Cheltenham runners

In the first race (13:45), I like Samarrive  for Paul Nicholls. He sluiced up at Kempton last season and the son of Coastal Path looks better than his rivals. His trainer must think he’s well handicapped to run in him this type of race instead of going into a graded contest with him.

Storm Control loves Cheltenham. He’s won there twice and was a good fifth in the Kim Muir at the Festival in March. He’s a proper stayer. He stays all day long. Kerry Lee has her horses flying, too, so I think they have a great chance (14:20).

I’m not fully convinced by Tritonic, so I think Stepney Causeway will get the better of him. He’s got a good way of going from the front and will go from hurdle to hurdle. He will make it a test of the others to catch him if they can (14:55).

Sky Pirate was a good winner of the Grand Annual at the Festival in March and, despite carrying weight here, he’s the one they all have to beat (15:30). He’s rated 159, so if he wins this he’ll definitely have to be campaigned for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase back at Cheltenham in March.

I was impressed with the way Does He Know won at Cheltenham as a hurdler and I liked him when he beat a really well-backed horse of Nicholls’ at Chepstow on his debut over fences. He even ran well at the Festival and could defy the 8lb penalty here (16:40).

The bumper (17:15) is always a good contest and I can’t help but be drawn to Ocean Of Mercy , who was beaten a nose on debut. Because of that narrow defeat, he doesn’t have to carry a penalty in this contest. He’s from a shrewd yard who know how to train winners and they won’t be going over for the day out.

Galway runners

Its not the most inspiring card at Galway on Saturday, but it looks as though Gordon Elliot will win the first two races.

Iberique Du Seuil has had plenty of positive words about him, although you don’t know what you’re up against in these types of events (13:20). The yard won a similar contest almost a year ago with Zanahiyr, who ended up being a Triumph Hurdle type. If they win here, they’ll be thinking of a similar path.

It should be a quick double for the yard as Sam’s Choice looks like he’ll be very tough to beat in the second race (13:52).

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