Off The Fence: Cheltenham Trials Day best bets from Barry Geraghty and Tony Keenan | Racing News

Off The Fence: Cheltenham Trials Day best bets from Barry Geraghty and Tony Keenan | Racing News

With the Cheltenham Festival fast approaching, attention turns to Trials Day at Prestbury Park on Saturday and the Off The Fence team preview the best of the action.

Host Vanessa Ryle is joined by regular guest Barry Geraghty and Tony Keenan as they delve into an exciting Cotswold Chase and an open-looking Cleeve Hurdle.

The panel also preview an excellent card at Gowran Park on Thursday, featuring the Galmoy Hurdle and Thyestes Chase, while looking back on another eventful weekend.

‘Royale Pagaille sets the standard’

Betfair Chase winner Royale Pagaille is the headline act in Saturday’s Cotswold Chase, with a maximum of five rivals to beat.

Geraghty said: “Obviously Royale Pagaille beat Bravemansgame in the Betfair Chase so he sets the standard.

“It’s very interesting that Paul Nicholls has entered Stay Away Fay having only had two runs over fences to date. He has been very impressive but he’d be taking on a lot of seasoned horses here.

“Datsalrightgino is interesting too, coming off the back of his big win at Newbury but the best of his form is on better ground so I wouldn’t want it to get too soft for him.”

Keenan believes the sole Irish entry is worth a second look. “I was surprised to see Capodanno as the outsider of the six,” he said.

“His season last year was a bit of a car crash because he came back in late and he had a tough task in the Grand National.

“This season I’d say has gone a bit smoother. He didn’t show too much on his pre-Christmas run but then looked a lot better in the Savills Chase, staying on well.

“This is a drop in grade, so if Capodanno travels I think he’s a very interesting runner with a big chance.”

Paisley Park to land fourth Cleeve?

Crambo and Paisley Park battle it out in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot

Later on the card, star stayer Paisley Park will bid for a fourth Cleeve Hurdle title, potentially meeting fellow legends of the game Champ and Dashel Drasher.

Geraghty said: “I thought Paisley Park ran a brilliant race at Ascot when they didn’t go overly quick and the ground was as good as he’d want it.

“It’s going to be slightly slower at the weekend at Cheltenham and you’d like to think there’ll be a better gallop. He’d be the one for me.

“I’m keen to see Marie’s Rock because I think there’s more to come from her stepping back up to three miles.

“She didn’t see it out at Aintree when they probably got competitive earlier than ideal and then I don’t think she was at her best at Newbury.”

Watch Off The Fence in full on the At The Races YouTube channel.

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