Spreadex
Horse Racing

Cheltenham – Saturday 13th November

Saturday 13th November 13:05

WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith previews Cheltenham's Saturday card, including an extra selection in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, and a 40/1 each-way bet earlier on the card.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Dostal Phil 14/1 each-way (6places)
Cheltenham 14.15
Place Bet
Minella Encore 7/1 each-way (5 places)
Cheltenham 13.05
Place Bet
Pontresina 40/1 each-way (5 places)
Cheltenham 13.05
Place Bet

Date of Tips: 12/11/2021

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (18:12 12/11/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

Friday was a real mixed bag at Cheltenham for followers of the column – Art Approval winning readily, An Tailliur unseating at the very first hurdle, Editeur Du Gite being mentioned twice on these pages but without solid bet recommendation and duly winning impressively, and finally Howdyalikemenow bombing out in the last.

It perfectly encapsulated the ups and downs of racing, as did the novice chase featuring My Drogo and Gin On Lime – followers of this column will know I’m a fan of My Drogo and hopefully him and Gin On Lime are none the worse for their respective misdemeanours.

Having snaffled 50/1 about My Drogo for either the Arkle or the Marsh Novices’ Chase at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival, it was pleasing to see him jump well around the undulating track on his chase debut, and even when he fell at the second last, he had jumped the fence well.

On to Saturday, and the main feature is of course the Paddy Power Gold Cup at 2.15, and having suggested Al Dancer at 9/1 and Midnight Shadow at 12/1 earlier in the week, it is good to see them both declared and seemingly ready to run big races. Al Dancer is in to a top price of 6/1 now and is probably skinny enough to be recommending again, if not already on.

Midnight Shadow is 10/1 with Sky Bet currently, who offer 7 places, and if you are coming fresh to the race now, then that is a corking bet to my eye.

However, I think there is just enough juice left in the price of one other horse in the race to suggest having a third each-way bet in our pockets – Dostal Phil at 14/1 each-way with Paddy Power, who offer 6 places on the race now.

Philip Hobbs’ other runner Zanza has been popular in the market today, and while he could improve for stepping up in trip and has been unlucky on occasions, he is just too much of a scruffy jumper to be siding with, I fear.

Dostal Phil has very much been a slow burner, and Hobbs has expertly given him time to mature and develop, and it could be now that he reaps the fruits of his patience.

Dostal Phil progressed through last season, despite the stable at times being under par considering their usual high standards, and he ran a huge race in third at Aintree, chasing home Editeur Du Gite in the Red Rum Handicap Chase – looks ok that now, doesn’t it?!

A final run of the season came over at Punchestown when stepping up to 2m5f for the first time over fences, and he was just creeping into contention when unseating his rider.

Dostal Phil has long suggested he needs further than 2m once fully developed, and given he is running in this valuable race first time out, with the ever-excellent Aidan Coleman on board, at 14/1 each-way with Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook he is worth an investment.

Earlier in the day, there are two bets to be had in the Jewson Tool Hire Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase at 1.05.

Firstly, the Dr Richard Newland-trained Minella Encore, who is 7/1 with William Hill for 5 places each-way, and also 9/1 with Bet365 for just the four places, while only 6/1 with SkyBet for 6 places. As per yesterday, it is the middle of the range on both fronts that I am siding.

Off the back of a second advertised wind operation (always a slight worry), Minella Encore was quite an impressive winner of a four-runner handicap chase at Fakenham on his seasonal reappearance. For all that two of his rivals exited stage left – Including recent Ascot winner Larry, who was broadsided by a loose horse in the closing stages – he did jump and travel with an ease that suggested he was on top form.

Having run a cracker when splitting Streets Of Doyen and Polish, who are now rated 139 and 135, in a novice hurdle at Cheltenham last season, that suggests both that he’ll be at home on the track, and that Minella Encore could have a few lbs up his sleeve off his handicap mark of 130.

At 7/1 each-way with William Hill, Minella Encore is the main bet of the day, but must be accompanied in the same race with Pontresina, at a huge 40/1 each-way with BetVictor, who also offer 5 places.

Three excellent and consistent runs in handicap chases for previous trainer Oliver Sherwood have seemingly been overlooked by the layers on account of joining a new and relatively inexperienced trainer Ben Lund.

But in just 12 runners over jumps, Lund has saddled a 66/1 winner for Pontresina’s jockey Miss Thomasina Eyston, a 33/1 runner-up, a 20/1 fourth, and a 33/1 fifth.

In running only 5 days ago, we are taking a chance that this comes a little soon for Pontresina, but given that he gave the exciting Nicky Henderson-trained novice hurdler Doddiethegreat a real race to two out, it might be that he is now spot on for a much more suitable assignment.

There’s no way Pontresina should be 40/1 each-way with BetVictor, and so joins Minella Encore in a two-pronged assault on the 1.05.

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