Paul Callaghan’s Cheltenham Tips – Friday 23rd October
Former national hunt jockey Paul Callaghan gives us a rundown on his ones to watch at Cheltenham on Friday, 23rd October.
2:25pm, Class 2 Novices’ Chase (GBB Race) over 3 miles.
Only six runners to face the starter here and I like the Gordon Elliot trained Galvin, who is ridden by the BoyleSports horse racing ambassador Robbie Power on his only mount of the afternoon.
Galvin is three wins from seven starts over fences and those three wins came on the back of a good second behind Imperial Aura in a Novices’ Handicap Chase at the festival in March.
He seems pretty straightforward in what could be a tactical run affair due to the lack in numbers and for me, is the one they have to beat.
3:00pm, Class 3 Handicap hurdle over 2 miles 5 furlongs.
This is a competitive handicap hurdle but with five places up for grabs, for each way backers at BoyleSports, a chance is taken on Imperial Elysian, trained by Fergal O’Brien and ridden by Paddy Brennan, to finish in the top five.
The selection will need a career best to win off a current rating of 128, having been a beaten favourite when finishing third at Perth on his latest start at the end of August.
However, the yard have been among the winners in recent weeks and a combination of having almost two months since his last run and low mileage on the clock, I think there could be more to come from Imperial Elysian.
3:35pm, Class 2 Handicap Chase (GBB Race) over 2 miles.
There’s not many taking their chance here that you could rule out with any great confidence. The one that gets my vote is the Alan King trained Ballywood, ridden by Tom Cannon.
Ballywood runs off a handicap mark of 144 here, having finished sixth behind Chosen Mate, in the Grand Annual at the festival in March, off a mark of 146.
He had a nice pipe opener in September, finishing second of seven at Fontwell and with the benefit of that run, along with the experience gained in a big field at Cheltenham in March, I expect this could be quite rough and ready early on.
I think Ballywood will be on the premises come the business end of the race.
4:45pm, Class 2 Novices’ Chase (GBB Race) over 2 miles.
Despite only four runners facing the starter and on paper you can rule out 50% of the field, this could set up to be a real cracker between Fusil Raffles and Getaway Trump. While the former made a pleasing chasing debut at Uttoxeter towards the end of last month, it is the latter mentioned who gets the nod here.
Getaway Trump proved quite frustrating on his first three starts over fences, most notably when suffering defeat at odds on, at Fontwell in the middle of September.
However, the Paul Nicholls runners have been in cracking form in the last number of weeks. Getaway Trump’s sole success over fences came at the beginning of the month at Warwick, where he comfortably held Zoffee back in second, who franked that form with a victory at Exeter on Tuesday.
In the hope that having now got his head in front giving the horse confidence, Getaway Trump could be the type to run up a sequence of victories and is partnered once again by Harry Cobden.
Enjoy the action. I hope you manage to nick a winner or two throughout the afternoon but be sure to make BoyleSports your No.1 bookmaker for horse racing this winter!