Cheltenham November Meeting Tips: Day two and three preview
Nick Murphy | 16 November 2018
Odds and tips for the Cheltenham November Meeting
The jumps season is already well under way. But things move up a notch this weekend with the Cheltenham November Meeting.
We’ve previewed the key races from Saturday and Sunday, all of which are live on ITV4.
Singlefarmpayment has been sent off as favourite for a number of big handicap contests in the past without justifying his place at the top of the market. He leads a competitive field here, which includes Calett Mad, The Young Master and Vicente.
However, it’s Dan Skelton’s Virgilio who piques our interest. The nine-year-old picked up back-to-back wins during the summer and ran well on his reappearance in the Charlie Hall Chase. He could go well again here at a nice price on ideal ground under Bridget Andrews.
Attempting to pick a winner of the November Gold Cup is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Rather Be, Kalondra and 2018 Festival winner Mister Whitaker all have chances at the head of the betting. Frodon, too, will hope to be up there for Paul Nicholls and Bryony Frost.
But it’s West Approach who makes appeal on each-way terms. Colin Tizzard’s charge is creeping down the weights and went well here three weeks ago when third behind Relentless Dreamer. In an open field, he could challenge the places.
Pingshou has enjoyed a grand time of it since joining Colin Tizzard in 2016. The eight-year-old has a win round Cheltenham under his belt and also triumphed in the Grade 1 Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree last year. Now he gets his chance over fences for the first time.
He’s looked a chaser in the making for long enough, so the switch to bigger obstacles shouldn’t prove a problem. Against the likes of Claimantakinforgan and Defi Du Seuil, we reckon he’ll put in a bold display.
Sceau Royal took to chasing like a duck to water last term. Alan King’s star won four of his five races during his novice season, including the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase and the Lightning Novices’ Chase.
He tends to do his best work in smaller fields. That shouldn’t prove a problem here, with only five rivals pencilled in to challenge. Brain Power and Le Prezien are amongst those attempting to topple the worthy favourite.
Nicky Henderson has never won the Greatwood Hurdle. But he saddles the favourite this time around in Verdana Blue. The six-year-old was highly impressive in landing the Elite Hurdle last week but has been slapped with a 5lb penalty for that success.
Could that let in the field? Silver Streak, Western Ryder and Nube Negra are three that will be looking to cash in. So too will Old Guard for Paul Nicholls, who has won this four times since 2002. Storm Rising is two from two this term for Dr Richard Newland.
A competitive renewal of the Sharp Novices’ Hurdle is headed by Seddon. Five of the six entrants are given a real chance by our traders, with Itchy Foot looking like the pick of the bunch.
Trainer Olly Murphy enjoyed stellar season last time around. He could have a good thing on his hands with this four-year-old. The son of Cima De Triomphe get the ground he wants and can follow up last month’s Listed win at Kempton off top-weight here.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing