Cheltenham Placepot: New Year's Day, Thursday January 1

Harry Fry's Rock On Ruby is as genuine as they come
Harry Fry's Rock On Ruby is as genuine as they come

Racing in 2015 starts with a bang as Cheltenham host a fantastic card, and that is where we head for our Placepot attempt on New Year's Day...

Rock On Ruby is a tough, genuine performer, fully effective over C&D, and he should be on the premises...

12:10- Time may show that Thomas Brown had a difficult task on his hands trying to concede weight to the unexposed Out Sam, and he was by no means disgraced when chasing that rival home at Newbury. Thomas Brown's chances weren't helped by a significant blunder three from home, but he kept to his task in pleasing fashion and appeals as the type who can be relied upon to give his running. Zeroeshadesofgrey faces his stiffest task yet over hurdles, but it's impossible to knock how he's got the job done in lesser events, looking a very smart prospect with some effortless, wide-margin wins. 

12:45- Alfie Spinner may be an infrequent winner but he has some solid handicap form to his name, including an excellent second in this last year, and he arrives in good form having hit the frame in a trio of valuable handicaps. His yard are in good form, his jockey is riding with supreme confidence and Alfie Spinner appears to have plenty in his favour. He is joined in the permutation by Charingworth as, while the veteran is likely to find a couple too good, he is extremely effective at this venue and should run his race.

13:20- Ptit Zig was very smart over hurdles and has made a seamless transition to chasing, winning on all three starts and looking like a top prospect when taking apart a decent field at Ascot last time. Ptit Zig's jumping has looked assured, while the step up in trip shouldn't pose too many problems, so he appeals as banker material in the Placepot.

13:55- Rolling Aces possibly doesn't have loads in hand of the assessor, but the 5 lb claim of promising rider Sean Bowen will help in that regard, while the fact he enters this race on the back of two solid efforts makes him an appealing Placepot proposition. Rolling Aces is joined in the 'pot' by Persian Snow. Persian Snow finished behind Rolling Aces in the Grand Sefton last time, but he has bits and pieces of form at this venue which makes him look like a lively outsider, and he shouldn't be dismissed.

14:30- Southfield Vic is potentially absolutely chucked in on his handicap debut, but it might be worth siding with the proven handicap form of Ulzana's Raid and Knight of Noir. Ulzana's Raid displayed a most likeable attitude to make it four wins on the spin, battling on gamely to beat Cesarewitch winner Big Easy here last time, while Knight of Noir ran a stormer on his seasonal return to finish second in a race which is working out well. The lightly-raced Knight of Noir promises to stay this trip and could yet do better.

15:05- A few of these potentially-high-class sorts have questions to answer - Beat That's fitness, Cole Harden's pace and Vaniteux's stamina- but Rock On Ruby is a tough, genuine performer, fully effective over C&D, and he should be on the premises. Rock On Ruby never quite looked at ease as a chaser, but he has proven that he retains plenty of ability, and he always looked in control when scoring here last month. Another bold bid is on the cards and we'll bank on the former Champion Hurdler going close.

Recommendations:
12:10- 3, 4
12:45- 5, 9
13:20- 2
13:55- 1, 7
14:30- 1, 2
15:05- 3
= 16 lines

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