PURPLE PATCH: Racing returns to Cheltenham on Friday and Saturday, and it might be worth keeping close tabs on a certain jockey and trainer over the two days.

Gordon Elliott, fresh off training nine winners in a row in Ireland last weekend, has a solid 16% strike rate over the past five seasons and with the Irish handler having plenty entered at Prestbury Park on Friday and Saturday, he looks to have a good chance of improving on that record.

It’s also important to note that if you’d put a pound on all of Elliott’s runners in that same period you’d have made a very tidy profit of £30.42!

Meanwhile, the jockey to follow at Cheltenham looks to be Nico de Boinville.

Since 2016, Nico has operated at a healthy 15% at the Gloucestershire track with plenty of notable winners, including three wins in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

As with Elliott, you wouldn’t be doing too badly if you’d backed every one of De Boinville’s rides during that period with a pound on all returning £26.80.

The big race of the weekend at Cheltenham is the December Gold Cup and perhaps unsurprisingly it’s 12-time Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls who is the race’s most successful trainer.

The Ditcheat handler has won the race five times, most recently in 2018, and he looks to have a good chance of winning it again with ante-post Lalor this year.