October 3, 2018 at 17:44 #1376291
The market is dominated at this stage by this years 1,2, Native River, and Might Bite, along with The RSA Winner, Presenting Percy.
No surprise to see Native River finally deliver the big one this year, and just the feeling that he didn’t get the credit he deserved, with a lot of people seeing the ground as being a contributory factor. I don’t think it was the ground that beat him the previous year, more stable lull, and the setback he had a fortnight before the race, when he bled. It’s always sensible to be cautious about any horses going for a repeat bid, but Might Bite didn’t show any ill effects at Aintree, and it would be great to see this pair go head to head once again. Percy doesn’t need any introduction, and he doesn’t appear to have any chink in his armour.
There’ll no doubt be lots of talk about the like of Footpad, Douvan, or Faugheen coming here, but I’ll leave that for others, and there are others from Closutton who interest me more, certainly looking like more realistic candidates. Al Boum Photo looked to be going the right way last season, as did the quietly progressive Kemboy. I think that that pair could both have a decent prize in them this term. Having said that though, the obvious one from the yard is Bellshill. He had a great time of it last season, and booked his place here in The Punchestown Gold Cup. He ran a brave race in The Irish National, and at 20-1, you could argue that he looks good value at this stage. Also in the Wylie colours is Invitation Only, but I just wonder if The National might be his long term target. Rathvinden isn’t easily ruled out, on his win in The 4 Miler.
Mullins could very well be mob handed again, and no surprise to see Total Recall given another chance, he didn’t disgrace himself last season, falling late one. It’s another horse who fell in this years race, that really is on my shortlist though, and once again, it’s Bachasson. Reading between the lines, I think he was something of an afterthought for Mullins, and only ran in the race at the owners behest. Jockey booking didn’t scream confidence, and he got no further than the second. I think he’s better than that though, and I’d be keen again, though there must be a chance that they’ll consider The Ryanair.
Another who I like for The Ryanair, is The Storyteller, though I would consider him for this too. Going the right way, and well worth his chance outside of handicap company. Stablemate Shattered Love is another who could be considered for both these G1’s, while Giggs could also face the same difficult decision with reigning Ryanair Champ, Balko Des Flos.
The two Gigginstown horses who really interest me, are Tiger Roll, and Monbeg Notorious. Tiger Roll answered any doubts that he was worth his place in this line up Aintree, though to be honest he had probably answered those doubts before that. He’d have to step up again to win this, but certainly not beyond him. Will he go here? Well I doubt it. He’s getting reunited with Keith Donoghue this season, and that screams the same route as last season, and who can blame them. Hasn’t stopped me betting him though. It might just be that Monbeg Notorious is their dark one. His run in top company at Punchestown didn’t go unnoticed, and I think he can compete easily at this level, though he’ll have to extinguish any doubts that he’s ground dependent.
The 2017 winner Sizing John has a few questions to answer coming back from injury, while you’d have to have your doubts about Thistlecrack, coming back from his own setback. He did look a shadow of his former self last year, when coming back from his original setback.
Tizzard might have a more realistic contender in Elegant Escape, who’s highly rated by many, but he must improve on his RSA form. Sizing Codelco must improve dramatically on his form of last year, though I did suspect him to have an ailment, while who knows what route Fox Norton will take.
Another coming back from injury (hopefully), is Waiting Patiently. It still defies belief that he didn’t go to Cheltenham, and hopefully he can come back, as he really did look top drawer. If he does come back, The Ryanair could also be a target, but hopefully a big run in The King George would see him head here. Willoughby Court is another heading back, and he’s a big price.
As well as Willoughby Court, The Rooneys have Master Dee, and he strikes me as the type to come into the picture for this as the season progresses. Others who fit this bill, include the likes of Ms Parfois, Mister Whitaker, Rather Be, Dingo Dollar, Thomas Patrick, Snow Falcon, and Step Back.
Similar sentiments would apply to the Nicholls pair of Clan Des Obeaux, and Politologue, while someone likes his Master Tommytucker, who’s been introduced to the market by Bet365.
There’s a few JP Horses who would have to be considered, with Anibale Fly & Minella Rocco, who’ve been good enough to place in this, while Great Field would be interesting stepping up, while Edwulf would have to improve on his 2018 Running, for all that he was given a disappointing ride.
My main fancy at this stage though is Terrefort. Love the way he did it at Aintree, and I can see him having a huge season ahead of him. Bet him for this last season at 66’s, and I think that the 33’s available for him just now, is just massive on that Aintree run. From top yard, and has his best years ahead of him surely.
I’ve started chipping away at a few on my book, including a few of those mentioned, with chief fancies of those being Bachasson, and Monbeg Notorious, but as for traditional bets, I’m with Tiger Roll at 150’s, and 100’s Each Way, but with serious doubts about him going, the main bet is that early one on Terrefort, and though the 66’s is long gone, that 33’s is very big in my opinion.
Terrefort 33’s Each WayOctober 3, 2018 at 18:20 #1376292hamParticipant
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Backed bachasson myself this year at nice prices, will likely be taking aome of the early price on him again myselfOctober 4, 2018 at 00:28 #1376304
Good luck with him Ham, his early exit was one big anti-climax for me, but I really hope we see him here again.
Haven’t quite got the same odds on him as last year, but happy enough so far.October 4, 2018 at 19:09 #1376358peter .hParticipant
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I’m struggling to see past Presenting Percy. He just looks bulletproof.
There’s been speculation over Altior perhaps taking on the King George. It might seem folly to take him anywhere other than the Champion Chase, but if he does his usual thing at Kempton then why not take a chance on the Gold Cup? Course form is obviously no worry and the flat spots he finds in his races suggests to me that he might want further (screw the ryanair!).
Douvan could be a real dark horse for this… And since when has Douvan been a dark horse for anything!?October 4, 2018 at 19:26 #1376359
I appreciate it’s obvious but I can’t see beyond Might Bite. All bets thus far are on Might Bite at 6-1 and unless Might Bite doesn’t turn up I can’t see that changing. I think he just has the edge over Presenting Percy – who was mightily impressive at the Festival too. I was at Kempton on Boxing Day when Might Bite fell heavily at the last when romping home. That was the year he won the RSA and I have been impressed ever since.
He had a huge year last year and was travelling so well in the GC. On any better ground I think he was the winner. I wonder whether Nico should have gone earlier like in the RSA the year before when he went clear of the field. That would have been on the better ground. If you recall the worst ground was the final part of the finishing straight.
He’s 9 going on 10 this year so if he’s going to do it, it needs to be this year.October 4, 2018 at 19:43 #1376360Mike007Participant
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Presenting Percy 8-1 is a confident choice at this stage.
For those fancying Might Bite or any other horse aged double figures come race time might want to have a look at the age of winners this century.
no race 2001
2018 8October 4, 2018 at 19:43 #1376361BigGParticipant
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Brilliant write up Bobby, it gets the juices going for Cheltenham
I’m a huge fan of Presenting Percy, I did well out of him last year, I think he
is the real deal. I haven’t as yet taken the 6/1, I reckon that will look a good
price come the Festival. If the ground were to be reasonable, I haven’t yet given
up on Killultagh Vic, he couldn’t handle the underfoot conditions last year,
I had him at decent odds last year, but pretty much knew he was doomed before the
tapes went up. Auteuil only confirmed he can’t go when it’s knee deep.
I’d love to see Great Field stepped up in distance, he canters through 18f and I
reckon he will only improve for the extra distance. He was one of my bankers
last year, but it was frustrating we had to wait util late march to see his
introduction. Hopefully he will be over his problems and we can see how good
he is. If there is any suggestion he might head here, or if he’s stepped up in
trip early, I’ll be having a go for him in thisOctober 4, 2018 at 20:09 #1376362
I agree the age is a slight concern and the data certainly doesn’t lie. With regards to Might Bite he has seemed quite a late maturing horse and it’s that which gives me more confidence than the headline data would suggest. Who had really heard of Might Bite three years ago or saw him as a multiple group 1 winner?
And whilst the data shows Might Bite has age against him it should also be noted that there were some notable absentees in prior years e.g. Thistlecrack, Coneygree etc. who barring injury might have put the age data to the test.
Only time will tell but my spidey senses tell me this year we might see an exception to the rule. His progress throughout the season will no doubt provide the clearest insights. The other point is perhaps Nicky Henderson doesn’t seem concerned in the slightest by the age issue.
Obviously Presenting Percy is a very good horse but I’m not convinced of the quality of last year’s RSA. I’m not sure Monalee full gets 3m, Elegant Escape is a slogger. I guess my point is other than Our Duke, god rest his soul, he hasn’t been up against much. That said, he’s clearly improving and is the biggest threat.
I can’t see them facing each other before the Gold Cup so I’ll guess we’ll just have to wait and see….October 4, 2018 at 20:11 #1376363Nathan HughesParticipant
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I like Might Bite, would have won it last year surely if the going was anything bar what it was
Presenting Percy looks a machine and Monaleee at 33’s can’t be ruled out, improved a lot last year and is young enough to improve again.Member since March 2008October 4, 2018 at 20:22 #1376364
Nathan – Do you think Monalee would get 3m 2f? Last year, the debate was about whether he would get the 3m of the RSA. I remain to be convinced of his staying credentials.October 4, 2018 at 21:14 #1376368Nathan HughesParticipant
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That’s the question mark and why he is the price.
He ran well enough although well beat in the end in the RSA but that was on soft going. If it were good to soft it could help him in staying although they may run harder from the start the quicker the going is.Member since March 2008October 4, 2018 at 23:51 #1376380
Thanks Graham, yeah the setback to Great Field last season was a massive disappointment, but hopefully all systems go this time around. A very exciting horse, and if not here, could be interesting for The Ryanair.October 5, 2018 at 17:32 #1376440peter .hParticipant
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While the statistic about 10 year olds winning the race is pretty unshakable; i don’t fully subscribe to it. Okay he didn’t win the race (and that’s what matters, historically), but Cue Card was well on his way towards breaking that stat and i won’t hear a word otherwise.October 5, 2018 at 18:22 #1376444jackh1092Participant
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Personally would be very surprised to see Great Field going any further than 2 miles…..mad horse and very hard to contain..
Hindsight is 20/20 so make the most of it!October 5, 2018 at 22:36 #1376461Mike007Participant
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Why don’t you subscribe to it peter?
I backed Cue Card that year too. It’s jump racing and he fell.
Stats are there to be broken of course but as it stands it’s a telling one.
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