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Matt Chapman: Don’t dog this 9/1 shot – it’s my best bet for day one of Cheltenham’s Open meeting

by Matt Chapman | November 12, 2015

Here we go! Oh yes, Cheltenham is back with the brilliant Paddy Power meeting and I’m all set to make Paddy pay more than just the huge sponsorship fee. You hear me Paddy?

We’ll start with the Paddy Power Handicap Chase over 2m at 1.05pm. The one to have a few quid on is MINELLA PRESENT , a lightly raced type from the in-form Neil Mulholland yard. He met a good one in Violet Dancer at Towcester last time, but was rated up to 142 over hurdles and can race here off 130. If his jumping holds up he could be well in.

There’s an extended 2m 4f novices’ chase at 1.40pm, and it’s tricky with doubts about More of That and Ballyalton. They can both win at their best, but despite a penalty today might be the day to stick with DELL’ ARCA, who was a pretty good hurdler and has already proved himself over fences. He has no chance against More of That if that animal is ready, but he might not be.

Horse Racing

At 2.15pm it’s a novice hurdle over an extended 2m 5f, and the one I like is SHANTOU VILLAGE , another for Neil Mulholland who has looked huge in three efforts so far. All four are talented, but I hope Shantou will be too good.

Finally, it’s the cross-country chase at 2.50pm and my main bet of the day comes here with the Willie Mullins trained DOGORA who was making ground when last seen at Punchestown before coming down. He’s the improver in the field for Rich Ricci and has a bit of class. Katie Walsh is a great booking.

So here we go. Paddy Power time. The jumps season is here. Enjoy. Yeeehaaa!

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