Saturday Racing Tips: Time to back a Winner at Cheltenham

Tony is backing Sam Winner at a decent price

Day two of the Open Meeting brings seven races and Tony Calvin serves up a pair of recommendations at big prices...

"Sam Winner has excellent course form and this stamina test - that poor run in the Scottish National on his final start last season notwithstanding - should be right up his street."

Back Sam Winner at odds of 10.09/1 or better in the 13:50 at Cheltenham

Paul Nicholls appears to be putting tongue ties on anything that moves these days, so it wouldn't surprise me if Georgie and the girls woke up tomorrow morning with one fitted.  Well, one man against four women in a house just isn't fair, is it?
 
Most men struggle to get a word in one-on-one.
 
Let's hope the champion trainer lets them off though - and I better let that sexist line drop there for fear of reprisals from the Ditcheat area - as I have a feeling that they will be needing their voices to cheer home Sam Winner in the 13:50,come Saturday afternoon.
 
He rates a very fair price at odds of 10.09/1 or better.
 
Let's get the negatives out of the way. Firstly, he is prone to run the occasional stinker and humping 11st 12lb round here in testing ground won't be easy.
 
But weight is all relative and he fully deserves every pound of that burden judged on his excellent effort behind Smad Place in heavy ground at Newbury last season, where he came out the best horse at the weights against the subsequent RSA runner-up. Indeed, he looks well-handicapped off a mark of 147.
 
He has excellent course form and this stamina test - that poor run in the Scottish National on his final start last season notwithstanding - should be right up his street.
 
He is reportedly pretty forward for his reappearance - and he goes well fresh anyway - and it is interesting that Nicholls has reached for the tongue tie first time up.  Everything is in place for him to run a big race though Market Rasen winner Master Neo could prove very troublesome at the other end of the weights.
 
The main race of the day could well be dominated by those at the top end of the market who all look very solid, and I am firmly in the camp that if Buywise jumps adequately - and the more fences they omit because of any low sun, the better -  he will just about win this.
 
Given that, odds of 8.07/1 looks fair in the 14:30.
 
He was beaten seven lengths by Present View at the Festival last March but he must have gone very close with an error-free round, as he showed when dotting up at the course next time out.
 
He really impressed when beating the 105 Flat-rated Area Fifty One over hurdles at Ludlow on his reappearance - 2m on good ground wouldn't have played to his strengths - and he handles soft ground well, too.
 
Of course, it's a fiercely competitive race as per usual. But you get the impression that Buywise has the ability to rate a lot higher than 146, the mark he races off here, in future.
 
I fancy Golden Doyen in the juvenile hurdle at 15:35, but the price doesn't excite me, and I was originally leaning towards giving Fighter Jet a chance in first-time blinkers in the 15:00.
 
But you have to think that Cesarewitch winner Big Easy is the one to beat and it wouldn't be the greatest surprise in the world were Katkeau to prove a Pipe special after a lay-off.
 
Over at Wetherby, I would put up Shoudavboughtgold in the 14:05 and Pertuis in the 15:15 as my idea of the likeliest winners, but I am happy with just the two selections today.
 
There is plenty of good racing to get stuck into at Cheltenham on Sunday, so we will be keep it relatively low-key on the punting front today. 
 
The best advice for punters is never to force it; if you are not sure, don't play.
 

Recommended Bets
Back Sam Winner at odds of 10.09/1 or better in the 13:50 at Cheltenham
Back Buywise at odds of 8.07/1 in the 14:30 at Cheltenham

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