Coo Star Sivola could be getting into his first handicap off a decent mark with plenty of promise shown on his previous three attempts over fences in novice company.
That included defeats to both Finian’s Oscar and Kalondra so he may find this field of more exposed horses a much easier task. With some excellent performances already at Prestbury Park, Lizzie Kelly will be thereabouts at the finish with the jolly.
It’s always difficult to look past an old favourite in Frodon, but he is probably just a tad high in the handicap despite the fact he should benefit from the return to this distance.
King’s Odyssey remains lightly-raced for his age and the fact the handicapper has dropped him to his last winning mark makes him extremely interesting but he hasn’t won for two years and may come up short again.
The manner in which BALLYHILL finally got off the mark over fences on his last start over course and distance suggest there is more to come from the Nigel Twiston-Davies inmate.
He had plenty left in the tank at the finish, and even had the opportunity to idle when defeating the re-opposing Shantou Flyer by a couple of lengths, and he can defy a five pound rise in the weights and confirm the form.
Ballyhill opened his chasing campaign with two very admirable performances behind Sceau Royale and North Hill Harvey respectively who look to be two high class novices.
Things then didn’t go his way when finishing fifth at Aintree before running well for a long way in the Grand Sefton Chase over the National fences before coming down.
He remains on the upgrade, handles the soft going and is a nice price to follow up in this race.
1pt each-way Ballyhill @7/1, 13:50 Cheltenham, Saturday (three places, 1/4 odds various bookmakers)