THE ADVISOR - Cheltenham 2.00 - Handicap Chase - Group 3 Class 1 - 2 miles 4 and 1/2 Furlongs (New Course) 16 run - soft
Important as always to note which Course is being used and they are on the NEW Course (the outer and more galloping one) today.
There are plenty of formlines and plenty of Course and correlating form to consider and having done that I was left with a short list of 5 horses.
I discarded from that list, Alnadam, the favourite in some markets whose had a run but has no real Course form and I don;t see as particularly good market value.Deyrann De Carjac is in our Trackers and I know Ian is convinced could be a Festival horse for Alan King. It clearly has an engine but jumping errors have blunted it so far so hopefully it can have a smoother passage this time and show it's true potential in the spring. Vienna Court is a Course and Distance winner for the in form Twistons but upped 12 lbs has a lot more on its plate here in a deeper race than last time and similarly it's hard to rule out Venetias horse (Finambule Sivola) other than it's got top weight and is upped in trip, and a pretty skinny price on that basis.
Of the shortlist I think we could see a big run at the Odds for Kauko Riko who ran well in the 2020 Paddy Power here on the Old Course in 2020 and who gets a nice pull with Coole Cody for that run, Coole Cody was a gallant winner here last time when we left it alone as we thought it was better suited to the Old Course, but despite that win there are others better handicapped now and we again leave it out despite being on the short-list and the final one to miss an investment.
I'm most keen on SIMPLY THE BETTS for Paul Nicholls. It has Course wins off 140 and 149 for Harry Whittington, probably needed runs for PFN so far and looks ready to step up off a mark of 153 with conditions ideal. It's a very nice each way price for a Nicholls runner with course form in a big Saturday handicap!.
I'm very sweet on the chances of GALAHAD QUEST too. Nick Williams hits well above his weight in this type of race and this horse was 5th in the Paddy Power in November. If it can just jump a little better it's form ties in very well with Simply The Betts. I can't leave out ZANZA who has arrived late on the scene up the hill the last twice here. The fact they reach for cheek-pieces may just get the horse in to a better rhythm and the softer ground should play to it's "in running" strengths too.
TIP - Simply The Betts / Trackers - Galahad Quest + Zanza