1pt each-way War Sound @11/1, 13:55 Cheltenham, Saturday

There are strong predictions for heavy outbreaks of rain tomorrow, and it’s to be seen how much will have come down by 13:55 at Cheltenham, so I’d steer clear of good ground dependant horses.

This factor combined with the short price of 10/3 for Rather Be, rules out what will no doubt be a popular jolly for Nicky Henderson. Having shaped well before getting brought down in the Bet Victor Gold Cup last time out – a contest in which nine of the 18 runners either unseated or fell. That was won by Baron Alco, who stayed out of trouble upfront with Frodon back in second, and they are both destined to run well again despite being at the top of the weights.

With the pace likely to be a fierce one, it could pay to side with one that comes late and old favourite Guitar Pete certainly enters the frame on that basis.

But there could be a bit of value at 11/1 in WAR SOUND for the in-form Philip Hobbs yard.

War Sound was most impressive last time out going left-handed at Aintree on his seasonal reappearance, thrashing a decent yardstick for this sort of company in King’s Odyssey with the form being franked by Warrior’s Tale recently as well.

That was the selection’s first win over fences in nine attempts. However, the vast majority of his runs have been over two miles, and he has generally looked a better horse over trips of around 2m 4f throughout his career. Add to the fact that his yard rarely fired last season and it’s not a huge surprise that he remained a novice throughout the campaign.

That includes a fourth last season behind Mister Whitaker (who went on to win at The Festival) and recent Ladbrokes Trophy winner Sizing Tennessee who was a short-head away on Trials day.

That is very good form – if read literally – and he just seemed a shade unlucky not to get his head in-front last year, which entitles him to do better than his revised 10lbs higher mark, having been rated higher over hurdles.

And with Frodon in this War Sound receives a nice racing weight (as many others do) in 10st 8lbs offering him a license to improve further off a new chase mark of 146.

The older horses do not often tend to hold sway in this and several will right him off being a nine-year-old, but he was a novice chaser last season and with low-mileage on the clock he is entitled to go well with decent each-way terms on offer.

1pt each-way War Sound @11/1, 13:55 Cheltenham, Saturday (1/5 odds, seven places with William Hill)

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