Snow Leopardess got us back to winning ways last weekend with an exhibition of jumping over the national fences. What a mare and a victory to saviour for her connections.

It's onto the newly sponsored Racing Post Gold Cup handicap at Cheltenham this afternoon. 14 runners go to post in another cracking handicap chase.

I cannot believe the price of Midnight Shadow following his excellent win in the Paddy Power Chase here last month. He won the Paddy Power easier than the official mark as he pecked badly on landing over the final fence losing momentum. On top of his final fence mistake, he idled badly following the fall of Coole Cody when both horses had gone clear. The rest were miles behind due to the quick tempo set by Coole Cody. Both Coole Cody and Siruh Du Lac should ensure this is another strongly run race with the good to soft ground a positive for Midnight Shadow. He looks a better chaser this season having finished third in the Old Roan Chase before winning last month. Midnight Shadow has a high cruising speed which allows him travel and jump at ease behind a strong pace and carries just the 4lbs more than in the Paddy Power chase even with the handicapper raising him 7lbs.

Fusil Raffles picked up the pieces in the grade 2 Charlie Hall chase following the dramatic fall of Shan Bleu when clear over the third last fence. The handicapper did not raise Fusil Raffles for that fortunate win but we did learn he stays three miles just about! Nicky Henderson has got two runs into Fusil Raffles this season and he arrives at Cheltenham fit and well. Last season he won a novice chase at this meeting over the same trip. He backed up that win with a good second in the marsh Novices chase at the festival behind stablemate Chantry House. I think with proven course form and a reasonable mark of 152 dropping down into handicap company this consistent horse must be there or thereabouts.

Cheltenham 1:50

0.5 Point Each Way Midnight Shadow 7/1 Paddy Power else 13/2 Skybet, William Hill & Betfred, all paying 5 places.

0.5 point each way Fusil Raffles13/2 Paddy Power, William Hill & Betfred, all paying 5 places.

Compare Odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/2021-12-11-cheltenham/13:50/winner