Horse Racing Tips: Rouge Vif will have no problem returning to Cheltenham

Cheltenham fence
Rouge Vif can make a winning debut in handicaps

We have some quality racing on ITV today from Doncaster and Cheltenham. Alan Thompson has found one at each meeting to follow...

"He was a Grade 2 winner as a novice chaser last season so there should be plenty more to come from him in his second season over fences."

Back Rouge Vif @ 4/1 in the 15:35 Cheltenham

Connections looking to win this race again with Rouge Vif

BackRouge Vif @ 4/1 in the 15:35 Cheltenham

Third in the Arkle here in March, the ground will have been slow enough for Rouge Vif that day but he still ran on well despite not challenging the front two. That was his last race but he goes well fresh, winning first time up in two of his three seasons of racing, which suggests the 227 day break won't cause too many problems.

He was a Grade 2 winner as a novice chaser last season so there should be plenty more to come from him in his second season over fences. Connections won this race 12 months ago when Harry Whittington trained last year's winner Saint Calvados in these colours and this looks a good opportunity for Rouge Vif to make his first appearance in handicap company a winning one.

The form of On The Slopes looks pretty solid, he finished third here over two and half miles in January and that was given a huge boost when the two ahead of him that day both went on to win at the Festival last March. Chris Gordon's charge also finished last season well, winning his last two starts at Kempton. He has though been off the course for a while (223 days) and his form when returning off a break isn't as good as Rouge Vif's, his three wins have all been off the back of a race in the last 40 days. So he may just need this run to get him back on track.

More to come from Opera Gift

Back Opera Gift @ 9/4 in the 15:15 Doncaster

The step up to this trip looks a huge plus for Opera Gift who looked a smart type on his handicap debut. Soft ground suited well there, the further he went over that 12 furlong trip, the better he looked. Andrew Balding's charge is a three quarter brother to Opera Gal who was a multiple Listed winner and closed out her career on a mark of 109 so there should be more to come from this lightly raced colt. The only three-year-old in the race he gets a handy weight for age allowance of the entire field and with Oisin Murphy on board everything looks set for this promising stayer to run a big race.

Ocean Wind for Roger Teal looks the biggest danger, he beat some established staying handicappers at Newmarket last time out but he has another 7lb increase to deal with here and the Teal team haven't exactly been firing in the winners recently (no winners from their last 13 runners). It could come down to the top and bottom weights here but my preference is for the one at the bottom of the weights with the potential for more to come.

2020 (prior to this week) : -3.06 pts

This week so far...

Staked: 6 Pts
Returned: 0 pts

2020 P&L -9.06 pts
2019 P&L +0.31 pts
2018 P&L +82.29 pts
2017 P&L +53.30 pts
2016 P&L +15.23 pts

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