Stu Williams with his best bets for Cheltenham Trials Day and Doncaster

Stu Williams preview the weekend action

Stu Williams has four best bets for Saturday including three fancies on Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham.

Recommended bets

1pt win Champagne Court in 1.15 Cheltenham at 15/2

1pt win Highway One O One in 1.50 Cheltenham at 5/1

2pt win Champagne Well in 2.05 Doncaster at 11/4

1pt win Harry Senior in 3.00 Cheltenham at 11/2

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


There's plenty of good racing in the Cotswolds on Saturday and I am looking forward to seeing the promising CHAMPAGNE COURT in the competitive Timeform Novices' Handicap Chase.

Jeremy Scott's seven-year-old made a smooth transition to fences at Sandown in November and I was particularly taken by how well he jumped and just how much he had left in the tank at the business end of the race.

The Court Cave gelding landed the odds at Plumpton next time out and the third placed Mercy Mercy Me, who will reoppose on Saturday, gave that form a boost when comfortably scoring at Sandown on his only subsequent outing.

Champagne Court displayed his ability to handle the undulations of Prestbury Park when placing fourth in the ultra-competitive Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap last March and he again showcased his ability when placing second - two lengths ahead of the reopposing Imperial Aura - in the Grade Three Silver Trophy at Chepstow in October.

He will meet that rival on significantly worse terms here but has taken to chasing like the proverbial duck to water and he may have enough class to confirm those placings.

I am also keen of the prospects of HIGHWAY ONE O ONE in the Grade Three Paddy Power 45 Sleeps To Cheltenham Trophy Handicap Chase.

I have long been of the opinion that Chris Gordon's eight-year-old has a decent prize in him and his latest effort at Kempton when succumbing late over three miles - a trip that may have stretched his stamina - suggested that his day in the sun may arrive sooner rather than later.

The return to Prestbury Park, where he placed second over this course and distance on this card 12 months ago, looks ideal and the drying conditions are most certainly in his favour.

I am also convinced that he jumps marginally slicker going left-handed and his ability to travel prominently will stand him good stead here.

The Sky Bet Chase is the feature contest on a strong Doncaster card. However, my eye is drawn to the Grade Two Albert Bartlett River Don Novices' Hurdle and the Fergal O'Brien trained CHAMPAGNE WELL in particular.

The battle-hardened seven-year-old held an entry in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham on the same afternoon, however, I'm glad that connections have elected to go down this route as his runner-up effort behind Redford Road at Cheltenham's International Meeting - over this 3 mile trip - rates a solid piece of form.

The third placed Kiltealy Briggs was successful next time out and the fourth placed Mossy Fen landed the Grade Two Leamington Novices' Hurdle at Warwick two weeks ago. The front two pulled six lengths clear of the field with Champagne Well coming out best at the weights.

If this were a handicap Champagne Well would have to concede 7lbs to the favourite therefore the 3lbs weight concession does not concern me.

The fact that connections have sent him to Doncaster over Cheltenham should not be ignored and his experience, which includes a solid runner-up effort behind the potentially top-class Thyme Hill in November, could prove invaluable given the demands of this contest.

My final selection is HARRY SENIOR in the aforementioned Ballymore Novices' Hurdle.

Colin Tizzard's promising six-year-old chased home smart prospects Sporting John and Edwardstone at Exeter and Aintree respectively before bolting up on his first outing over two-and-a-half-miles at Chepstow.

The Brocade Racing owned gelding was really impressive that day and he was well supported for the Grade Two Leamington Novices' Hurdle at Warwick prior to being withdrawn at the start after unshipping Robbie Power during the preliminaries.

Harry Senior has something to find with a few of his rivals on official ratings. However, his form looks rock solid and he has plenty of scope for improvement over this trip, which renders him a very big player in spite of his clearly talented opposition.

I was particularly impressed by the gears that he displayed at the Monmouthshire venue and he could easily progress into a graded novice hurdler this spring.

Preview posted 1420 GMT on 24/01/19


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