Saturday, 1 December 2012

1.5pts win FIRST LIEUTENANT 11/1 (Betfair) Hennessy Gold Cup
1.5pts win TIDAL BAY 11/1 (Betfair) Hennessy Gold Cup

Fascinating event as always and one of the true highlights of the season. This renewal is up to standard if not vintage. There are only two animals in the field that you could see as potential Cheltenham Gold Cup winners; Bob's Worth and First Lieutenant.

The latter is the value call. He is a gritty sort but doesen't want it bottomless and the improvement in ground conditions will have aided his chance. His run last time behind Kauto Stone was as good as anything he'd produced over fences so far and he now looks on his way to being the class of chaser that was envisaged after his novice hurdle year. Newbury should be the ideal sort of course for him and  it's not hard to visualise him gunning away there in the latter stages.

Tiday Bay lacks the ideal profile for this. He's getting on in years and he hits flat spots in his races and he will not want to be getting too far away from the leading group here. However, in his favour he has all of the ability still there, looking as good as ever over hurdles at Wetherby last time, and his demolition of the field in the old Whitbread was a joy to watch. He has riden 12lb in the ratings for that but it's fully justified and if the cards fall right he is capable of taking this.

Lost - 3pts