Theatre Territory the Bet of the Day at Cheltenham on Friday

The first day of the Cheltenham International meeting is tomorrow, and we have a good supporting card to look forward to. Looking through the races on offer, the best bet appears to be Theatre Territory, who looks set to earn a deserved success and finally get her head in front over fences for the first time.

She has ran seven times over the bigger obstacles, and finished second on four occasions, struggling to get her head in front when finishing behind some very talented horses. Those to have beaten her include Mister Whitaker, Ms Parfois and Ibis Du Rheu, with the latter coming this season. The horse has undergone a wind operation over the summer to try and get a little more improvement from her, and after seeing that work nicely on her seasonal reappearance, this looks to be a prime opportunity for her to strike.

Although we have nine horses going to post for this Grade Three handicap contest, she looks to be the one to focus on. The race is full of experienced handicappers who are on the right handicap mark and there are plenty of reasons to think that Theatre Territory is still well handicapped.

She has placed off both 128 and 132 in much stronger races than this one, and comes here on a mark of 132. This isn’t a drop in class for her, but the horses she is up against are slightly lower in quality and less progressive than those that have beaten her in the past.

Rock The Kasbah returns to the course after winning a Grade Three handicap at the last meeting in November, and he is sure to be popular with punters again. However, a six pound rise pushes him too high in the weights for me, and he is easy to pass up on. Singlefarmpayment ran behind him in that race, and he again flattered to deceive when on the big stage. He cruised up looking like the winner but once again emptied very quickly, and that also proves again that he is not a horse that relishes the Cheltenham hill, he needs a flat track to be seen to the best of his ability.

All that leaves this race at the mercy of Theatre Territory who looks to have finally found a golden opportunity to get on the board over fences. She is facing a slightly lower and more exposed class of horse here, and that is enough for her to be the best bet of the day on Friday at Cheltenham.