Cheltenham, Doncaster & Uttoxeter Tips for 27th January 2024

Results for Cheltenham, Doncaster & Uttoxeter Tips for 27th January 2024

All eyes are on Cheltenham racecourse this coming Saturday, as the home of the biggest and best festival in the game plays host to Festival Trials Day. A trio of Prestbury Park contests contribute to the Scoop6 lineup, headlined by the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle, which sees the Stayers’ Hurdle challengers stake their claims. Doncaster chips in with the Grade 2 River Don Novices’ Hurdle and Great Yorkshire Handicap Chase, whilst a tricky handicap hurdle from Uttoxeter rounds out the challenge.

Here, we run through all six competitive legs as we go jackpot hunting in this week’s Scoop6 Racing Tips.

12:40 Timeform Novices’ Handicap Chase

Class 2, 2m4½f

Ginny’s Destiny

We have a cracking event for the novice chasers to kick off the action. The Tom Lacey-trained Blow Your Wad (6/1) features towards the head of our shortlist, having bounced back to something like his best at Kempton last time out. He’s up 6lb for that but remains unexposed in this sphere and boasts a touch of class. Of the others, Dan Skelton’s Unexpected Party (16/1) looks a little overpriced from an each-way perspective, having conquered the talented Knappers Hill earlier in the campaign.

Overall, we suspect the market has this right in rating the Paul Nicholls representative Ginny’s Destiny as the one they all have to beat. Formerly with Tom Lacey, this son of Yeats arrives seeking a hat-trick, with the form of his tenacious success over Grey Dawning having since been advertised in no uncertain terms. That Dan Skelton runner was plunged into Grade 2 company following his defeat to Ginny’s Destiny and responded with a 14-length rout, seeing his rating rise to 153. Getting in here off 147, Ginny’s Destiny can ensure the trophy remains at the Ditcheat yard following the victory of Stage Star in the 2023 edition.

1:15 Paddy Power Cheltenham Countdown Podcast Handicap Chase

Premier Handicap, 2m4½f

Ga Law

Nicholls sends a two-pronged attack into the next event in the shape of Il Ridoto (4/1) and Hitman (15/2). Il Ridoto is a solid yardstick in this type of race and again ran a cracker last time out to go down by just a short head to Fugitif in the December Gold Cup. Expect him to be in contention turning for home, but a 5lb hike in the handicap doesn’t help his cause.

Hitman, meanwhile, has become almost entirely unpredictable. Good enough to finish third in the 2023 Ryanair Chase, he has been beaten by a combined 177 lengths in his two starts since. His hopes hinge on improvement following a wind-op.

The Venetia Williams runner Victtorino appears the most solid from towards the head of the betting, having landed back-to-back Ascot events in his two starts this season. However, each of those wins came over 3m, and he hasn’t proved as effective at this shorter trip in the past.

As we see it, therefore, the one to be on is Jamie Snowden’s course and distance winner, Ga Law. The 2022 Paddy Power Gold Cup champ followed up with a respectable 5th in the Ryanair Chase and, having reached a rating of 153 in the past, looks feasibly treated off 150 here. Warming up with a low-key run over hurdles and a solid seventh over a trip too far in the Coral Gold Cup, he can add another big race success to the burgeoning CV of Gavin Sheehan.

2:40 Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle

Grade 2, 3m½f

Welcom To Cartries

The action switches to Yorkshire for leg three of this week’s Scoop6, and a race which can be a stepping stone to the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. A typically competitive renewal appears to be in store, with half of the 10-runner field having won last time out.

Lucinda Russell’s Esprit Du Potier (17/2) features amongst that quintet and, having improved for the step up to 2m4½f, may find more moving up in trip again. The consistent I Love My Baie (9/1) from the Stuart Crawford operation and Destroytheevidence (4/1), who ran a cracker in the Grade 2 Bristol Novices’ Hurdle, are others to note.

Overall though, we rather suspect Paul Nicholls may have the ace in the pack in the shape of Welcom To Cartries. An effortless winner on his sole start in the Point-to-Point sphere, he went down by just a neck on his rules debut but took a step forward when powering right away over 2m5½f at Ascot last time. Likened by Nicholls to last year’s Albert Bartlett winner Stay Away Fay, the additional distance appears firmly in his favour, and he can take this on route to bigger things.

3:15 SBK Great Yorkshire Handicap Chase

Class 1, 3m

Sweet Will

We could make a solid case for at least a half dozen of these. The Nicky Richards-trained Famous Bridge (7/1) currently heads the betting following two wins at Haydock and is a hugely likeable individual. We loved the manner in which he found more when challenged last time out and wouldn’t rule him out off a 4lb higher mark. On the downside, the quicker ground may be slightly against him. Christian Williams regularly does well in these staying chases and sends Cap Du Nord (8/1) into battle. The 11-year-old has shown little so far this season but is 3lb lower than when beaten by just a length in this last year. Arriving fresh following a 56-day break, he looks dangerous.

Surrey Quest (9/1) and the improving Kandoo Kid (10/1) are others with good claims, but the one we are drawn to is the Irish raider Sweet Will (8/1). Having gone off the boil at Gavin Cromwell’s, this seven-year-old appears to be enjoying the switch to the Emmet Mullins operation. A close second on yard debut at Fairyhouse, he was travelling well last time out before suffering interference at the second last. He gets in here off 122, which is 4lb lower than when scoring over course and distance in March 2023, and can go close under Donagh Meyler.

3:35 McCoy Contractors Cleeve Hurdle

Grade 2, 3m

Noble Yeats

A number of old favourites take to the track in one of the key prep races for the Stayers’ Hurdle. Emma Lavelle’s Paisley Park (11/4) tops the bill, having claimed this prize in 2019, 2020, and 2021. One more win will see him move out on his own as the most successful horse in the history of the race. He may be 12 years old but ran a stormer to lose out by just a short head to Crambo in the Long Walk Hurdle and would be the people’s choice winner.

Dashel Drasher (4/1) was third in that Long Walk Hurdle and, together with Champ (6/1), completes the old boys team. As good as it would be to see one of the old timers prevail, instead we will be sticking with the yard of Emmet Mullins here and placing our faith in the 2022 Grand National winner, Noble Yeats (4/1).

Fourth in last season’s Gold Cup around here, it seems a tilt at the big prize over the smaller obstacles may be on the cards in 2024. Having blown away the cobwebs with a recent spin at Limerick, this classy sort can take advantage of his younger legs and undoubted staying power to land what promises to be a thriller.

4:18 Quinnbet Novices’ Limited Handicap Hurdle

Class 5, 2m4f

Jukebox D’Eddy

Good luck if you have made it this far, as the final leg may be the toughest of them all, with the majority of the field having questions to answer. The potentially bottomless ground adds another layer to the difficulty. Loch Garman Aris may be the most reliable under these conditions but is 14 years of age and hasn’t shown much to suggest he may be about to re-enter the winner’s enclosure. Course and distance winner Libor Lad and the unexposed Ismael are others who have more going for them than most.

Ismael would be our pick of the above trio but is passed over in favour of the Tom Gretton runner, Jukebox D’Eddy, who finished fourth in a heavy ground event over this track and trip last time out. Hampered at the first, he immediately found himself on the back foot that day but made notable ground to pick up around five places in the straight. He gets in off the same mark here, but Luke Scott takes 5lbs off in the saddle and, granted a clearer round, he looks set to be involved in the finish.