What a way to get started to the November meeting Cheltenham. An unexpected winner in Minella Missile (tipped up here) and Triple Trade making some money for the column. However, Saturday is the big day. The Paddy Power Gold Cup takes centre stage, plus a multitude of handicaps to get stuck into. This week’s Four To Follow is…
Not A Big Risk
1:45 – From The Horse’s Mouth Podcast Novices’ Chase (Listed) – Good Risk At All @ 15/8 (BetVictor)
Sam Thomas is one of the emerging target trainers, meaning he targets certain races well. And with Good Risk At All he has placed him in good company. Some may argue that he got lucky at Carlisle when Giovinco fell. But I beg to differ. He was more stronger going to the line, with plenty in hand. I can’t trust Mister Coffey, not with his last win coming in 2019.
Alaphilippe is one to consider for the place, or w/o, market. His record at Cheltenham is not half bad, despite his runs being on the new course. But a tighter track may suit going over stiffer fences, and 13/2 (William Hill) is something I can’t leave alone.
2:20 – Paddy Power Gold Cup – Unexpected Party @ 11/2 (Unibet, Boylesports, BetUK)
As soon as Dan Skelton announced he had this race in mind for Unexpected Party after his victory at Chepstow last month, I had to have him. I had a rare antepost bet with Unexpected Party as soon he beat Knappers Hill, who was a class act last week at Wincanton. His record on similar surfaces is perfect and has competed on the Old Course coming second. I hope the form and conditions play into his favour.
A second selection is Easy As That. As soon as I saw what price he was during the week, I thought to back it. Now I look at his price, I regret it. But I will still back him at an each-way price. His reappearance record is astonishing; 1124211. With four wins and two places, who am I to argue against a Venetia Williams horse first time out at 9/1 (BetVictor, Boylesports).
And I have to give a mention to Il Ridoto. He is a regular over this C&D, or is since last season, and it’s his bread and butter. With Harry Cobden jocked aboard Stage Star, the exciting Freddie Gingell gets the call up for Chris Giles’ horse. With seven pounds taken off him, he falls to under a pound of his last winning mark which was here on Trials Day. 10/1 (Unibet) is a really attractive price.
Spring In Autumn
3:30 – Intermediate H’cap Hurdle – Springwell Bay @ 2/1 (General)
There’s a question why Springwell Bay has been dropped three pounds for finishing mid division in a Grade One. He’s back to a winning mark as a novice, on ground which he relishes, with a trainer who is in decent form. Jonjo O’Neill will want to leave with a winner at this meeting and this is possibly his best chance.
Londonofficecallin looks like he has gotten off lightly by the British handicapper. Rated the lowest weighted in the field, yet raised 16lbds, he has been on the upgrade all Summer for Emmet McNamara. Despite being three pounds out of the handicap, he’s still bottom weight and has place value at 11/2 (General)
4:05 -Mares’ Open National Hunt Flat Race (Listed) – Easy Peasy @ 11/2 (General)
I can’t believe that Willie’s in the bumper is favourite for this race. If we are going on what happened at the October meeting, this Mullins flat horse has just been sent over for some sort of practise and won’t be seen at the Festival. Easy Peasy has won both of her starts by a combined margin of five-and-a-half-lengths and can adapt to more tacky conditions to give de Boinville and Henderson a back-to-back Lucky Last.
Although, we’ll be on the karaoke if Disco Daisy wins the bumper. She’s got good value, especially when three horses she has beat have been placed in future runs. With Minella Missile using Chepstow to her advantage, could we see Emma Lavelle training a similar type for the future? 10/1 (William Hill, 888Sport) is a price I can get involved in.
The very best of luck!