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Cheltenham – 22nd October: DOM’S NAP + NB | Friday’s 2 Best Bets @ The Showcase Meeting

Our two best bets on Friday as race action returns to Cheltenham

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WPG583 A view of Cheltenham Racecourse and Cheltenham Spa from Cleeve Hill, England Arkle
Cheltenham’s NAP: FIDELIO VALLIS | 2:30pm squareintheair.com Novices’ Chase | Dom’s Pick
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Paul Nicholls’s gelding jumped and travelled fluently at Chepstow before just being found out by the slightly longer trip, so the reduction in distance on this occasion should suit the previous four-time chase winner.

He has won in soft ground before so the recent heavy rainfall shouldn’t count against him, albeit his stronger form has arrived in quicker ground.

Paul Nicholls with his Champion Trainer trophy for the national hunt season 2020-21 at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher. Picture date: Saturday April 24, 2021.
Paul Nicholls has four runners at Cheltenham on Friday afternoon

Despite giving weight away to Third Time Lucki, who beat him at this track over hurdles last season, experience in this sphere should stand him in better stead and he’s expected to reverse the placings.

NB: GO DANTE | 5:25pm Foundation Developments Maiden Hurdle

The son of Kayf Tara left a strong impression with a taking Wincanton debut in a bumper back in March, scooting easily clear of the field.

2C8D02E Trainer Olly Murphy (right) with jockey Aidan Coleman at Uttoxeter Racecourse.
Will Aidan Coleman and Olly Murphy land the finale on Friday?

That form hasn’t amounted to much, bar two winners subsequently, but the manner of that success has to make Olly Murphy’s charge of serious interest on his first run in this sphere and the softer ground will certainly suit.

Dan Skelton’s John Locke ran with credit in some tough novice events to end last campaign and this task should be far more realistic for him.

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.

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