Saturday, 30 November 2013

3pts win OUR FATHER 12/1 ( 5 firms and both exchanges) Hennessy Gold Cup

It's been best to go into this race down the years asking the question ' which of these could you imagine turning into genuine Cheltenham Gold Cup horses' . This year three, possibly four cannot be safely ruled out as real championship contenders, one of those being Our Father.

He has evidently always been held in the highest regard and looked certain to take high rank in last season'e novice chase pecking order when winning impressively on his chasing debut at Cheltenham. However, he failed to reproduce that form in his two subsequent runs and wasn't seen out after February. Whatever was ailing him, ( he's had breathing problems in the past) he now reappears in a race he's clearly been targeted at and off a rating that is potentially very attractive. It's probably just incidental that his runs have all been on soft ground and with the stable have a great pre-Christmas spell he appeals as the winner of this.

Lost - 3pts

Saturday, 23 November 2013

2 pts win TIDAL BAY 8.6/1 (Betfair) Betfair Chase
1 pt win ROI DU MEE 19/1 (Betfair) Betfair Chase

Outside of the Gold Cup and KingGeorge, this is the classiest line of chasers you could wish to see. However, unlike those events , one or two may line up here slightly undercooked and in what looks likely to turn out to be a bit of a slog, it could be worth siding with a couple of in form animals who revel in these conditions.

The Wetherby win over hurdles indicates Tidal Bay retains all his ability following his setback last mid-season and he'll be getting into this late on and today is his best chance of beating his stable companion and Bob's Worth.

On his 26th race over fences, Roi Du Mee seemed exposed enough coming into Down Royal but there seemed no fluke about the manner in which he galloped his rivals into the ground to produce a career best. It's not been unknown for 3rd or 4th season chasers to suddenly start moving to a new level ( though admittedly it happens most with a change of yards) and he cannot be ignored at the odds available.

Lost - 3pts

Saturday, 16 November 2013

1.5pts win CASH AND GO 7.2/1 (Betfair) Stan James Greatwood Hdle
1.5pts win KASHMIR PEAK 11/1 (Betfair) Stan James Greatwood Hdle

Plenty to consider here but these two are plenty interesting enough to take on board.

Cash and Go may at first instance look worth putting a line though at the price but in truth, he surely is going to run a very big race again. He was runner up in this last season on his first run for the Henderson yard off the same rating that he goes into the race this year - problem is he underperformed in all three subsequent starts. However, connections would have got rid if his ability had gone and he cannot be opposed lightly.

John Quinn's runners are always worth looking close at in all the big handicaps under both codes and Kashmir Peak showed his well being when last appearing a few weeks back, narrowly failing to land a competitive  Doncaster handicap. He was last seen over hurdles when out of his depth in the Triumph but had looked very useful on his first two starts - he's actually now better off with Sametegal who he beat last December and while the latter improved after it's very likely that Kashmir Peak will return an improved performer.

Lost - 3pts

Friday, 15 November 2013

2pts win JOHN'S SPIRIT 8.6/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase
1pt win TAP NIGHT 18/1 (Betfair)  Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase

Always curbed by mistakes in his races last term, John's Spirit jumped better here on his reappearance and absolutely hacked up in the style of a much improved animal after travelling supremely well throughout the race. He's off a 10lb higher rating here but that may not be enough to halt his progress and of the front four in the market he is the one hardest to leave out.

Tap Night would be thrown out by the trends boys on account of him having no decent course home - he was well beaten in the Arkle on his only appearance here. However, he is worth including at decent odds as overall he is an excellent prospect for some of the valuable handicaps this season and his run behind Captain Conan at Aintree is a fine piece of form. He was below his best at Ayr next time( the animal that was behind him at Aintree was unlucky not to win the Ayr event), he'll strip fully fit from his Carlise reappearance and should run very well.

John's Spirit Won + 15.5pts

Saturday, 9 November 2013

2pts win STANDING OVATION 5.2/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) Badger Ales Trophy
1pt win MASTERS HILL 12.5/1 (Betfair) Badger Ales Trophy

Standing Ovation is on a roll at the moment, is at home at this trickiesh venue and can give Pond House another victory in this event. He probably won't want the ground getting any softer but has plenty enough positives to make him hard to put a line through and is fairly priced around the 5/1 mark.

Masters Hill is hard to weigh up, having just returned from an absence. However, he looked as good as ever when winning on that reappearance over hurdles last month and there is still plenty of time for him to carve out a successful career over fences. He is just the type that his yard excel with and appeals as one who should pay to follow blindly this season.

Standing Ovation Won  + 8.9pts

2pts win NICHOLASCOPERNICUS 14/1 ( at least 6 firms) Betfred November H'cap
1pt win NEARLY CAUGHT 22/1 (Betfair) Betfred November H'cap

Nicholascopernicus disappointed when fancied for this last year, though the ground did go against him. He returned to his best when chasing home Lahaag at York two outings ago before failing to land a blow in a muddly sort of race last time. Today he has his ground, he'll also be able to run down the leaders from a true pace, and only being 2lb higher in the ratings from York , he's not handicapped out of it. All in all there can be no excuses for a poor run today.

Nearly Caught was tried in a G2 at Longchamp last time after winning a Haydock handicap. He is an overall, unexposed type who could still make up into a Group class horse, acts in the soft and is a very interesting candidate here and worth support.

Lost - 3pts

Saturday, 2 November 2013

3pts win HARRY TOPPER 8/1 ( 3 firms and exchanges) Bet 365 Charlie Hall Chase

A fascinating renewal with Long Run worth taking on on his seasonal debut with him having bigger targets to follow. Cases can be made for the four that follow him in the market and the unexposed Harry Topper is worth taking aboard. He could be be a genuine top class stayer in the making and hopefully the ground will be soft enough for this to be a sufficient test of stamina for him - though the course is now sharper than it use to be. He looked to be taking high rank in the novice ranks last season but encountered misfortune on his final two starts.His yard is in good form and he'll no doubt be fully straightened up for this.

Won + 24pts