastor is a prolific scorer over fences but doesn’t have the best record at Prestbury Park, while Captain Tom Cat always puts in a good shift around here but may lack the scope of the selection

Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2.15
He had a fine novice chasing season last year, winning three of his five starts, including here. A Grade 1 winner in the Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree shows how classy he is and he can run well fresh. The only negative is that his best form is on ground with a little underfoot ease, but he’s a solid bet at this level all the same


Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle (Listed) 2.50
Sporting John
It’s a return to timber for Philip Hobbs’ gelding, who looked to have a big future ahead of him over fences only to have some jumping errors find him out. This return to the smaller obstacles should help, and he’s a classy sort that might have more to offer back in this sphere. Interesting and worth an each way bet of anyone’s money

Paddy Power Feel Like A Favourite Intermediate Handicap Hurdle 3.25
Unexpected Party (nb)
Stepping out of maiden company into handicaps he looked to have been underestimated on his opening mark, winning cosily by 8 lengths at Wetherby. That didn’t go unnoticed by the handicapper though, so it will be remain to be seen how he fares from an 11lb higher mark. One for the tracker and still in the “could be anything ” category after just three starts

Stirrups Restaurant And Cocktail Bar Evesham Mares’ Open NH Flat Race (Listed) 3.55
Lady Excalibur
Given in this column for her last race at Aintree, where she duly obliged staying on well into the final furlong, she seems to have been found the right discipline to make her mark, despite being flat bred with Camelot her sire. She could well have more to come with Harry Cobden booked for the trip, another of his flush of good rides today

The Mandarin

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