WE'VE been spoiled with some top-class racing over the last couple of weeks.
And this weekend's offering is no exception. Our man Jack Keene has picked out his best bets on ITV this Saturday and looks to keep his good run of form going.
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The Paddy Power Gold Cup could prove the key piece of form here, the race won by Coole Cody four weeks ago.
But AL DANCER (1.50 Cheltenham) ran an absolute screamer in defeat, and I reckon he's capable of reversing the form.
Take nothing away from Coole Cody, it was a career-best effort at this course last month. But he was helped by the early departure of Siruh Du Lac which allowed him to dictate at the head of affairs.
Those in behind, including Sam Twiston-Davies on the strong-travelling Al Dancer, gave him too much rope and used up plenty of petrol when trying to close him down on the run to the straight.
Al Dancer wasn't helped by a scruffy jump at the second last, but he stayed on well to take third in the closing stages, and the switch to the New Course, which is more galloping circuit, will suit.
He is 8lb better off with Coole Cody now and the sounder surface is also a plus.
He also meets Master Tommytucker on attractive terms having already given him weight and a beating this season, so there is plenty in his favour.
And in the following race, I'm looking forward to seeing DANNY KIRWAN (2.25 Cheltenham) over a trip in the Albert Bartlett Trial.
He looked a very exciting prospect back in the day, but he is a big horse and he has had his issues.
I was really taken with his victory over 2m4f at Ascot last time when he galloped a smart type of Nicky Henderson's into the ground from the front under a well-judged Harry Cobden ride.
He looks ready for this step up to three miles and in time I'm sure he will make up into a lovely three-mile chaser.
He's only had seven career starts and has been a slow-burner, but Paul Nicholls has always held him in high regard and if he can stay sound he will have a productive season I'm sure.
Like Al Dancer, the more galloping nature of the New Course will suit him down to the ground.
Saturday selections (odds correct at time of writing)
1.50 Cheltenham – Al Dancer 2pts WIN @ 6-1
2.25 Cheltenham – Danny Kirwan 2pts WIN @ 9-2
- (Column started August 6) rolling P&L: +22.3pts
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