Horse racing tips: Templegate’s latest Cheltenham Festival ante-post bets include 14-1 Arkle shout

THERE were plenty of Festival clues – positive and negative – in a packed weekend of racing on both sides of the Irish Sea.

A gold star goes to BANBRIDGE – one of our horses to follow for the season – who took another step forward in beating a useful field to win the Arkle Trial at Cheltenham.

Banbridge wins Arkle Trial at Cheltenham and our tipster thinks he can win the real thing1

Banbridge wins Arkle Trial at Cheltenham and our tipster thinks he can win the real thingCredit: PA

His jumping was foot perfect at every fence and he quickened like a class act to give Tommy’s Oscar a six-length beating. He is still a generous 14-1 for the Arkle itself in March which looks far too big.

He has the option of the Turners too over a longer trip and he’s a similar price for that.

We haven’t seen the likes of Jonbon and Sir Gerhard yet but I’m having a small bet on Banbridge in both his Festival targets.

Hopefully he will take another step forward on his next assignment, which could be at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.

GA LAW was another impressive winner in the Paddy Power Gold Cup. He took all of the 2m4f race distance to get going and wasn’t helped by Coole Cody hampering him early on.

It looks as though 3m wouldn’t be a problem and he’s still lightly raced so there could be more improvement to come. 

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Given he’s so lightly raced, Jamie Snowden has clearly had some issues getting him on the track.

If he can stay fit, there are more big handicaps to be won with a 6lb rise in his mark for this looking fair enough.

I LIKE TO MOVE IT was helped by several hurdles being bypassed to win the Greatwood Hurdle as it brought his stamina into play.

Some of his jumps were big too and his technique could come under pressure in a more conventional race.

He is also best when fresh so isn’t certain to back this up for all it was an excellent performance.

Edwardstone’s defection meant NUBE NEGRA didn’t have a lot to beat in the Schloer but he gave anyone who backed him at 1-10 no scares.

His jumping was excellent, which bodes well for tougher targets ahead.

He may go straight to the Festival for another crack at the Champion Chase should the ground be too soft for a run at Kempton’s Christmas meeting.

He will face different class of opponent there though and this could be the high point of his season.

There was lots to like about the way CAPTAIN GUINNESS won the Grade 2 Fortria at Navan on Sunday.

He beat the useful Riviere D’Etel and Andy Dufresne there and tanked along in the process.

He was good over his fences and the clock backed that up.

He was third in last year’s Tingle Creek and has every chance of making the frame at Sandown again should he head there.

There’s still some 14-1 around which looks tempting each-way.

On the slightly negative side, BOB OLINGER has a few questions to answer after being collared by the enigmatic Home By The Lee in the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan.

He has achieved plenty over this 2m4f trip but, at the very highest level, maybe he’d be better dropping back to 2m rather than going up.

This wasn’t a bad run by any means but connections have a tricky decision to make.

BETS: 

Banbridge for the Arkle at 14-1, and for the Turners at 12-1

Captain Guinness each-way for the Tingle Creek at 14-1

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