The first meeting of the season at Cheltenham takes place on Friday and Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway returns with his best bets.
The Foundation Developments Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle (1.35) kicks things off and Afadil looked like a horse going places at the end of last season. Paul Nicholls has a good record in this race and can be trusted to have Afadil at his best after a lengthy summer break.
The son of Camelot ran well over course and distance in March when beaten only five-and-a-half-lengths by Jazzy Matty in the Fred Winter and he produced back-to-back career-best efforts after. His second at Ascot was followed by a strong-finishing success at Ayr in April.
That win was achieved in a good time and Afadil looks fairly treated having gone up 6lb in the weights. He should also be open to further improvement with another summer behind him and, following wind surgery, there is a good chance he can make a successful seasonal return.
The 2023 Thoroughbred Census Novices' Limited Handicap Chase (3.20) looks like a good opportunity for Idalko Bihoue to bounce back after a fall on his debut over fences last time.
Idalko Bihoue was travelling well up with the pace and had jumped nicely before coming down at the ninth that day. It's worth giving this Irish point winner another chance to prove himself at the discipline as he has some of the best novice hurdle form on offer in this race.
He was successful at Worcester at this time last year and went on to chase home top-class pair Hermes Allen and You Wear It Well in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury in December.
If he can reproduce that sort of form over fences he will be difficult to beat from a mark of 127 in this handicap and Nigel Twiston-Davies always has his runners tuned up in October.
The Abu Dhabi Digital Markets Handicap Hurdle (5.05) could also go to Nicholls as he saddles the consistent Lallygag, who ran a cracker on his last visit to the track in April.
Lallygag was beaten only a length-and-three-quarters into third in that 2m4½f handicap hurdle on the New course and that form is red hot. The winner Willaston and runner-up Bold Endeavour went on to fill the first two places in a hot handicap hurdle at Haydock next time.
That was a career-best effort from Lallygag and he has gone up only 1lb in the weights. He is well treated, judged on the strength of that last run, and went into that having been successful on three of his previous five outings. That proves he has no problem getting his head in front.
There should be plenty more to come from Lallygag this season and Freddie Gingell, who is good value for his 7lb claim, will hopefully be on a double as he also rides Afadil in the first.
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.