Horse Racing: Cheltenham, Punchestown, Fontwell – Preview & Tips – Sunday

Stefan Fellows chooses his picks ahead of the final day of the Cheltenham November meeting as well as a couple at Punchestown and Fontwell on Sunday.

Matthew Crist

Sunday sees six thrilling races at Cheltenham, including the feature race of the day the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle.

Haranbe won here last year, ridden by Tom Bellamy, and the Alan King trained horse goes again here in the big one.

Meanwhile, there are also eye-catching meetings at Punchestown and Fontwell.


Le Breuil Horse

13.50 – 3m 3f Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

There looks a lot to like about the chances of the Colin Tizzard trained West Approach here.

Successful in this marathon test last season off a 6lb lower mark he showed himself in good heart recently on his seasonal return when second to Frodon in a handicap over slightly shorter.

The extra yardage today will be in his favour and he’s expected to be tough to beat. Cloth Cap was back in third that day, he has a bit to find with the selection but he should come on that race and the suggestion is this type of test is now needed.

Selection: West Approach

14.25 – 2m Shloer Chase (Grade 2)

Defi Du Seuil hasn’t been seen since running below par in the Champion Chase but prior to that had proven himself to be the top 2 miles around.

The Phillip Hobbs trained runner was successful in this race last year on his seasonal reappearance and remains the one to beat despite facing a couple of last seasons top novices.

The mare Put the Kettle on receives a handy 10lb from the selection and last year`s Arkle winner is now 2 from 2 over course and distance.

Rouge Vif could only finish third behind Put the Kettle on in that Arkle, he did however return this season with a mighty impressive performance off top weight in a handicap over course and distance.

Selection: Def Du Seuil (Next Best)

Paisley Park Horse

15.00 – 2m Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

Alan King looks to have a strong hand once more including last season’s winner Harambe. He’s only been seen once since that victory when unlucky to be brought down and should be thereabouts off just a 6lb higher mark.

Stable mate Edwardstone steps into handicap company after finishing sixth in last season’s supreme, he should have more to offer but may prefer betting ground.

Paul Nicholls is another trainer to have tasted success in this over the years and it`s easy to make a case for both his runners here. Thyme White disappointed at the festival last season in the County but returned this season with a good success at Chepstow.

He’s been hit with an 11lb rise for that race which will make things tougher. Sir Psycho didn`t have the clearest of runs when fifth in the Triumph Hurdle at the festival but stuck to the task well doing all his best work at the finish.

He appeals as the type who will be well suited to this type of big field handicap and he travelled up well before looking to need the run on his seasonal return this at Chepstow last month.

Cormier has plenty to find on form despite being unbeaten over hurdles, his connections however have previous in this race and appeals as the type to outrun his odds.

Selection: Sir Psycho (Each Way)

15.35 – 2m Supreme Trial Novices Hurdle (Grade 2)

Sixth in last season champion bumper Third Time Lucki has the potential to develop into one of this season’s top Novice hurdlers. A comfortable winner on both his starts over obstacles he appeals as the type who will be better served now back in graded company. Courtanbould and Fidelio Vallis have both shown more over hurdles to date and will be ensuring the Dan Skelton runner doesn’t have everything his own way.

Selection: Third Time Lucki (NAP)


Floressa Horse

14.10 – 2m Morgiana Hurdle (Grade 1)

Abacadabras was slightly disappointing when beaten at a short price recently but last seasons Supreme Novice Hurdle second is certainly worth giving another chance to.

It`s reasonable to assume that the Gordon Elliot trained runner will come on for his first run of the season and is preferred at the prices to his main rival Saint Roi.

The Willie Mullins runner was a comfortable winner of the County Hurdle at last seasons festival and has since taken the step up into graded company in his stride by winning a grade 3 at Tipperary on his return this season.

Selection: Abacadabras


Ben Dundee Horse

15.15 – 3m 3f Southern National Handicap Chase (Class 3)

Likely favourite Christmas In April will have conditions to suit and the past course winner should run his, the slight niggle though is he has a record of 0 from 7 when returning to the course after a 2 month or more break.

The 12-year-old Doing Fine was a bit below his best last at Sedgefield but he has shown he retains plenty of ability still this season when winning at Uttoxeter the time before.

He likes it round here being a previous course winner and may just have a race sharpness edge against a few of these. His trainer Neil Mulhoilland is in good form at the moment and also has a 20% strike rate here at Fontwell.

Cloudy Glen looks on a fair mark if showing his best but he is inconsistent and has to prove himself over a trip this far.

Selection: Doing Fine

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