Cheltenham’s Race Night on the New Course promises to be a very fun evening of racing for hunter chasers, and the last sight of this famous track until the Showcase Meeting on October 21.
We have seven twilight races to go through, all of them opportunities for some less familiar faces to the general racing public to get into the Cheltenham winners’ enclosure.
4.40 (Open Hunters’ Chase – Class 5) – ENVIOUS EDITOR
We go over two miles and half a furlong for the first open hunters’ chase of the evening and the race may provide a winner for trainer Joe O’Shea. He handles eight-year-old Envious Editor and he gets the nod in the opener.
Fit having won a point-to-point at Sandon thirteen days ago, James King’s mount has enough class to take care of this field, the likely favourite Envoye Special perhaps being his biggest danger.
Christopher Barber’s runner will be popular having once been in the care of Paul Nicholls and having also won a recent point race at Trebudannon by some 25 lengths.
Rewritetherules is owned, trained and ridden by David O’Brien and is another with a solid enough each-way chance.
5.15 (Intermediate Point-to-Point Hunters’ Chase – Class 4) – FAMOUS CLERMONT
There are plenty of horses in this race with lots of recent winning form, most notably Famous Clermont, Rebel Dawn Rising, Latenightfumble and Castle Trump who all made the shortlist.
This will be a tough one over the 3¼-mile trip, Christopher Barber and jockey William Biddick perhaps having the best chance with their seven-year-old French bred Famous Clermont.
Trained by Barber since 2009, save for a brief career under rules with Kayley Woollacott, Famous Clermont remains in fine form and won a hunters’ chase at Exeter very well back in March.
Along with the 6.25 this race is the most valuable on the card at £10,000 and is appropriately competitive, the aforementioned Rebel Dawn Rising, Latenightfumble and Castle Trump all holding chances.
5.50 (Open Hunters’ Chase – Class 4) – FIXE LE CAP
Nine go to post for this one over three miles, one-and-a-half furlongs, with Trio For Rio likely to be the one for money.
Clive Boultbee-Brooks’ horse was pulled-up last time in a point as the 5/4 favourite and that sticks in the memory a little bit, though his previous form is solid.
Moratorium, I’m Wiser Now and Tel’Art were all considered too, but there is more to like about Fixe Le Cap who is taken to score.
The top one, now a ten-year-old, is joint-highest rated in this race along with Trio For Rio and is arguably in much better form right now.
Twice a runner-up in point-to-points in March and April, he’s very much race fit and can use that to good effect.
6.25 (Mixed Open Hunters’ Chase – Class 4) – GEORDIE B
We go over the Gold Cup trip for this £10,000 contest and we reckon that while Clive Boultbee-Brooks may miss out in the previous race, he and Tommie O’Brien can land the pot this time around with Geordie B.
Their nine-year-old grey, by Geordieland, had a solid level of form under rules for Venetia Williams back in late 2020 and has held that level by running second at Lingfield in February and winning at Carlisle in March.
Geordie B was also rated as high as 140 over hurdles after winning over three miles at Exeter in 2019, showing he has plenty of stamina which will serve him well in this contest.
Caryto Des Brosses and Salvatore should also be considered and are all unlikely to let people down for each-way and placepot bets.
7.00 (Mares’ Open Hunters’ Chase – Class 4) – FEUILLE DE LUNE
Even when taking out Tb Broke Her, who might just be behind the others in this three-mile, one-and-a-half-furlong mares’ race, this contest is way more competitive than it looks at first glance.
There are just five runners here, but there will be strong opinions floating around about at least four of them we feel.
Gina Andrews rides Kalabaloo and the pair are likely to go off favourites, while the Polly Gundry-trained Wind Tor is another very solid contender alongside Cashmoll at a bigger price.
The one we like is Feuille De Lune however after winning three point races by an aggregate of 80 lengths since December. Kelly Morgan’s mare is also the youngest in the line-up at seven and there could be much more to come from her yet.
7.35 (Open Hunters’ Chase – Class 4) – LAW OF GOLD
The penultimate contest is also the longest race on the card at some four miles and half a furlong.
Stamina, naturally, will be the number one factor and there are some well-known names showing up including Shantou Flyer, Law Of Gold, Give Me A Copper and Captain Drake.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Shantou Flyer is the obvious one. David Maxwell’s horse was an easy winner at Fontwell when last seen and should stay all the way.
He gets 3lbs from the likes of Law Of Gold too, but at twelve years old we shouldn’t expect too much and it may be the last named who gets an edge.
David Kemp’s runner has really kept his form in recent months having run around some top tracks, winning races at Fontwell, Stratford and Ascot (easily) before finishing runner-up at Fakenham last time behind Not That Fuisse.
8.10 (Open Hunters’ Chase – Class 5) – SOLOMON GREY
There should be a little bit of speed on show as we go down to two miles, four-and-a-half furlongs for the finale which is due to finish only around ten minutes or so before sunset at Cheltenham.
Paul Nicholls and David Maxwell team up again and their Stratagem is expected to be a clear favourite here, though while the six-year-old grey has a clear chance he is passed over in favour of the better value Solomon Grey.
The ten-year-old son of Sulamani was some 16 lengths behind Strategem in March at Ludlow and has just a 2lb weight pull now.
However, we reckon he’s better than that and won in very impressive fashion last time out at the same track.