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Horse Racing

Cheltenham & Doncaster – Friday 22nd October

Friday 22nd October 13:00

WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith previews the first meeting of Cheltenham's season, along with day one of Doncaster's season climax - providing three each-way selections.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Defuture Is Bright 13/2 each-way (6 places)
Cheltenham 16.50
Place Bet
Carnet De Stage 8/1 each-way (6 places)
Cheltenham 16.50
Place Bet
Superior Force 7/1 each-way )3 places)
Doncaster 13.00
Place Bet

Date of Tips: 22/10/2021

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (08:37 22/10/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

The excitement of the first meeting of the season at jumps racing’s HQ has seemingly brought plenty of punters out early, trying to catch some value worms. I state this, as quite a few of the horses that could have graced these pages as potential selections are now just too skinny to recommend.

As things develop during the day, as the markets develop, we could see some juice being injected back into them, and if that were the case, then keep an eye out for the likes of Bardenstown Lad and Onagatheringstorm in the 3.05, while Guard Your Dreams has plenty to recommend him in the 4.15.

Up at Doncaster, others that made the shortlist, but are now unfortunately too short are Fresh and Music Society in the 2.40, and Knowwhentorun in the 3.50.

So, on this most exciting of days for jumps enthusiasts, I am only recommending a couple of bets at Cheltenham, and they both come in the Andy Stewart Memorial Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase at 4.50.

The early prices understandably centred on the long-absent Marquis Of Carabas for the renowned rejuvenator Fergal O’Brien, and the jockey booking that simply punches you in the face, a certain Derek O’Connor.

However, Fergal O’Brien is double handed here with previous winner of the race Petite Power, and there are a number of other trainers who are mob-handed in an effort to claim the prize.

Christian Williams is very much a trainer worthy of the highest respect, and when aiming a horse at a particular race, there are not many better.

Defuture Is Bright has the look of one that has been directed towards this race, given he had a nice incognito spin around Newton Abbot behind the likes of Bravemansgame et al.

A massive improver last season, there is much more to come from this strapping 7-year-old, and at 13/2 with Paddy Power for a whopping 6 places each-way, he is worth an investment.

On a day when Gordon Elliott retraces his steps back to Cheltenham in an effort to repent his sins before the altar of jumps racing’s chapel, so too does jockey Rob James, who is a notable booking for Defuture Is Bright.

Caught up in the understandable furore of 7 months ago, both Elliott and James would be hugely keen to achieve success on Cheltenham’s first card of the season, and you can never begrudge anyone a second chance.

The other one to back in the race is one of the Eugene O’Sullivan-trained duo, and it is a real family affair as his daughter Maxine rides Super Citizen back at the scene of her greatest day, which came when winning the Foxhunters’ on It Came To Pass.

However, Eugene’s nephew Michael might be the family member getting the winning leg up here, as he rides the improving strong stayer Carnet De Stage, who has to defy a rise in grade on account of toying with his rivals at Downpatrick last time, when stepping up to 3 miles for the first time.

He can do just that thought, and there is more to come from Carnet De Stage, and at 8/1 with Sky Bet, who also offer 6 places each-way, he is the second dart at the amateur rider’s race dartboard.

The rest of the Cheltenham card is one to savour, and so too tomorrow, but we can start this busy Friday with a winner up at Doncaster hopefully.

In the Virgin Bet Nursery Handicap at 1.00 over 7f, the George Boughey-trained Superior Force is worth backing at 7/1 each-way with William Hill, who generously offer 3 places in this 7-runner race.

A winner and a close second on his first two racecourse appearances, both on soft ground, he has since been hindered by running in unfavourable faster ground.

But back with a bit of dig underhoof at Haydock last time, he confirmed the promise of his previous Redcar run (against a track bias), by running a massive race from off the pace and nearer the stands side in the straight – both angles that were unfavoured at that meeting.

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