12.55 Cheltenham: Our Verdict
Our racing team weigh up their best bets in the Sky Bet Money Back race on Friday – the 12.55 at Cheltenham.
Shuil Royale heads the weights in the money back race
Simon Holt – Astracad
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained ten-year-old scored first time out at Chepstow last October and certainly knows his way round Cheltenham having raced here 23 times during his career! While only successful on one occasion, Astracad has often run well and, but for a blunder at the final fence, could have finished a bit closer than sixth (of 22) behind Empire Of Dirt at the Festival in March off a 4lb higher mark having also run well off higher ratings at Cheltenham last October/November.
Ian Ogg – Ericht
Ericht has never quite lived up to the promise of his youth but he's still had a decent career, winning seven of his 35 starts. None of those victories have come at Cheltenham but he has run well here in the past, notably when fourth to Knock House last November, third to Johns Spirit in 2014 and when fifth in a Coral Cup. The handicapper has given him every chance and he comes here fit and well following a promising return to action at Newbury in a warm race and racing against his fellow veterans should be much more to his liking.
Matt Brocklebank – Dunraven Storm
You get the sense that this could have been a big target for a few of these old boys and Dunraven Storm looks well up to lugging a big weight to victory. He beat Vibrato Valtat at this meeting a couple of years ago and although he's been able to add just one win to his tally since then, it was a ready success at Kempton this May from a 2lb lower mark than today's. He's never won over quite this far but the longer trip is bound to help him at this stage of his career, Richard Johnson knows him well and the ground riding on top should see him in his best light.