Cheltenham returns to our screens this weekend. While it isn't one of the stronger meetings of the season there, it presents some appealing betting opportunities that will hopefully yield a good dividend.
Williams' runner appeals at a price
The feature race of the day is the Racing Post Gold Cup Handicap Chase (13:50) and it really is a fiercely-competitive race.
The form of the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham's November meeting is likely to be considered the most relevant piece of form given that it took place over a very similar distance on the old course (this race takes place on the new course) four weeks ago and four of the first six home are taking each other on again here.
Cases can be made for all four of those that featured so prominently here a month ago, but I'm going to side with one that promised to be heavily involved in the finish that day only to fall at the second-last fence, the Evan Williams-trained Coole Cody.
The 10-year-old has shown a particular liking for Cheltenham over the years, both on the old course and the new course, and has been a model of consistency.
Having made a promising return to action over hurdles in October, he was making a typically bold bid in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and was travelling as well as anything when taking an unlucky fall at the second-last fence, the first fall of his career over fences.
The handicapper was a bit tough on him, raising him 2lb for that non-completion, but that he ran so well off his current mark of 143 when fourth in the Paddy Power Plate over this course and distance at the Cheltenham Festival in March suggests he can still be competitive off it.
Coole Cody is likely to have plenty of company towards the front end, but he doesn't have to lead and should be content following up the leaders. Provided that fall hasn't hurt his confidence, Coole Cody looks set to run another big race.
Royal can add 17th career victory
The Unibet International Hurdle (15:00) is the main Graded race on the card and while it is unlikely to make much of an impact on the wider hurdling division, it offers a good opportunity for Sceau Royal to add to his tally.
The nine-year-old has a tremendous win rate, having gained 16 victories so far. His three runs this season have suggested that he is as good as ever over hurdles, with him winning the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton in great style prior to finishing a close third in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle last time.
Song For Someone is likely to be a popular choice for many. However, as well as he ran on his seasonal return when second to Buzz at Ascot last time, the form of the Tom Symonds stable must be a concern, with them only having had two winners thus far this season at a strike rate of 4%.
With Song For Someone and Heaven Help Us likely to set the pace, the race should set up well for Sceau Royal to stalk the leaders and deliver his challenge in the straight. He looks to have very strong prospect and can hopefully get the job done.