This season has signalled out with the old and in with the new in the cross-country arena at Cheltenham with a brave front running display from the gutsy Kingswell Theatre last month.
But the latest edition of the Glenfarclas series at 3.05pm could see a last hurrah for the veteran brigade in the form of the admirable Cantlow.
This sprightly 12-year-old has a cracking record at the track with form figures of 01234 and of course several outstanding displays on the park track, including a brace of placed efforts in the Pertemps Hurdle Final and the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.
If you have written off the old boy, STOP, TAKE STOCK and THINK AGAIN and get ready for the second coming!
Fourth of the 10 runners behind the Scudamore team charge last month simply doesn’t tell the whole story. Travelling sweetly in behind the lead, he was then badly hampered at the 18th obstacle and but for that interference, would have been placed at worst instead of finishing fourth.
The selection has a luscious 13lbs pull for that 10.5 length beating and the more the ground dries out the better his chance. PP are offering 9/2, but I reckon we will get bigger on the day so hold onto your hats and bag this each-way cracker before Christmas.
However, the best betting course of the day is saved until the dessert in the lucky last at 3.40pm, an extended three mile handicap hurdle where the lightly raced Kim Bailey charge, Rocky’s Treasure, is expected to run a huge race for his in-form yard.
A winner off a mark of just 117 at Doncaster 10 months ago, Bailey has been careful not to over face this son of Westerner as he feels he has a potentially classy chaser of the future on his hands.
A really good third to Thomas Campbell over C&D last month, Anteros second, this better ground will play to his strengths and the six-year-old has any amount of improvement in him so strip ‘Paddy’ of his 7/1 on offer and get ready to queue up to pay for your Christmas expenses.
With two of the six runners some way out of the weights, the Unicoin Group Handicap Chase at 2.30pm won’t take an awful lot of winning.
Top weight Southfield Theatre has his easiest task for some time, but judged on his Sandown run still seems in the grip of the handicapper so with Mysteree probably running here as a warm up for either the Welsh National or to defend his Eider Chase title, this should go to Robinsfirth, a good second to Chase The Spud at Haydock last time out.
Finally, if you manage to get out of bed before the top of the day, expect a big run from Summerville Boy in the opening novices’ hurdle at 12.10pm. He ran a cracking second to the well regarded Slate House here last month and will surely go close to opening his timber topping account here.
* P.S – two for the notebook…..this weekend Coo Star Sivola should have come on for the experience last time out behind Finians Oscar and has solid claims in Saturday’s 12.45pm at Cheltenham and on the flat do not miss Ravenhoe next time out on the all-weather.
The old boy is dangerously well weighted and wasn’t given the best assistance from the saddle at Lingfield this week when sixth in a 0-60 handicap off a career low mark off 54; his turn is close at hand!
* All odds correct at time of posting.