Charlie McCann starts to look ahead to the Breeders Cup and picks out a few for today’s racing
The Breeders’ Cup takes centre stage this weekend with Aidan O’Brien looking to win the Classic for the first time with Mendelssohn on Saturday evening having had three placed horses in the showpiece event previously.
Giant’s Causeway finished runner up in 2000, Henrythenavigator similarly in 2008 and Declaration of War third in 2013. O’Brien has saddled 12 winners from 124 runners in the Breeders’ Cup, but he would love to win the big one.
Mendelssohn is 8/1 for the Classic with BetVictor alongside Roaring Lion who is the best horse in the race, but will he act on the dirt? Add Saeed Bin Suroor’s Dubai World Cup winner, Thunder Snow (10/1 at BetVictor) to the mix and you have a strong British and Irish challenge.
There is a good jumps card at Chepstow this afternoon and Cougar’s Gold steps up to an extended three-and-a-quarter miles for the first time for the Bowens. I am sure there are races to be won with this 7-year-old over fences this term and it will be interesting to see what the market says about his chance.
The vote, however, goes to Ballyknock Cloud (1.45) who has had a wind operation since disappointing over timber back in the spring. The selection won a 3m hurdle on good ground on his seasonal reappearance last season and won three times between the flags. He should make up into a decent chaser and an opening mark of 120 may not stop a bold bid despite top-weight.
The Worlds End (3.25) never got his ground over timber last season but conditions should be ideal for his chase debut later today. A Grade 1 winning novice hurdler the selection could easily take high ranks among the novice chase division although he does need decent ground to be at his most effective. Now McGinty and Terry The Fish progressed up the handicap ranks over hurdles last season and they will ensure Tom George’s horse does not have things all his own way in what promises to be a most informative Beginners Chase.
A more speculative selection is Aquarian (4.00) who ran poorly on his British debut but has the cheekpieces refitted this afternoon and is ridden by talented conditional Jonjo O’Neill for his father. The pair had a good winner at Aintree on Sunday courtesy of Ready and Able and the jockey looked very good value for his 7lb claim.
I thought Doctor Dex (4.30) might be a smart performer when runner up at Southwell on debut to Strong Glance who won at Cheltenham on Saturday. Noel George takes the ride for his father. Paul Nicholls’ saddles the newcomer Eason and a check of the market is advised for the 4-y-old who cost £110,000 as a three-year-old and is bred to be smart.
Bumper winner Grey Diamond looked to have pulled his chance away at Ffos Las on his Bumper debut but finished with a rare old rattle to score going away. He must go close on his first start over timber, but I was taken with the authority of Anytime Will Do’s (1.05) Uttoxeter debut success and he gets the vote in Bangor’s opener despite carrying a 6lbs penalty for that victory.
At Wolverhampton this evening Cosmogyral (6.45) can go close in the Stayers’ handicap. This lightly-raced filly has improved for the application of cheekpieces in her last couple of starts and hinted that she would benefit from a step back up in trip when runner up here last month.
For all your racing odds go to BetVictor.com