Free horse racing selections for Saturday November 16

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Check out the latest daily racing preview

It's Count Merribel for David Clough in the BetVictor Gold Cup and he has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK and Ireland.

NAP: Count Merribel 2.25 Cheltenham

8
711-6OR: 146CD
9/1
Last RunWatch last race

Next best: Lord North 2.45 Lingfield

3
3
39-2OR: 112D
4/6
Last RunWatch last race

Count Meribel adds up to the right answer in a typically competitive edition of the BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies is a regular on the roll of honour for the highly-prized handicap, at a meeting he almost always targets successfully from his nearby Cotswolds base.

Count Meribel was a case in point 12 months ago, in fact, when he was a most determined winner of a good novice chase over course and distance.

As then, the six-year-old arrives again on the back of a fine run at Carlisle - having chased home Gold Cup hopeful Lostintranslation in Cumbria two weeks ago.

That two-and-a-quarter-length defeat behind an eased and impressive winner doubtless flatters Count Meribel a little.

Nonetheless, it entitles him to be the form pick under his regular jockey Mark Grant, in muddy conditions he handles.

He faces any number of major dangers, of course, but should be in his element back at one of his favourite tracks.

Lingfield stages three Listed events - including the British Stallion Studs EBF Gillies Fillies' Stakes, rescheduled from abandoned Doncaster last week - to keep the fire burning for Flat enthusiasts after the end of the turf season.

Normal service is most likely to be resumed, too, as John Gosden and Frankie Dettori seek to continue their brilliant year, with Lord North in the Betway Churchill Stakes.

As with Wissahickon last winter, Gosden sends his Cambridgeshire winner in search of further riches on the Polytrack, and it is easy to see Lord North replicating his stablemate's success.

After finishing an admirable runner-up in Ascot's Balmoral Handicap, the three-year-old returned to Newmarket to plunder a Listed prize at the start of this month - earning a rating which means he should have all rivals covered in this fast-track qualifier on his all-weather debut.

Gosden has a good chance to get the ball rolling early as another three-year-old, Alrajaa, bids for a fourth successive victory in the Bombardier Golden Beer Handicap.

Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's gelding earned himself a 7lb hike for his superiority at Kempton last month. But he won with authority there, and has a fine chance to complete his set of wins at each of the south's three all-weather venues.

In the Gillies Fillies' Stakes, none can approach the Group One form Magic Lily achieved on only her second racecourse appearance as a juvenile.

She was off the track for almost two years after finishing a length third to Laurens in the 2017 Fillies' Mile.

Magic Lily was favourite in a Listed race on her belated return at Saint-Cloud last month - and after she managed the runner-up spot there, Charlie Appleby has given her a six-week break to recover.

Sam Twiston-Davies heads north to ride for his dad Nigel at Wetherby, and he has appeared especially keen on Good Boy Bobby since the six-year-old's fine second to the smart Brewin'upastorm on his chasing debut at Carlisle last month.

The pair are reunited for the New Jumps Season On Racing TV Novices' Chase, in which Good Boy Bobby's fine jumping and front-running style ought to be a winning combination.

He proved over hurdles last season that he stays as far as two and a half miles. But over this minimum trip, he should get out in front and remain there.

Twiston-Davies could well be in business on another potentially useful chaser from the yard, Mr Antolini.

The nine-year-old has made a late switch to fences under rules - but did run in four Irish point-to-points in his youth.

A successful hurdling career followed, on arrival in Gloucestershire, during which Mr Antolini often excelled on a soft surface.

He put in a decent round on his fencing debut to be runner-up behind impressive, wide-margin winner Black Op at Stratford - and the William Hill Supporting Responsible Gambling Handicap Chase looks a realistic assignment for his second attempt.

In Ireland, there is Grade One action courtesy of Punchestown's Unibet Morgiana Hurdle.

A select renewal was ensured when just five of the initial entries were confirmed early in the week.

There is a good chance, though, that Willie Mullins will be represented by next year's Champion Hurdle winner.

Klassical Dream is the ante-post favourite for that event on the back of his unbeaten novice campaign - culminating in top-level success at both Cheltenham and Punchestown.

The five-year-old ought to be capable of a comeback victory.

It is less assured whether he will still turn out to be the prime contender in March, from Mullins' representatives this weekend.

The return of Saldier is intriguing, on the basis that he was slightly in front of last year's ill-fated Cheltenham hero Espoir D'Allen when he fell at the final flight at Naas a year ago.

He has been absent since and is unlikely to be ready to beat his stablemate this time, but it could be a different story later in the season.

Sporting Life tips:

CHELTENHAM: 12.05 Champagne Well, 12.40 Chocks Away, 1.15 Minella Warrior, 1.50 Pop Rockstar, 2.25 COUNT MERIBEL (NAP), 3.00 The Butcher Said, 3.30 Falco Blitz, 4.00 Midnight Callisto.

LINGFIELD: 11.55 Maryellen, 12.25 Nafaas, 1.00 Alrajaa, 1.35 Alvaro, 2.10 Magic Lily, 2.45 Lord North, 3.15 Corinthia Knight, 3.45 Shifting Gold.

PUNCHESTOWN: 12.15 Anything Will Do, 12.50 Walk Away, 1.25 Eclair De Beaufeu, 2.00 Klassical Dream, 2.35 Blue Sari, 3.10 Se Mo Laoch, 3.40 The Big Getaway, 4.00 Chosen Mate.

UTTOXETER: 12.10 Percy Thrower, 12.45 Eglantier, 1.20 Diger Daudaie, 1.55 Glockenspiel, 2.30 Midnight Tune, 3.05 Tara Well, 3.35 Elleon.

WETHERBY: 12.30 Fitzroy, 1.05 Good Boy Bobby, 1.40 Mount Mews, 2.15 Mr Antolini, 2.50 Forewarning, 3.20 Theatre Legend, 3.50 Bigirononhiship.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 4.15 Ballet Red, 4.45 Poet's Mind, 5.15 Viaduct, 5.45 You Don't Own Me, 6.15 Dutch Treat, 6.45 Classic Design, 7.15 Raihaan, 7.45 Zapper Cass.

DOUBLE: Lord North and Count Meribel.


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