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Cheltenham Showcase Saturday Preview

Cheltenham Showcase Saturday Preview

Host George Elek is joined by oddschecker's Andy Holding and top tipster Rory Delargy to preview the Cheltenham Showcase. The jumps begin in earnest as National Hunt racing's spiritual home hosts its first meeting of the season.

14:20 888Sport What’s Your Thinking Handicap Chase

Andy Holding:

“A race like this in general is probably right down the bottom of my food chain betting wise, I find handicap chase is probably the hardest betting medium in the national game. 

“I've always had a little bit of a soft spot for Go Another One."

“He's [Go Another One] a fairly consistent, likable type, particularly when the ground's good and he has got fitness on his side. He was very game in victory Perth when we last saw him and he's had a very eye-catching spin around this track already.” 

Rory Delargy:

“You’ve got to be interested in Storm Control who tends to show his form around here, rarely runs a bad race at Cheltenham but more importantly Kerry Lee's only had about three or four runners in the last couple of months and they've all been winners.”

Watch the full analysis below:

14:55 Masterson Holdings Hurdle

Andy Holding:

"Well, I always thought that Tritonic was massively overrated last season, and it wasn't a great surprise to me that he bombed out in the Triumph. 

“I'd also probably want to get against I Like To Move It, he jumped awfully, he only had the brush hurdles to jump there but his technique was absolutely horrible, he was very straight-backed, he spent ages in the air I mean how he won I do not know.

“For me, Stepney Causeway just on process of elimination, I really don't like Tritonic at the price.” 

Rory Delargy:

“This is it's not a betting race for me”

15:30 888Sport Handicap Chase

Andy Holding:

“I can see why he’s [Sky Pirate] favourite, I mean he won the Grand Annual and we know he loves Cheltenham. By and large he goes well fresh, not sure he wins first time. 

“So, yeah he’s a player, I’m a massive fan of Sam Thomas, he had a terrific season Sam, really came of age. He had a great season numerically and class wise as well, he’s got Before Midnight here whom I think is very well handicapped for 136.  He beat a good field at Chepstow, a very fast time when we last saw him in April so you can bet your bottom dollar that this thing will be absolutely A1 for this race.” 

Rory Delargy:

“Again, in agreement with Andy there I think Before Midnight is a really interesting prospect for the year. He's not had much racing for his age, again I was impressed with him but he did make one bad mistake that day and I thought he did remarkably well to maintain his momentum he only won by three-quarters of a length.  

“As Andy says he doesn't actually have a great win record fresh, he does tend to run well fresh doesn't take much getting fit but he's managed to throw away a couple of winning opportunities. Before Midnight strikes me as the kind of horse who can hit a high level over fences.” 

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16:05 Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle

Andy Holding

“Just keep this one really simple. I’d just back the Irish two horses, it's just the best formula to having three mile handicaps when they come over so Tullybeg and Born Patriot, I'll probably dutch the pair.” 

Rory Delargy:

“I'm inclined to give another chance to Geordie Des Champs, who was a little bit disappointing when backed into favouritism for a veterans handicap chase at Chepstow on his return.” 

“I just think he's got more ability than his current mark suggests, he hasn’t always been the easiest to get right, but this is the right time of year to be backing Rebecca Curtis’s horses.” 

16:40 Mick Turner A Lifetime in Racing Novices’ Chase

Andy Holding:

“I think out of all of them Oscar Elite is probably the one that jumps out as being a National Hunt Chase type, RSA type if you're going to kind of like look at races further down the line. 

“You've got Does He Know obviously won well at Chester already with a run under his belt, we know he can operate at a good level. 

“Under Supervision as well looked a nice horse last season didn't he? When we saw him the fleeting glimpses, we got of him so being a former point-to-pointer, I'm sure he'll have a good career over fences but as it stands, I think Oscar Elite would probably be the one I'd choose out of this five.” 

Rory Delargy:

“I was asked for a horse to follow by Paul Ferguson for his jumpers to follow book and actually put Oscar Elite as my horse for the season on the basis that he was pretty raw last season but the fact that Colin Tizzard dropped him to two miles and ran him in that listed hurdle at Exeter in February - he was well beaten in the end in what was a strong enough race, but it’s a little bit of a giveaway with Colin, whatever he considers to be the best horse in the yard gets a gets an outing in that race. That suggests that Oscar Elite is held in very high regard. 

“He looks a really promising type for fences and I’d be disappointed if he’s not good enough to win a race like this.”