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Ripe Melon to come of age in International Hurdle at Cheltenham

| 15.12.2017

Tips galore for pre-Christmas races

There’s a host of cracking racing live on ITV on Saturday with action most notably from Cheltenham.

There are also a couple of Grade 2 renewals from Doncaster, but all eyes will be on the Gloucestershire racecourse.

The Coral News Team sifts through the feature races and pick out there best bets for the day.

Bet of the Day

There’s an intriguing storyline emerging in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham with Melon going up against The New One and My Tent Or Yours.

Willie Mullins’s five-year-old was entered with one eye on the big festival in March. Melon is the third favourite behind Faugheen and Buveur D’Air for the Champion Hurdle.

Having already claimed second in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at last year’s festival, The New One and My Tent Or Yours will have their work cut out here.

He won on his first outing since April at Down Royal last month by four-and-a-half lengths and looked superb.

My Tent Or Yours hasn’t raced since April so could be rusty. And The New One – despite his record in this race – was fourth in a Grade 3 here in October.

The Coral Bet of the Day is Melon to win the International Hurdle.

Gold Cup looks wide open

The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup looks as competitive a renewal as they come with a big, quality-looking field.

Clan Des Obeaux is the current favourite but there are a number of horses in with a shout. Le Prezien, Starchitect, and King’s Odyssey all look well capable.

However, it’s further down the betting where there’s an eye-catcher. Splash Of Ginge had a big win here last month and connections will be eyeing a famous Gold Cup double.

The soft ground shouldn’t be an issue and he enjoys the trip. The only drawback could be the fact that he now has that big win under his belt and may be a little complacent.

But at the current double-figure prices, Nigel Twiston-Davies’ nine-year-old is worth a solid each-way bet.

Bolter in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

This column started and now ends in Cheltenham and a very interesting proposition in the OLGB Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.

The current odds on Momella are pretty big. Her stamina might be the only issue here but she ran on the course last time.

This progressive five-year-old has already beaten Brillare Momento by 2 lengths at Newton Abbot earlier in the year.

And she also smashed Brahms De Clermont by nearly 20L in her second start at Fakenham.

Dan Skelton loves her and she should start as one of the favourites in March. Back her to win here.

1:55 Cheltenham – Splash Of Ginge E/W
2:05 Doncaster – Rocklander
2:30 Cheltenham – Equus Secretus
2: 45 Doncaster – Act Of Valour
3:05 Cheltenham – Melon
3:20 Doncaster – Ballybolley
3:40 Cheltneham – Momella


Cian Carroll