Only a few days ago Cheltenham was under a decent covering of snow, but that has all disappeared now and racing is set to go ahead on what will be pretty soft ground.
The card looks trappy with the best three bets, in my opinion, coming in the last three races, which are all luckily covered live on ITV4.
Only six runners have been declared for the Unicoin Group Handicap Chase (2.30pm) in what should be a real slog over 3m2f.
Topweight Southfield Theatre was disappointing at Sandown and connections will be hoping that the application of first-time blinkers will trigger a return to form.
He is slipping down to a competitive mark, but I’m not sure this bad ground is what he is looking for.
The one I like is Colin Tizzard’s ROBINSFIRTH who followed a good run here back in October with an even better display behind Chase The Spud on dreadful ground at Haydock in November.
He remains on the same mark and a reproduction of that run should make him incredibly hard to beat.
Wotzizname looks an obvious threat, as does Mysteree on his seasonal reappearance, although he has a career high mark to defy now.
Banks specialist Enda Bolger saddles three of the nine declared for the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase (3.05pm), with former winner JOSIES ORDERS looking the pick at 2/1 with 188BET.
Having won the Cheltenham Festival renewal of this series back in 2016, injury has limited the nine-year-old to only three racecourse appearances since.
His seasonal debut over an inadequate trip in a handicap hurdle at Galway in October certainly appeared to blow the cobwebs away, as he ran really well when returned to the banks at Punchestown in November.
He was only beaten a nose by Mtada Supreme that day over three miles and the step up in trip again is a huge plus.
That would have put him spot on for this and he has a fantastic record on this unique course at Cheltenham.
Stablemate Cantlow, along with the classy types like More Of That and Tiger Roll, will be there to pick up the pieces should he fluff his lines, but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t improve on his already impressive record.
The final race of the day is an ultracompetitive three-mile handicap hurdle (3.40pm) which will take plenty of getting on this ground.
After his really good run behind Sam Spinner at Haydock last month, it is clear to see why The Dutchman heads the betting.
Colin Tizzard’s runner stays, handles soft ground and has only been nudged up 2lbs for those efforts.
He had Champers On Ice behind him that day and it is hard to envisage that one turning the form around even with a 3lb pull at the weights.
Arthur’s Gift seems to be getting better with every run and is another who has won on bad ground in the past.
If he stays this extra half mile trip, he is a serious contender.
However, I am going to stick with ANTEROS who loves these conditions and was a good second to Thomas Campbell here last month.
He shouldn’t be far away and looks the each-way call at 8/1.
POINTERS - FRIDAY
Robinsfirth 2.30pm Cheltenham
Josies Orders 3.05pm Cheltenham
Anteros e/w 3.40pm Cheltenham