Last week I was HUGELY PLEASED to hear, from a very good source, that Thistlecrack is almost certain to run in the Feltham Chase rather than the King George VI Chase this Christmas. I had factored that into my ante-post betting portfolio for the Boxing Day classic without the World Hurdle champion so naturally it brought a wry smile to my face.
Firstly, it makes common sense and on a different note can someone please tell me why isn’t Cue Card odds-on for the big race?
Had Silviniaco Conti or Long Run hacked up in the Betfair Chase in such style in their heyday and set to race against a similarly moderate entry they would be 4/6! Whisper it – Cue Card is a better horse than both of them.
If races were beautiful women, then the only one I would bed is the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday.
It’s just the most fascinating betting contest. From backing Madison Du Berlais at a huge price on the exchanges in 2008 to having my stones on Bobs Worth in 2012 in a double to win at Newbury and the Cheltenham Gold Cup, this extended 3m 2f race has been a huge boon to my betting bank.
Hopefully the run will continue. I backed the very much forgotten Saphir Du Rheu at 14/1 at the beginning of the season and have now traded out 50 per cent of that wager which means I have more room to manoeuvre.
I had Un Temps Pour Tout onside at the Cheltenham Festival, but I think that performance will only be replicated on ground no softer than good to soft. If we get such a surface on Saturday, he will be hard to beat.
It’s unfortunate that Outlander misses the race – not least because I backed him at 33/1 at the beginning of the season.
It has only been the strength in depth of the Gigginstown chasers that this son of Stowaway has run just once over 3m in eight chase starts to date, when a keeping on second behind Zabana in the Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown.
His handicap mark of 153 is probably no gimme, but it’s not overly harsh either and could be one to keep in the horse tracker.
Outrun his odds
However, Aubusson could out-run his odds in the same race.
The Nick Williams’ charge had a nice pipe-opener over hurdles at Auteuil. This is only his third start over fences and Liz Kelly’s 5lbs allowance means he runs off a rating of just 144, he was rated as high as 153 over hurdles. Food for thought.
Elsewhere, wherever Dan Skelton’s Value at Risk runs, (entered on Friday and Saturday at Newbury) I shall be having a pop as he looked so much more assured over fences when winning at Bangor last time out.
Red for Danger
But the horse I’m most looking to support over the weekend is Definitly Red in the Rehearsal Chase, at Newcastle 3,30pm.
It’s ironic that he was beaten two and a half lengths by Hennessy fav Native River in a staying novice hurdle at the Gosforth Park track two years ago.
On Saturday, his conqueror runs off 155 at Newbury in the Hennessy. But on just his sixth chase, Definitely Red will run off 142 at Newcastle. Jockey of the moment Brian Hughes is on board, there’s bundles of improvement to come, so enough said!