Horsebetting.com experts give their Cheltenham betting tips for December 15 and the final day of The International meeting. Bun Doran scored in terrific style at the track on seasonal reappearance, so rates the NAP to defy a rise in the weights and follow-up in the 2m Cheltenham Club Handicap Chase. Trainer Nicky Henderson is on fire at present and his Ok Corral is our next best bet in the 2m 4f Ryman Novices’ Chase. Sensulano, meanwhile, looks to hold solid each-way claims in the 2m 4f OLBG Mares’ Handicap Hurdle that brings things to a close on Caspian Caviar Gold Cup day. For full details on these horses, read our in-depth preview and Cheltenham betting tips December 15.Bun Doran the one to be on in Cheltenham Club Handicap ChaseBun Doran could not have been more impressive when scoring on seasonal reappearance, so is taken to defy a rise in the weights and follow-up in the 2m Cheltenham Club Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday (13:20). This Tom George trained seven-year-old has won two of his 10 starts over the larger obstacles and also posted some solid efforts in defeat to make the frame on four occasions.
They include an excellent sixth of 20 to Tully East in the Listed 2m 4f Close Brothers Novices’ Chase at the 2017 Festival here off a mark of 139 ,and a fine 4 3/4 lengths third of 14 to Double W’s in the Grade 3 Red Rum Handicap Chase at Aintree off the same rating.
Bun Doran also ran very well on return to action last season when a 1 1/2 lengths runner-up to Gino Trail in this off 139. He now has to race off 9lb higher as a result of his runaway success over course and distance last month in the BetVictor Handicap Chase.
Proven Cheltenham form
After racing keenly on the heels of the leaders, the son of Shantou took up the running three from home travelling powerfully in the hands of Paddy Brennan. He then quickened clear and, after a fine jump at the last, only hand to be pushed out under a hands and heels ride to easily beat Movie Legend by eight lengths.
It was a most taking and commanding display and one which suggested Bun Doran needed keeping firmly onside this season. The handicapper was also suitably impressed and has hit him with a 10lb hike in the weights. A revised rating of 148 is a career-high, but that may still underestimate his ability – given his young age and progressive profile.
So, with the ground ideal, proven course form and Brennan once again in the saddle, there is nothing not to like about Bun Doran’s chances in this. Thus he features as the main selection in our Cheltenham betting tips for December 15.Ok Corral the answer to Ryman Novices’ ChaseOk Corral makes his eagerly awaited debut over the larger obstacles in the 2m 4f Ryman Novices’ Chase (12:45) and is strongly fancied to make it a winning one. This eight-year-old hails from the in-form yard of Nicky Henderson and developed into a top class novice hurdler last season when winning twice.
In the second of those he showed a smart turn of foot to readily beat Run To Milan ny eight lengths at Kempton. The JP McManus owned son of Mahler was then pitched into Grade 1 company and ran a stormer here at the Festival when a three-length second to 20 to Kilbricken Storm in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.
Ok Corral also ran well on his final start of the campaign when fifth of 13 to exciting stable companion Santini in a Grade 1 at Aintree’s Grand National meeting. Those efforts earned him an official hurdles rating of 147 – which is higher than any of his five rivals have achieved.
Weighted to win
So, given that the race conditions mean that he receives weight from all bar one of them, it makes this look an ideal opening for Ok Corral. He has the size and scope to make up into a very useful chaser and looks potentially a cut-above in this. Henderson has also reported that he has been schooling well at home and is operating at a strike rate of 33 per cent in the last fortnight at the time of writing.
Ok Corral also goes well fresh and has built up a good rapport with Barry Geraghty, who is once again in the plate. Taking everything into account, he looks impossible to oppose. That’s why he is our next best bet among our Cheltenham betting tips for December 15 and is fully expected to land the spoils en route to much better things.Sensulano an each-way play in finaleIn the 2m 4f OLBG.com Mares’ Handicap Hurdle that brings proceedings to a close on Caspian Caviar Gold Cup day (15:40), Sensulano looks to hold solid each-way claims. This Noel Williams trained five-year-old has a progressive profile having won twice and been placed three times in six starts over the obstacles.
She comes into the race on the back of a career-best performance when landing a competitive 11-runner affair at Ascot last month where she beat Petticoat Tails by half-a-length. Sensulano stayed on strongly to score with a bit more in hand than the winning margin suggests and now meets the re-opposing runner-up on just 1lb worse terms.
That means that there is no reason she should not confirm the form with that rival and Sensulano also has nothing to fear from Oscar Rose and Mish Mash, who finished in-behind in fourth and eighth respectively. A 2lb rise for that success looks very lenient and she undoubtedly has more to offer.
She also has her ideal underfoot conditions, so it will be disappointing if the daughter of Milan doesn’t finish in the frame at least. That’s why Sensulano had to feature as the each-way punt an thus completes our Cheltenham betting tips for December 15.Your Next Bet