TEMPLEGATE is here with his preview of Friday's Cheltenham Meeting, in the hope of helping you scoop the bumper Placepot.
It's a highly-anticipated meeting and with it comes a hot prize pool, with a £150,000 minimum for day one!
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To win the Tote Placepot, you need to pick a horse to place in the first six races at any UK, Irish or selected international meeting.
Our man goes through his picks trying to help you land a share of the enormous pot.
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LEG 1: Pinnacle Peak, Doughmore Bay
PINNACLE PEAK was impressive when winning a similar contest to this here last time for Martin Keighley. He tanked along over 2m4f and hit the front at the bottom of the hill before storming away. On paper, this looks a slightly easier race and the extra furlong holds no fears. Thanks to his rider’s claim, he is effectively 4lb lower in the weights today and will take a lot of stopping.
DOUGHMORE BAY is coming along nicely and followed and followed a debut win at Worcester with a solid second back at the same track. He has lots of staying power and his opening handicap mark looks fair.
LEG 2: Triple Trade, Calico
TRIPLE TRADE came flying up the hill on his seasonal comeback here last month only for the line to come too soon. In an ideal world he would have an extra furlong or two but he’ll be match-fit now, he likes the track and is only 1lb higher in the handicap. He can strike for in-form Joe Tizzard.
CALICO is the interesting runner in the race having given Jonbon a scare twice last season. He was running a cracker in the Grade 1 Maghull at Aintree before falling at the last. He likes this trip and should be fit on comeback for the Skeltons. He ran well over hurdles here last season so there should be no track worries.
LEG 3: JPR One, Mighty Tom
JPR ONE looks the answer to this tricky puzzle. He was useful over hurdles but already looked a good chasing prospect when winning on debut at Newton Abbot last time. It was the way he travelled and jumped like a natural that stood out and he has a bright future over fences. This is a Grade 2 in name only so he should be able to cope with the slightly stronger opposition.
MIGHTY TOM was sixth in the Galway Hurdle so is no mug and was pitched into a Grade 3 at Cork for his chase debut. He was beaten ten lengths into second but jumped well enough and should learn from the experience.
LEG 4: Delta Work, Galvin
DELTA WORK saw off Galvin in a thriller to retain his Festival cross-country crown and he can get the better of his stablemate again. They both enjoy this track but Delta Work has more experience of the unique test and he’s fit from a nice tune-up at Punchestown last month. He likes this decent ground and is has plenty of stamina
GALVIN is 6lb lower when you take off his rider’s allowance. Rob James is an amateur in name only and is no stranger to the big stage.
LEG 5: Captain Teague
CAPTAIN TEAGUE was already in plenty of notebooks after his excellent third in the Champion Bumper at the Festival. But he more than lived up to the hype when bolting up in the Grade 2 Persian War on his hurdling debut at Chepstow last month. He still looked green under Harry Cobden but drew well clear of his rivals without having to hit top gear. He could to the very top for Paul Nicholls.
LEG 6: Impose Toi, Tintintin
IMPOSE TOI didn’t have to break sweat when winning at Ludlow last time out in May. Despite not having to hit top gear, he clocked a decent time and had plenty left in the tank. This is a hotter contest but the handicapper has been fair with his opening mark of 121 and Nicky Henderson has made a decent start to the season.
TINTINTIN has had a wind op ahead of this comeback and he was never out of the first two in four runs last term. He’s another who could be ahead of the handicapper for Fergal O’Brien.
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