Sliding Doors and Vado Forte the two bets for The Messenger at Cheltenham on Sunday.
Cheltenham 1.15: Sliding Doors
Sliding Doors represents the all conquering Ian Williams team. The 5yo is lowly rated having shown nothing in his first three starts on very soft going. However there was distinct promise in a Warwick novice in February on better going. He was a close fourth there behind three horses who have already gone on to better things. He still looked green on his handicap debut at Aintree last month, but stayed on well to third and will have learned plenty from that outing.
Cheltenham 3.00: Vado Forte
Vado Forte is a tricky ride as he can pull fiercely, but jockey Robbie Dunne has found the key to him and this big field and fast pace can bring out the best in the 5yo. He is yet to finish out of the first three in five starts in 2018. He made a satisfactory comeback at Chepstow last month in a race not run to suit. He showed he belongs in this class when taking the Sussex Champion Hurdle at Easter and if he settles as well without the usual hood applied I can see him slicing through the pack in the closing stages.
0.75pts each-way – Sliding Doors – 1.15 Cheltenham at 15/2 with Ladbrokes
0.5pts each-way – Vado Forte – 3.00 Cheltenham – 25/1 Skybet (1/5 odds first 6)