Heavy rain, which is forecast for most of the country, is unlikely to spoil the top-class fare on offer at Cheltenham’s two-day International meeting this weekend. Here is the big fancy for day one:
Friday December 14
Cheltenham 12.45 WIN
Trying to read the enigmatic operation of trainer Jonjo O’Neill and owner JP McManus is akin to boxing fog. However, Jonjo has hit a rich vein of form in recent weeks and has a golden chance of saddling another winner with this lightly-raced, JP-owned chaser. A big, strong sort, the Anshan gelding has been plagued with problems but is unquestionably talented on his day -- as he proved on his seasonal re-appearance at Carlisle last month. Travelling and jumping nicely, he looked sure to win until either he blew up or his stamina gave way on testing ground. Today’s drop in trip is sure to suit, and not only has the six-year-old been lowered 2lb in the handicap but useful conditional jockey Maurice Linehan also takes off a further 6lb.
THURSDAY: GAS LINE BOY 4TH
WEDNESDAY: NO DEAL MEETING ABANDONED
TUESDAY: ENCHANTED GARDEN WON
MONDAY: BRIJOMI QUEEN 4TH
SUNDAY: TARLA FELL (at last fence when in front)
SATURDAY: ALAND ISLANDS 2ND
FRIDAY: TANERKO EMERY WON
TIP OF THE DAY SUPPLIED BY SCOOP RACING (RICHARD SILVERWOOD).