Horse Racing Tips | 10th December 2016

A huge day at Cheltenham on Saturday and racing expert Graeme Johnston shares his best bets.

12:05 Cheltenham

A Triumph Hurdle trial that has a rich history in pointing the way to the top juveniles of the season sees a field of just five runners but two look well above average so far and I expect whoever wins this to be a force in the Triumph Hurdle in March.

Defi Du Seuil won well at this track in a Grade 2 over this trip and brings the best form in to the race. He travelled like a very good horse that day and was value for more than the winning margin that day. He’s won both his starts in this country but at odds on he doesn’t appeal to me against a promising Henderson inmate.

Domperignon Du Lys won at Newcastle on his UK debut and he beat a useful recruit from the flat in the process. He looks a pacey sort and in my opinion there isn’t much between him and Defi Du Seuil so far. I expect him to improve from his last start and at the prices I want to be with him.

12:40 Cheltenham

A 2 and a half mile novice chase and it looks a decent little race but the favourite here has the potential to be top class. After looking the most likely threat to Thistlecrack last season Different Gravy was slightly disappointing at Aintree but he could take his form to a new level over fences.

The winner of four of his six career starts he shot to prominence as a staying hurdle when he was a wide margin winner of an Ascot handicap off top weight. Nicky Henderson chose to avoid Cheltenham and target Aintree but he was ultimately disappointing that day so his attentions have been turned to fences.

He made his chase debut last month and made a decent field look average. This is another step up the ladder however I’d be very disappointed if he didn’t make it two from two over fences. Stablemate Whisper is an interesting recruit to this sphere and if he takes to larger obstacles will win races but Different Gravy should be too good here.

13:15 Cheltenham

A 12 runner handicap chase which looks more competitive than the betting suggests and I’m going for one at a decent price each way.

Vaniteux is favourite for this and has some smart form to his name however he falls just short of top class. He has to concede weight all round today and though he has the talent to do it I worry about his jumping. He tends to make at least one mistake per race and he’s too short in the betting here for me.

The one I like here is the lightly weighted Keel Hall. He was fourth in this race last season but I expect him to build on that here. He’s won at the track and will appreciate the better ground this year. Last year this was run on soft and based on his last start he should go close here off his feather weight. I’m backing him each way today.

Graeme Johnston’s Best Bets

12:05 Cheltenham – Domperignon Du Lys

12:40 Cheltenham – Different Gravy

13:15 Cheltenham – Keel Hall