TEMPLEGATE takes a look at Saturday's Grade 2 Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.
The contest is a key Gold Cup trial and will be run at 2.25.
Here, he goes through every runner one by one, rates them out of five stars and reveals his tip at the bottom.
Cotswold Chase runner-by-runner guide
DON the case. Won this in 2019 and has been in fine form this year with a third in the King George last time.
Will go from the front and his excellent jumping gives him a chance of making the frame.
NOBLE YEATS 4
NOBLE hope. Grand National winner who showed his speedier side when winning an Aintree Grade 2 last time in style.
He is a massive player for the Gold Cup in March and can go close here before a tilt at the big one.
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PRO bet. High-class chaser who was third in the Gold Cup last season but looked better and stronger when taking the Betfair Chase at Haydock.
He stays well and the decent ground is ideal. Looks the one to beat.
AHOY SENOR 2
AHOY where? Grade 1 winner as a novice last season but hasn’t really matched that form this year.
Struggled when well held in the King George last time and has a few questions to answer now.
DU to improve. Ended last season with a decent Ayr handicap win and had a quiet run over hurdles on comeback here last month.
Comes from Nicky Henderson who knows what it takes to win races like this and he has more to offer over fences. This is a hike in class though.
SOUNDS RUSSIAN 3
RUSSIAN in. Personal best when a close second in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby on Boxing Day.
Stays this trip well and looks capable of better. Each-way chance taking on this stronger opposition.
PROTEKTORAT can edge out Noble Yeats as two top Gold Cup hopes go head-to-head in the Cotswold Chase.
The Skeltons think a lot of their eight-year-old who was third in the Festival’s big one 12 months ago.
He was an easy 11-length winner of the Betfair Chase at Haydock on comeback and has enough quality for this.
Noble Yeats showed his staying power when winning the Grand National but looked all class when taking the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree last time.
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There is nothing between them and this will tell us plenty ahead of the Gold Cup.
Sounds Russian ran a cracker at Wetherby on Boxing Day and can edge out potential big improver Dusart and veteran Frodon for third.
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