Hello, everyone. It’s good to be back writing my weekly column for Betway. This jump season promises to be one of the most exciting in recent years. There are a crop of top hurdles and chasers to look forward to, plus the unknown quantities that are the bumper horses, the young horses bought from France and from the point-to-point scene.

We've got a cracking fixture from Cheltenham to enjoy this weekend. After it, the action comes thick and fast, weekend to weekend, with our favourite horses back on our racecourses and our screens.

It looks like Gordon Elliott is sending a good team of horses over for this meeting. This will give Gordon a good gauge on how fit his horses are and what the early competition is like in England.


I think this race will be won by a horse trained a little closer to home, The Hollow Ginge . He has slipped down the handicap to a really workable mark and you can’t forget his run here last season when he was touched off in the same race off a 10lb higher mark. I see he’s been well-backed all week and I think he’ll be fit enough to do himself justice first time out.


It didn’t take long for a Gordon Elliott horse to stand out. I loved Pied Piper last year. He was quick and did very little wrong all season. The re-match between him and Knight Salute looks to be exciting, but I do think the Elliott horse would have had this as his target for a while and has more scope to improve this season.


You have to tip your cap to Laura Morgan who has managed to improve Clear The Runway from a mark of 98 in January to a mark of 142 now. That is huge improvement, and he doesn’t look like stopping if the way he trounced the field at Worcester last time is anything to go by.

This is, though, by far biggest challenge to date. With Gordon’s horses having a claim, plus the rare Willie Mullins runner at this meeting with Dads Lad {ODDS:10238519694/1}, I’m going to sit back and enjoy these two-mile chasers go at it from the start. Is the fact that Willie is bringing one over who is fit and who loves these conditions a tip in itself, though?


The Pertemps Qualifier has attracted a massive field and it’s good to see that in the current climate, where we've become used to small races.

I’d be surprised if Fergal O’Brien walks away without a slice of prize money as he has two very intriguing runners. Silver Sheen has gone well at Cheltenham before and has made the move over from Jessie Harrington in Ireland to Fergal, who trains near Cheltenham.

His other runner, Ask Dillon , loves Cheltenham and has fallen down the handicap.

It’s fantastic to see 13-year-old Kansas City Chief running again this season. He adores this place and rarely runs a bad race here. He’s clearly got lots of life in him for his connections to keep him rolling and there are worse big-priced horses than him this weekend.

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