Popular commentator Simon Holt returns with a couple of selections for Friday's opening fixture of the International Meeting at Cheltenham.
Robbie Dunne rode a high-profile double at Aintree last week - and I think he can strike twice at Cheltenham on Friday.
MYSTEREE, a horse with an impeccable record when fresh, is fancied to make a winning seasonal debut in the Unicoin Group Handicap Chase (2.30).
Switched from Lucinda Russell to Michael Scudamore at the beginning of last season, the nine-year-old made a successful start for his new trainer at Haydock and later added the Eider Chase at Newcastle before following home Chase The Spud in the Midlands National at Uttoxeter in March.
Clearly a stiff test of stamina suits Mysteree well but he has won at a variety of trips and, on a line through Chase The Spud, has a good chance at the weights with Robinsfirth who was second to that horse at Haydock last month.
While the Newcastle and Uttoxeter runs were just over three weeks apart, the selection seems best after a break and has scored first time out in every season he has raced under Rules.
Robinsfirth looks an improving rival, and ran well here behind Cogry in late October, but Mysteree has about 5lb in hand on strict lines of form.
Later, a competitive race for the Citipost Handicap Hurdle (3.40) can go to Dunne again aboard the well-handicapped JESTER JET.
Tom Lacey's genuine and consistent mare could not have won more easily at Plumpton last time for which she carries a 6lb penalty, but she is 4lb well in compared to future handicaps.
Jester Jet doesn't know how to run a bad race; she had earlier split the useful mares Graceful Legend and Hitherjacques Lady over two miles and five furlongs at Ascot and completed a hat-trick of wins at Wetherby, Ludlow and Perth last spring. There seems no stopping her at the moment.
Amongst several dangerous rivals, the Nicky Henderson-trained Fly Camp is also potentially well-in based on his defeat of recent Greatwood Hurdle runner-up Misterton at Exeter last February. With that horse now rated 142, Fly Camp looks leniently treated off just 133 though he was pulled up on one subsequent start at Sandown in March and hasn't raced since.
Arthurs Gift is also interesting after victories at Worcester and Market Rasen but now steps up to three miles for the first time while The Dutchman ran reasonably well when chasing home wide-margin winner Sam Spinner at Haydock.
Anteros (fifth in this race last year) and Rocky's Treasure, second and third behind Thomas Campbell at the November Meeting here, also have chances without looking as favourably weighted as the selection.
Recommended bets: Cheltenham Friday
Posted at 1140 GMT on 14/12/17.