12.20 Cheltenham: Our Verdict
Our racing team weigh up their best bets in the Sky Bet Money Back race on Friday – the 12.20 at Cheltenham.
Arpege d'Alene bids to provide Paul Nicholls with another winner
Matt Brocklebank – Label Des Obeaux
Emerging Force has had things his own way over fences so far and having jumped slightly to the right on his way to winning at Exeter he's worth taking on. The obvious one to oppose him with is Label Des Obeaux, who made a pleasing start to his chasing career last month. He looks all about stamina and should appreciate the extra furlong and stiff finish here, while Richard Johnson taking over the in saddle means he should get a positive ride. Pertemps Final runner-up Arpege D'Alene is the other one I'm interested in but I'm not entirely convinced the blinkers will work for him again as he looks a little bit of a tricky customer.
Ian Ogg – Emerging Force
Paul Nicholls has won this race four times in eight years so his Arpege d'Alene is an obvious starting point and he certainly impressed when winning at Aintree in first time blinkers but as the decision to fit headgear suggests he may not be entirely straightforward. Conditions around the country looked pretty hard work on Thursday and if it's the same at Cheltenham then that may play to Label Des Obeaux's strengths but I'll take Emerging Force to overcome his penalties as he's looked a very smart recruit thus far.
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