Cheltenham Racing Tips: Two races, four bets for Kate Tracey at Prestbury Park

Betfair Tipster Kate Tracey
Kate Tracey has four tips at Cheltenham on Saturday

A fantastic day of racing awaits at Cheltenham on Saturday and Kate Tracey is feeling brave, tipping up four horses in the ultra-competitive handicaps on the card...

"I'm still hoping he can adopt his usual prominent position and his jumping can really turn the screw on his rivals. These tactics are very often seen to a positive effect in this race."

Back Manofthemountain E/W @ 17.016/1, six places, 14:15 Cheltenham

The National Hunt season continues to chug along at a rate of knots and just like that, we're on to round two of Cheltenham already.

Cheltenham is a brilliant spectacle at any of its meetings but by no means provides easy betting propositions and this weekend is no different. There are a few wide-open betting heats and there are some lesser enticing races from a punting perspective. Nonetheless, I'm taking aim at three contests once more to oppose the favourites with some bigger priced selections.

Mountain and Shadow can go well in Paddy Power

We start with an easy opener...the Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase at 14:15. One of the trickiest handicap puzzles to solve of the season but as a result, lends itself as a fascinating betting opportunity.

This year's renewal is as wide open as ever with plenty of class angles, stable switches and unexposed profiles in the mix. It's a sensible question therefore to ask why I'm sighting this race for a couple of selections? The main reason is that I cannot resist the prices about two runners who look to have all variables in their favour.

The first selection is Manofthemountain, 16/1 each-way, six places, who has been deliberately targeted at this race as he was entered for the Grand Sefton. I thought he would have had a cracking chance over the National fences, such is his running and jumping style. Alas, he didn't take up that engagement and has sighted Cheltenham instead.

Ideally for the Paddy Power Gold Cup, you want a horse who's already had a reappearance start. Manofthemountain has exactly that, finishing a very creditable second at Chepstow after a phenomenal jumping display on the frontend.

He's able to run here off the same mark of 144 which sees him well weighted in the context of this race. He's unlikely to get an uncontested lead in a race of this nature however, I'm still hoping he can adopt his usual prominent position and his jumping can really turn the screw on his rivals. These tactics are very often seen to a positive effect in this race.

The other runner to consider is Midnight Shadow who's a shorter price, 9/1, at the time of writing than Manofthemountain but still represents enough value considering his evident claims.

Sue Smith's eight-year-old also posted a very fair seasonal debut which should tee him up nicely for this contest. That reappearance was in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree where he finished third behind Allmankind.

Midnight Shadow looked the potential winner heading to the second last fence where he loomed upsides Allmankind. He was very clever to check himself and pitch in on a short stride at the final ditch showing intellect as well as agility. However, that fiddle cost him momentum and handed the advantage to the eventual winner which made the difference in the end.

Midnight Shadow's likely to come forwards for that run and remains well treated off just a 1lb higher mark. He has a solid Cheltenham record which he should be able to put to good use once more.

Trip not ideal for Proschema

Proschema currently heads the betting in the Listed Handicap Hurdle over 2m7f208y at 14:50.

Following Proschema's run in the Grade 2 West Yorkshire Hurdle he looked to have a handicap win in him off this mark of 145. However, I'd hoped that handicap target would come over a shorter trip. Such was the way he shaped at Wetherby over the 3m where he was the last horse off the bridle. He was also ridden wide throughout the race which was certainly the place to be on the hurdle track at Wetherby that day.

He was ridden to get the trip which he did but from the way he powered through the race I thought he would suit a drop in trip more so. Therefore, I'm not overly keen on him back at 3m around Cheltenham for all I think he's very well handicapped to win a prize of this nature.

Because of the doubts I have about the current favourite, I'm was going to side with a horse who certainly appreciates this trip as optimal.

That runner being Dragon Bones but unfortunately she was declared a non-runner on Saturday morning so I'll be leaving the race alone from a betting perspective.

Trends and conditions suit two in Handicap Hurdle

If you thought the Paddy Power Gold Cup was a challenge to solve, try the 0-140 Intermediate Handicap Hurdle over 2m5f at 15:25. This race really is an enigma which on first look didn't appeal as a race I wanted to get involved in. However, like every good puzzle it drew me in and the more I went back and looked at the race, the more interesting it became.

I've decided to side against those at the head of the market once more however, I'm taking the two-prong approach yet again.

The first horse to consider is Gowel Road who has nearly all trends from the last 10 years in his favour. A horse who has already had a reappearance start is a positive for this race but with a month or so break since that latest run. Gowel Road has that with his sixth at Chepstow on his reappearance.

That run was this horse's first attempt over as far as 2m3f100y in the Grade 3 Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle. He looked keen and gassy early which I'm hoping was down to freshness on his reappearance.

He became outpaced once the tempo quickened on the swing into the home straight but responded to pressure. He then looked to blow up as much between the final two flights. Once he quickly weakened, Sam Twiston-Davies didn't give his mount a hard time and merely nursed him home to finish sixth suggesting stamina wasn't the issue.

There could be plenty more to come from this horse over middle-distance trips. I believe his weakening out of the finish on that latest start was due to him being outpaced by quicker horses and blowing up rather than not getting the trip.


The other fascinating runner in this contest is Benson who could barely be more suited by the conditions of this race. This Intermediate Handicap Hurdle is for horses aged three years and older who are rated between 0-140 which, prior to April 26th 2020, had not won a hurdle race. We haven't seen Benson on a racecourse since December 2020 where he's evidently had some form of set-back.

Ordinarily, this would put a horse of this nature in a bit of a predicament after only breaking his maiden tag over hurdles in October and then having just three more starts. This Intermediate Hurdle allows a horse such as Benson that ideal transition race where his lack of match practise shouldn't count against him.

Of course, Benson doesn't have the ideal profile for this race due to that absence, however, he's a very difficult horse to ignore from a handicap perspective.

Such was this horse's rise through the ranks last season that this mark of 136, 1lb lower than when last seen, should remain feasible. He failed to bring up a four-timer on his final outing in a Grade 3 Handicap Hurdle at Ascot after being given far too much to do from the rear. It was quite an unbelievable run for him to finish fourth after looking booked to be tailed off, potentially just coming home with the stragglers.

However, from out of the picture he absolutely flew to the line despite running down the second last flight and losing all momentum. The way he rallied immediately suggested that a step up in trip was on the horizon which is exactly what he's getting here. He can be marked up for that last performance and provided he's tuned up, should run a big race as he's been very well placed for this contest.

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