Last week I DISAGREED with Sir Tony McCoy when he suggested that Thistlecrack and Cue Card should be kept apart for the King George VI Chase at Kempton.
Firstly, the Boxing Day spectacular at the moment has about as much strength in depth as Hull City’s first team, Secondly, isn’t racing all about running the best horses against each other for the top prizes even if they are from the same yard?
The precedent? It’s just a small one but anyone remember Kauto Star versus the ‘The Tank’ Denman in the Gold Cup even further back when Michael Dickinson sent out the first five home in a Cheltenham Gold Cup?
Now tell me what have punters and pundits got against BUYWISE? Every year he is as consistent as a Michael Carrick, but like the Man Utd anchor man, he doesn’t get the plaudits he deserves.
Placed at the Open meeting last month at Cheltenham for the second successive year, can someone please tell me why he is a double figure price for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup?
He is plainly a better horse on good ground and with the pace once again guaranteed in the race from Village Vic he looks a banker for the frame.
Colin Tizzard is quite keen on the chance of the rangy QUITE BY CHANCE and it is no surprise that this emerging chaser has attracted some money.
Initially viewed as a stayer by the new king of Saturday racing, Tizzard has taken him down in trip this season reasoning:
He has always had plenty of speed, but also stays very well and we were very pleased with his run behind Sire De Grugy at Ascot. However, he was only just getting into his stride between the last two fences that day so this galloping track over an extended two and a half miles looks made for him. I think we have yet to see the very best of him.
So I have gone to war with both at 10s and 20s respectively, but even at the current prices, Quite By Chance looks better value than the gambled on Bouvreuil.
The weather forecast is predicting rain so then Aso and Village Vic would be major players if the ground gets softer than anticipated.
This weekend will further shape the Cheltenham Festival markets none more so than the outstanding Sunday cards at Cork and Punchestown.
The biggest ripple for me could come in the John Durkan Chase if SUB LIEUTENANT successfully steps up in grade at 2pm against the twice Gold Cup placed Djakadam.
The seven-year-old has always looked as though he would need time physically to mature and his last success over Outlander at Down Royal’s big meeting suggested he is making rapid progress.
I have already snapped up the 16/1 with PP.com about the seven-year-old for the Ryanair Chase and I am expecting a single figure quote come Sunday 2.10pm.