HEAD for the Hills at Cheltenham right this moment.
BALLYHILL seems to be a cracking wager within the 1.50, whereas MULCAHY’S HILL can climb excessive within the three.00.
Ballyhill took an enormous leap ahead when successful at Prestbury Park final time and may repeat the feat.
The seven-year-old barely put a foot incorrect in successful that Grade three contest with loads left within the tank. He even had time to idle in entrance earlier than working away from his rivals up the hill.
Underfoot situations must be the identical right this moment and a 5lb rise within the weights must be no downside for this progressive sort.
Shantou Flyer chased him dwelling final time and may get on the rostrum once more. He did nicely to complete second after hitting a flat spot because the tempo hotted up.
He completed actually strongly and has man of the second James Bowen within the saddle.
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This looks a cracking race and Frodon isn’t out of it either. He has been knocking on the door in good company and was an excellent second in a hot handicap at Ascot last time.
He was just running out of rope over 3m there so this drop in distance looks a wise move.
MULCAHY’S HILL can scale the heights in the Classic Novices’ Hurdle at 3.00.
He won his bumper before scooting home on his hurdling debut at Ffos Las before Christmas.
Warren Greatrex’s hope then coped really well with a major hike in class when finishing second in the Grade 1 Challow at Newbury last time.
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He was beaten on the nod there — no mean feat for a horse having just his second spin over hurdles.
He looked beaten jumping the last but rallied all the way to the line, which should stand him in good stead up Cheltenham’s notorious hill. There’s not much improvement needed to strike here.
Black Op won well at Doncaster last time and is worth this hike in grade, while Santini impressed when scoring on his debut at Newbury. He looks a good prospect and is our biggest threat.
There are plenty of decent horses running at big prices in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster (3.15).
L’Ami Serge has been favourite since the betting opened but connections have hardly been enthusiastic about sending him to Yorkshire where the ground is softer than they might like.
There’s no doubt that he’s a class act and was an excellent second in the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Cheltenham last time.
He achieved plenty over fences over shorter trips as a younger horse but staying is his game these days.
Given the question marks about the jolly, FLYING ANGEL could be the one to take advantage.
This is a fair drop in class for Nigel Twiston-Davies’ hopeful who has been running in better races for much of this season. He has improved gradually and was far from disgraced in an Aintree Grade 2 last time out.
The ground was very testing there and he’ll appreciate these slightly better conditions. He tasted success at the highest level when winning the Manifesto Chase at last year’s Grand National meeting. He battled well there and clearly has enough ability to win this.
Wakanda is another threat after going down in a bobbing finish for the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby last time out. A sketchy jump at the last fence did for him but he’s another who never gives
FINIAN’S OSCAR goes back over timber for Cheltenham’s Cleeve Hurdle at 3.35.
The Tizzards are adamant that it’s not a backward step for their star after two below-par efforts over fences.
They believe he’s better as a hurdler and still retains all the ability that won him the Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree last year.
He was forced to miss the Festival 12 months ago and will come right into the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle reckoning by winning this.
If a price around 5-2 is too skinny for your liking, Colin’s Sister will be happier over this 3m after being outpaced when third over 2m4f here last time out.
Steve Mullen’s top tips for Saturday
1.50 Cheltenham – Ballyhill: ‘Big leap forward last time and can repeat the feat’ (add to your betslip)
3.00 Cheltenham – Mulcahy’s Hill: ‘A good second when upped in class last time and can improve’ (add to your betslip)
3.15 Doncaster – Flying Angel: ‘Fair drop in class and been running in much better races’ (add to your betslip)
3.35 Cheltenham – Finian’s Oscar: ‘Could just be a far better hurdler than chaser’ (add to your betslip)
12.40 Apple’s Shakira
1.15 Mister Whitaker
2.25 Bristol De Mai
3.00 Mulcahy’s Hill
3.35 Finian’s Oscar
4.10 Le Patriote
1.30 Sceau Royal
2.05 Indian Hawk
2.40 Maria’s Benefit
3.15 Flying Angel
4.20 Highway Girl
1.25 Make Magic
2.00 Surrey Hope
3.10 Celestial Spheres
3.45 Cosmic Glow
1.45 Whiskey In The Jar
2.20 Crank Em Up
4.00 Special Wells
5.45 Native Arrow
7.15 Choice Encounter
7.45 Third Time Lucky