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Tip For Cheltenham’s Close Brothers Chase

Tower Bridge can prove best of owner JP McManus’s runners in Tuesday’s Close Brothers Novices’ Chase.

TOWER BRIDGE – 12-1 with Coral. 4.50pm Cheltenham Tuesday 12th March.

TOWER BRIDGE - 12-1 with Coral 12/1 Coral

With an entry currently standing at 79 and a maximum permitted field of just 20 the 2m 4f Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase is going to be possibly the tightest knit handicap at the Cheltenham Festival with little more than a few pounds covering the entire field. Of the top 30 horses in the handicap as it now stands leading owner JP McManus is responsible for no less than six. His Campeador, Any Second Now and Tower Bridge are guaranteed a place in the race with all three holding good chances in an open contest.

Leading McManus Contenders

CAMPEADOR – 12-1 with William Hill in ante-post Cheltenham betting odds.
Fell on his chasing debut at Navan before winning a Beginners chase easily at Fairyhouse. Beaten by a promising novice next time in a three-horse affair at Naas prior to reverting back to hurdles when given a ‘sympathetic’ ride in a competitive handicap, finishing in midfield. Looks to be main hope of powerful Gordon Elliott stable.

ANY SECOND NOW – 14-1 with Ladbrokes (nrnb)

Still a novice despite finishing eighth in this race last year as the 5-1 favourite. Yet to win in nine attempts over fences but plenty of decent efforts including when just touched off by a good novice in Mortal at Fairyhouse in December. Very experienced for a novice which could help the son of Oscar to improve upon last season’s run, when holding every chance until fading on the run-in.

TOWER BRIDGE – 12-1 with William Hill.
Some good form over hurdles (fifth in last year’s Albert Bartlett) but showed little in first two starts over fences when beaten 43 and 35 lengths respectively. Put that experience to good use however on his most recent start when beating all bar the exciting Duc Des Genievres at Gowran Park. Plenty more improvement expected from this son of Derby winner High Chaparral.

Best of the Rest

One of the most difficult races to solve at the festival with plenty having chances including the hat-trick seeking Clondaw Castle and the Paul Nicholls-trained Secret Investor who is better than his most recent run at Kempton. The Irish hold a very strong hand however with Tower Bridge taken to give young trainer Joseph O’Brien a good start to the meeting.