1pt each-way Callet Mad @8/1, 13:50 Cheltenham, Saturday

The BetVictor Gold Cup looks wide-open on the Saturday card at Cheltenham, so we’ve taken a closer look at the Grade 3 Handicap Chase at 13:50, with ever-present in these races Singlefarmpayment seemingly going to go off favourite again. He is likely to run his race, but he never quite seems to get his head in front and I’m prepared to take him on.

Vicente looks like he could have his conditions and there’s no question there’s a lot to like about him in this. He carries a 1lb lower mark than when finishing second in this race behind¬†Perfect Candidate last season.

Vicente is likely to reverse the form with his reopposing rival, however his jumping can sometimes let him down. He also remains 3lbs above his best winning mark having put in a gallant performance in the Scottish Grand National off of top-weight in April.

The progressive Sharp Response could go well, but has been backed into an unattractive price at 8/1. He is the unexposed horse in the field and can improve beyond his 12lb rise for a facile success last time out.

But CALLET MAD could really relish this stamina test of 3m 3f. Simon Munir’s stayer put in a decent reappearance run over a shorter distance when finishing a staying on fourth three weeks ago having been towards the back throughout.

He’s been dropped to a very workable mark of 141, having been rated as high as 148 in his Novice chasing career, and Daryl Jacob said that he needed his season opener. He is entitled to come on materially from that run and could still have more improvement to come over fences.

In fact, that was just his second start back over the larger obstacles since his novice career having been campaigned exclusively over timber last season, winning four of his starts (his last off a mark of 142) including an impressive three mile victory over this track on similar ground – so he has good form in the bank here.

Callet Mad is still only a six-year-old and remains reasonably unexposed at longer staying trips with his longest try over 3m 2f and that conjured up a win. He should have no problem with the going conditions and is 5lbs better off with Cogry from the season opener.

At 8/1, Callet Mad is a solid each-way shout in a race that’s normally won by the younger chasers.

1pt each-way Callet Mad @8/1, 13:50 Cheltenham, Saturday (1/5 odds, six places William Hill)

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