Cheltenham Preview - Burtons Well to get the New Year off to a good start

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Burtons Well – 13-2 Betvictor Cheltenham 2.00pm

Cheltenham’s New Year’s Day card looks sure to provide plenty of clues in the run up to the Prestbury Park festival in ten weeks time, the most fascinating being the Grade 2 Betbright Dipper Novices’ Chase at 1.25pm which will shake up the ante-post market for one or more of the major novice chases at March’s four-day extravaganza. The Ben Pauling-trained Willoughby Court currently heads the betting for the JLT Novices’ Chase on Thursday 15th March at a top price 6-1 and a victory in Monday’s 2m 5f contest should see the price harden about last season’s Neptune Novices’ Hurdle winner.

Of the four events due to be televised by ITV the big betting contest is the Betbright Best For Festival Betting Handicap Chase at 2.00pm which can go the way of the Venetia Williams-trained Burtons Well at the 13-2 available with Betvictor. Despite being a nine-year-old the son of Well Chosen has very few miles on the clock and will be having just his sixth start over fences on Monday and off a fair mark of 140 can make his weight of 10st 10lb tell in what is sure to prove an attritional contest on the forecast heavy ground.

Top weight Waiting Patiently is a class act and one of the best prospects trained in the north. But Malcolm Jefferson’s seven-year-old faces his toughest task to date off his welter burdon and meets Burtons Well on 18lb worse terms for his seven length win over our selection at Sedgefield last season. That promising effort by Burtons Well on his first start over the bigger obstacles was followed by a length and a half victory over Pistol Park in a limited handicap at Uttoxeter on heavy ground so conditions at the home of national hunt racing should hold no fears for the probable mount of Charlie Deutsch.

A ninth-fence faller when sent off a well-backed 8-1 chance in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase at the 2017 festival Burtons Well made a pleasing reappearance when going down by a neck to the in-form Romain De Sanem back in October and is sure to strip fitter for his first major test of the present campaign.

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