Cheltenham International Meeting Preview – Saturday 12th December

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Goshen returns to Cheltenham seeking redemption in the International Hurdle and he's one of our selections from a bumper Saturday card.

Cheltenham hosts day two of their International Meeting on Saturday with Goshen poised for redemption.

Day two of the International Meeting takes place at Cheltenham on Saturday with the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (1.50pm) and the Grade 2 International Hurdle (3.00pm) amongst the attractions.

A seven-race card gets underway from 12.05pm through until 3.35pm. Watch all the action unfold via live streaming when logged into MansionBet.

Our tipster has selections for all of Saturday’s Cheltenham action.

12.05 – JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (2m1f)

Shake A Leg is an interesting newcomer for Dan Skelton, while it’s noted that Fergal O’Brien tries Elham Valley here, just a week after his winning bow on testing ground at Sandown. Preference however is for ADAGIO, who ran to a good level when chasing home Duffle Coat over C&D at the November Meeting. That rival, 4-4 over timber, is a leading fancy for the Triumph itself here in March and David Pipe and Tom Scudamore, successful in these colours in Friday’s opener, can go one better now.

Selection: Adagio @ 6/4

12.40 – Jockey Club Cheltenham And SW Syndicate Novices’ Chase (2m4f)

Quel Destin and Fusil Raffles were firmly put in their places last month by Eldorado Allen over two-miles here. The latter was pulled up after his jumping went to bits, while the Paul Nicholls inmate was nearly 20-lengths down in second. Fusil Raffles may repair some confidence upped in trip but his stablemate CHANTRY HOUSE is going to be a very hard nut to crack on the evidence of his Ascot success on his chasing bow. He was third in a strong Supreme Novices’ Hurdle here in March (sole defeat) and can bag this prize.

Selection: Chantry House @ 4/5

1.15 – Spreadex Handicap Chase (2m)

Ibleo should have excellent claims for Venetia Williams. His Ascot second on seasonal return was another progressive effort and form that has been franked since. He should get the best of Magic Saint and Capeland representing Paul Nicholls, while Newbury winner Zanza has more on his plate now against seasoned rivals. NIETZSCHE has twice made the frame over longer trips recently and lurks on a fair mark. He had positive experiences over this trip here in his hurdling days and might be the value in this market.

Selection: Nietzsche @ 11/1

1.50 – Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3, 2m4½f)

Coole Cody won the big handicap here last month and will bid to become only the fourth horse to add this prize to that one in the same season. He’s 6lb higher but in with a chance. Al Dancer was third to him and is a player again, while top-weight Master Tommytucker has the class to go well, if his jumping holds up. There’s a lot with chances but Brian Ellison is upbeat on the hopes of WINDSOR AVENUE. He was second to subsequent Grade 2 winner Imperial Aura on his comeback having undergone a wind op in his downtime. The trainer believes there’s plenty more to come and he’s low-mileage. He could give champion jockey Brian Hughes a rare Cheltenham winner.

Selection: Windsor Avenue @ 7/1

2.25 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2, 3m)

Ashtown Lad advertised his credentials at Uttoxeter and Dan Skelton’s charge has a sound chance but TOOK THE LOT and Make Good are major dangers. The Irish raider won very easily last time and could have more to come but the manner in which Nigel Twiston-Davies’ challenger made light of his penalty at Bangor was impressive. He sauntered home and should relish this increased trip. His trainer has won this race a record five times, three of them since 2014.

Selection: Took The Lot @ 10/1

3.00 – Unibet International Hurdle (Grade 2, 2m1f)

He looked a star in the making when careering away from the Triumph Hurdle field back in March, but GOSHEN’s dream run ended when he appeared to almost clip heels with himself after the last, tossing Jamie Moore out of the saddle. He’s been defeated twice on the Flat since but this is the first major jumps test for him since that fall. Many still believe he’s a Champion Hurdle horse to come and he’ll want a big run now to enhance that theory. There are plenty of dangers – Silver Streak maybe the chief threat after his own luckless outing in the Fighting Fifth – but Goshen is fancied to prove he’s got the class he was about to show at The Festival.

Selection: Goshen @ 11/4

3.35 – Close Brothers Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (2m4½f)

Wide open fare to end the card. Aggy With It and Molly Ollys Wishes are live contenders for Dan Skelton while The White Mouse returned from a layoff with a good score at Wincanton last month. She’s respected again but CROSSGALESFAMEGAME – only sixth that day – may still have more to come and will be suited by some more ease in the ground. She’s a solid each-way option.

Selection: Crossgalesfamegame @ 9/1

*All odds correct at time of writing

Enda is a journalist who specialises in horse racing, especially the action in the UK and Ireland, and has shared his racing betting tips on a number of well-known publications and websites over the last 10 years.

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