1pt each-way Count Meribel @8/1, 13:50 Cheltenham, Saturday

2m4½f (New) Paddy Power 45 Sleeps To Cheltenham Trophy Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) (5yo+)

The 45 Sleeps To Cheltenham Trophy Handicap is a big one to win.

And the market is currently wide-open with a three-way tie for favouritism with it being hard to rule out many with conviction in this.

Highway One O One arguably ran a career best last time out and Warthog could still show improvement despite a 4lb rise for his win in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup last month. He was previously third in the Bet Victor Gold Cup over the same course and trip when COUNT MERIBEL finished better than the bare form suggests in sixth place having raced well throughout.

He’s now 5lbs better-off with Warthog and opened his second season as a chaser with a decent second to Lostintranslation. That was just 13 days before the Bet Victor Gold Cup and it may have come too soon for Count Meribel who generally goes well fresh.

The ten week break off a 1lb lower mark could see this lightly-raced chaser in a much better light with form over the new course and a nice price of 8/1.

Lalor looks the most dangerous against the selection, if he runs up to the same form of his last start at the track.

1pt each-way Count Meribel @8/1, 13:50 Cheltenham, Saturday (1-3 places, 1/5 odds with William Hill)

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