Our Simon Holt continued his fine 2019 with 18/1 BetVictor Gold Cup winner Happy Diva - don't miss his tips for Cheltenham Sunday.
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Evan Williams provided us with a winner when The Last Day hacked up at Aintree just over a week ago and can strike again with QUOI DE NEUF in the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday.
This lightly-raced, smooth travelling type returned with a creditable second to Speed Company at Chepstow, holding every chance two out before being outpaced by the winner who was very well handicapped on his Flat form. Moreover, they went very slowly in the early stages that day and it turned into a sprint up the home straight which also suited the winner.
Third-placed Highest Sun has since run very well on his chasing debut at Newbury.
In three starts last season, having won an Irish point-to-point, Quoi De Neuf showed plenty of ability winning first time out at Aintree but then struggled to get home over two and a half miles in deep ground at Sandown and again could only find the one pace in the closing stages over the same distance behind Good Boy Bobby at Ffos Las. The latter looks like becoming a decent chaser after splitting Brewinupastorm and Midnight Shadow at Carlisle last month and then winning at Wetherby yesterday.
I suspect there is much more to come from the selection this season, particularly over two miles rather than further, and victory would provide consolation for his trainer whose Silver Streak was just touched off in this race 12 months ago.
In what may not be the strongest renewal, the improving mud-lover Monsieur Lecoq appeals as a leading contender albeit up 7lb for his recent Ffos-Las win while other winners this season such as Gumball and Benny's Bridge need also to cope with weights rises on much softer going.
Earlier, it could be Williams again with VOODOO DOLL in the opening Cheltenham Club Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle.
The six-year-old would not be one of the stable's stars but appeared to run well on soft ground at Aintree last month when holding every chance approaching the final flight before finishing a close third to two superior types.
The effort suggests Voodoo Doll could be returning to the sort of form which saw him rattle up a hat-trick of wins in the summer of last year before going onto finish a staying on third in this very race off a 9lb higher mark.
Posted at 1640 GMT on 16/11/19.
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