Anita Chambers reckons Golden Apollo can land another decent pot in the Vertem Leading The Field Handicap at Doncaster on Friday.
NAP: Golden Apollo (3.35 Doncaster)
Next Best: Lady Adelaide (2.50 Newbury)
Golden Apollo can land another decent pot in the Vertem Leading The Field Handicap at Doncaster.
Tim Easterby's five-year-old returned to winning form in last month's Ayr Silver Cup, and has good prospects of following up on Friday despite a 5lb rise for what was a long overdue success.
Golden Apollo prevailed by only a neck, but was strong at the finish and appears to have got his eye in again.
He has won off a higher mark in the past and, by Pivotal, has shown his form in soft ground - so should not be significantly compromised if the forecast rain materialises.
His Ayr victim Gabrial The Saint re-opposes, inevitably on more favourable terms for his narrow defeat. But the force is with Golden Apollo again, and he can prove the point.
Modakhar is at the other end of the experience scale, but is another seeking a second successive victory - and it may come his way in the 1st Security Solutions Handicap.
He won his novice with authority at Hamilton in soft ground last month and should have potential off his opening mark for an in-form yard.
Hamish may well go off at short odds but will deserve to in the British European Breeders' Fund Conditions Stakes at Newbury.
William Haggas' gelding arrives in this bracket on the back of a hugely-impressive win in a valuable York handicap two weeks ago.
He dispelled any worries about handling soft ground there, so should be in his element again and will surely take some stopping.
Lady Adelaide has been off the track since struggling in Listed company back in May.
However, she may find the Thatcham Butchers Fillies' Handicap more to her liking - with a rating of 82 not looking too harsh.
She won once as a juvenile, but was 20 lengths behind Maqsad in the Pretty Polly at Newmarket and might appreciate easier company.
Smokey Lane seems to like easy ground, so is one for the short-list in the Energy Check Great Deals Handicap after winning at Leicester recently.
High Fort showed a first glimmer of ability on his fifth career start, across the codes, last time - and that level may well be enough for victory in the Bombardier Golden Beer Handicap at Newcastle.
The spark was lit over course and distance on handicap debut and if High Fort can build at all on the relative promise, he should be in business in this grade.
Cheltenham's season kicks off with a typically classy card, and it is Wholestone who catches the eye in the Matchbook Most Trusted Betting Exchange Novices' Chase.
Rated 161 at his peak over hurdles, he is a notable contestant in the novice-chase division and made a winning start when lifting a valuable Perth event last month.
Wholestone only really had to be a half-capacity there, because he faced just one rival - who pulled up before the finish - and it was really nothing more than a racecourse school.
While he negotiated the obstacles safely, he did hang slightly left - which should not be so much of an issue back going that way round at Cheltenham.
This is obviously a much stiffer test - but if Wholestone is to make the expected impact over fences, it should be within his reach.
Getaway Trump is the pick in the squareintheair.com Novices' Chase. Rated 155 over hurdles, he was good enough to be placed at Grade One level last term and rounded out the campaign with a couple of nice wins at Ayr and Sandown.
Paul Nicholls has opted to jump straight to the bigger obstacles, and Getaway Trump could prove a classy recruit to the chase division.
The Big Galloper makes the trip from Ireland for the Two Farmers Crisps Handicap Hurdle, after edging to victory at Roscommon last time.
That was the first success of his career - and with his confidence boosted, he might be well-weighted.
Sporting Life Selections
CHELTENHAM: 2.00 Braid Blue, 2.35 Getaway Trump, 3.10 The Big Galloper, 3.45 Wholestone, 4.20 Getariver, 4.55 Doing Fine, 5.30 Oakley.
DONCASTER: 1.50 Gold Souk, 2.25 Echo's Love, 3.00 Camahawk, 3.35 GOLDEN APOLLO (NAP), 4.10 Celestial Force, 4.45 Modakhar, 5.15 Gamesters Icon.
DUNDALK: 5.10 Dubai Rainbow, 5.45 Outside Inside, 6.15 War Leader, 6.45 Perry Owens, 7.15 Bellick, 7.45 Swiss Power, 8.15 Prosecution, 8.45 Cache Queen.
NEWBURY: 1.10 Iron Heart, 1.40 Bright Eyed Eagle, 2.15 Mishriff, 2.50 Lady Adelaide, 3.25 Hamish, 4.00 Zeyzoun, 4.35 Smokey Lane, 5.05 Mr Smith.
NEWCASTLE: 5.25 Anyonecanhaveitall, 6.00 Maria Rosa, 6.30 Star Of St Louis, 7.00 Orange Justice, 7.30 Provocation, 8.00 Millicent Fawcett, 8.30 High Fort.
DOUBLE: Golden Apollo and Lady Adelaide.