Friday ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for day one of Cheltenham's November meeting

It's day one of Cheltenham's November meeting and we've a tip for each of the four live ITV races, plus there's news of a free bet offer not to be missed.

Let's start with that free bet offer which works like this.

Get up to £20 back as a free bet if your horse places second and is beaten by half a length or more - applies to all live ITV races and that's a total of 18 over the next three days!

With that concession on your side you can place your bets with Planet Sport Bet with a little more confidence, and you can head straight there by clicking on the horse's names below.

Selections:

Kap Auteuil (1.45 Cheltenham)

My Drogo (2.20 Cheltenham)

Singing Banjo each-way (2.55 Cheltenham)

Gelino Bello (3.30 Cheltenham)

1.45 Cheltenham - Kap Auteuil

Stolen Silver jumped well when beating two rivals at Market Rasen on his seasonal reappearance, but he'll find this tougher from a 4lb higher mark and Kap Auteuil is much preferred at almost double the price.

The six-year-old arrives here on a roll, having won his last four chase starts (by an aggregate of around 50 lengths), and he looks to be still improving judged on his most recent success at Stratford.

That was a competitive affair for the track and while he took a keen hold, as he often does, he was strong at the finish.

A further 3lb rise takes him to a mark of 134 and it wouldn't surprise if this brother to Cheltenham Festival winner A Plus Tard (now 172-rated) can climb higher still, with a mark in the high 140s looking achievable.

He's trained by Surrey-based Toby Lawes, who is 4-17 this season, and he looks a good bet to provide his small but ambitious yard with a first Cheltenham winner at their first attempt.

Of the rest, Editeur Du Gite will have to jump better than he did at Ascot last time, although his tendency to go left at his fences might not be so costly around here, while Magic Saint was entitled to need his recent comeback and his first since wind surgery. He does have to give the selection 18lb, though.

2.20 Cheltenham - My Drogo

We won't get rich backing My Drogo on his eagerly anticipated chase debut against a sole rival at long odds-on, but it's not all about betting and true jumps fans won't begrudge Dan Skelton's exciting six-year-old a relatively easy introduction.

There are surely bigger and better days to come for Britain's top novice hurdler from last season, with his four wins from four starts over obstacles including a pair of Grade 2s at Ascot and a brilliant Grade 1 success at Aintree on his first try at 2m4f.

My Drogo stars in Mersey Novices’ Hurdle

Having swerved Cheltenham last season, he could be the one to serve it up to the Irish in March and the Marsh Chase (2m4f), for which he's an 8/1 shot with Planet Sport Bet, looks a suitable target. But he'll get further than that and connections have said the Gold Cup is the ultimate dream.

First things first, though, he needs to get the job done this afternoon and while Gin On Lime will be no pushover - she was an impressive winner of a Grade 3 last time - it'll be disappointing if he can't make a winning start over fences.

According to his trainer, his schooling has been "good" and this social media clip is pretty encouraging in that respect. Let's just hope they both get around safely.

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2.55 Cheltenham - Singing Banjo each-way

Former Ryanair Chase winner and this year's Grand National runner-up Balko Des Flos is undoubtedly the class act in this race over the cross-country-fences, but he's got top weight to show for that and he's probably best watched on this occasion at shortish odds.

If successful, it would be for the first time since March 2018 and he got no further than the 15th in last year's renewal - in midfield when unseating Rachael Blackmore - so a better option might be his stablemate Plan Of Attack.

He too is on a long losing run stretching back a couple of years but has run some cracking races since, including a fine third third in the ultra competitive Paddy Power Chase and fourth of the 23 runners in the 2020 Kim Muir.

He was still travelling with some menace when crashing out in this year's renewal of that 3m2f handicap, before disappointing in the bet365 Gold Cup, and is used to carrying much bigger weights than the 10st 3lb he shoulders this afternoon.

He won't be far away if taking to this unique discipline at the first time of asking, but there are no such concerns over Philip Rothwell's Singing Banjo, who is proven over the cross country circuit at Punchestown, and he's hard to resist at much bigger odds.

The 11-year-old found a new lease of life when bagging a double in the space of a week over that famous bank course back in April, including the prestigious La Touche Cup, and he duly completed his hat-trick when returned to conventional fences at Wexford.

This is a much tougher assignment, with shock Irish National winner Freewheelin Dylan and a Welsh National winner in Potters Corner also in the line-up, but he has to be worth a small each-way bet at Planet Sport Bet's 18/1 (subject to change).

3.30 Cheltenham - Gelino Bello

Gordon Elliott's Off Your Rocco is 4-5 under Rules and showed he stayed today's 2m5f trip when landing a Listed contest at Limerick in October. Whether he's up to giving Gelino Bello 5lb and a beating is a another matter, though.

Paul Nicholls' novice jumped impeccably when beating a good field on his hurdles debut at Aintree 19 days ago (2m4f, good), and the way he quickened clear of his rivals in just a few strides suggested he was potentially Graded class.

That display wasn't unexpected as he was bringing some very useful bumper form to the table, with his third in a Newbury Listed contest in February well and truly franked since.

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With more improvement expected, he looks a worthy favourite to repel the two Irish raiders - the other being Charles Byrnes' Blazing Khal, who could have done with some rain falling - and Dan Skelton's recent Carlisle winner Kayf Hernando.

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