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It was a tough Saturday last week, with some quality races on show, and as luck would have it, we still made out with a profit, thanks to Pepite Rose winning at 10/1. The last real flat meeting of the season at Doncaster just didn’t go our way, but them’s the breaks. So we ended up with a profit of exactly 3 units, which takes us into a profit of +30.23 units, after eight weeks of free horse racing tips. So, to a £10 stake, the free horse racing tips are now over £300 in profit. And with the National Hunt season really kicking into gear now, I’m confident that we’ll keep making profit well up to and past the Cheltenham Festival.
Only six meetings live on Channel Four on Saturday November 14th, but there’s some quality racing, with the second day of the Cheltenham Open meeting being the main highlight. We’ve also got some quality races from Wetherby, too, to supplement the racing from Cheltenham. We had some early pointers to the Cheltenham Festival on the first day of the Cheltenham Open meeting, with More Of That Being the start performer. The 2014 World Hurdle winner looked in great nick on his first time out over fences; he jumped fast, pinged up the hill and just showed how classy he looks. Shantou Village won the novice hurdle, but it remains to be seen just how that form works out, as it was only a four-runner race, and actually leaves us with more questions than answers.
Now, I need to remind you that our great friends at Bet365 will give you the best price on every horse race shown live on Channel Four if you back it from 10am on the day of the race. That means you should wait until 10am Saturday and get the best price, as they will match their competitors. What could be better than best prices? Well, if you back a winner at 4/1 or more at Bet365 on any of the Channel Four races, you get a free bet that matches your stake on the winner for the next Channel Four race. So, back a winner of the 1:50 at Cheltenham for up to £50 and get free bet of up to £50 on the 2:05 at Wetherby!
First race of the day is a tricky 17-runner handicap chase.
Perfect Candidate ran well last time out at Cheltenham in October, finishing second behind What’s Happening in a decent race. However, the field looks to be a bit classier this time about, and could be hard to beat off this handicap mark.
Upswing has the win last time out, and Barry Geraghty on-board, but you have to question how good the race he won at Worcester last time out was. It doesn’t look that great on paper, so I wouldn’t be reading too much into that win. He looks relatively well handicapped, but I think there will be one or two better.
The one that appeals to me is The Romford Pele who has won over the fences at Cheltenham in the past. In fact, it was October last year, he won off a mark of 150 and he’s 2lbs lower today. He’s had a nice race to get him fresh for this, and I expect a big run.
Sausalito Sunrise looks next best on paper, as he was going well behind Coneygree in the King George at Kempton last year before coming a cropper. He could be well in on the handicap here, and has gone well enough at Cheltenham in the past.
Our first race on Channel Four from Wetherby is a six-runner handicap chase over 2 miles 3 furlongs.
De Vous A Mois, as top weight, sets the standard, but he’s starting to look difficult to win with now. 15 starts over fences, and he’s won 2. Now, it won’t take much to win this race, but he’s still rising in the handicap, and there’s one I like a bit more.
Voyage A New York (NAP) has some very solid form in the book, beating Wakanda at Newcastle in February, who went on to run well in Group 1 company after, and just won a listed race at Wetherby at the end of October. He could be exceptionally well in on the handicap if recreating that form, which he should be able to do.
The big race of the day, the Paddy Power Gold Cup, 20-runners, and it’s over 2 miles 4 furlongs. Some smart horses lining up for this, and it should take something special to win it.
Cocktails At Dawn had his win over As De Mee franked, as As De Mee finished a game second to More Of That on Friday. The worry is that his handicap rating is going up and up and he’s struggled in the past round Cheltenham on a mark of 135, so this 153 rating might just be catching him up now.
King’s Palace was a quality novice chaser last season, and would normally be the selection here. But the Pipe stable just isn’t in any kind of form right now, and until the stable starts firing, we have to give him a wide berth. If King’s Palace does take it out, then it’s not a shock, but when a stable is as out of form as Pipe’s is, we have to avoid it.
Boondooma won well last time out at Cheltenham in October, and should be in the mix. There might be question marks over the trip, though as he hasn’t gone too well over 2 miles 4 furlongs at Cheltenham at the past. There’s a lot to like about Boondooma, though.
There’s a lot to like about northern raider Oscar Rock, but he seems to be getting caught in the handicap now if we put a line through Cloud Creeper and Irish Cavalier. This might just be too much for him.
But speaking of Irish Cavalier, that is my selection for this race. A nice return to action at the start of October, giving the second place horse 12lbs and winning rather more comfortably than the distance would suggest. He won the big handicap on the first day of this year’s Festival, so course form isn’t a problem either. He’s run well in big races in the past, and this is a nice level for him to take down another big prize at Cheltenham.
A Listen handicap hurdle from Cheltenham now over 3 mile 1 furlong. It’s a tough, tough race with 16-runners going to post.
Atlantic Gold (NB) looks to be on the up-and-up, after winning over 3 miles at Cheltenham last time out. He looks to be a couple of pounds ahead of the handicapper at the very least and really has to be respected, especially as he’s only five years old. Course and distance form is so important at Cheltenham. He looks a blot on the handicap to me.
Dark Spirit has to be respected after winning at Cheltenham last time out, too. He also had big entires at the Cheltenham Festival this year, so connections think there’s something there. However, the handicapper knows what he’s getting with Dark Spirit and might just have been caught here.
There can be cases made for several in the field, but Atlantic Gold really does look a smart hurdler, and if the handicapper has it wrong, as I suspect he has, then he should win this readily.
Second and final race from Wetherby is a two-mile handicap hurdle.
To be honest, it’s not a pretty race, and there’s not a lot to be said for most of the runners. We’re just simply going to take a chance on Hollywoodien, as he’s shown decent enough form in France which should be more than enough to take this down. He’s like the soft ground, too, so should hopefully be a cut above the rest of this distinctly average field.
Last race of the race, a 2m 5 furlong handicap hurdle.
For being the last race of the day on Channel Four, it’s actually a very nice race, with a lot of winners on show.
There was a lot to like about the way Hedley Lamarr recovered to win at Warwick back in March. He was a short price to win that day and connections are keen on him. However, if he jumps like that this time round, he won’t be recovering to win, as there’s some smart horses here. He could be well in on the handicap, but there are others that stand out just a bit more.
Western Way has been running well over the past few months, but he’s been doing a lot, travelling a lot and we’re really looking for something a bit fresher to back.
Herbert Park looks decent, but could do with a longer trip by the looks of things. Plus, we’re not backing anything from the Pipe yard until they’ve turned that corner.
But the one that really stands out is Trjongejonge which will be a mouthful for the commentators. He’s got good form in France, and with Richard Johnson on-board, what’s not to like? Any softening of the ground will be in our favour, too, so let’s hope for a bit of rain between then and now.