Hennessy Gold Cup

Photo by Mark Cranham (racing post.com/photos)
 
One winner on the blog last week and it is the last time we'll see ROCK ON RUBY on a racecourse. Sad news to hear about him being retired but if it prolongs his life then it's worth it. What a fabulous horse he is and how much he has given to the cause. It was great to see him back to his best for one last time! Had retirement fella! On to Newbury today and the key early Gold Cup pointer race! I'm looking forward to watching what should be a awesome race!
 
Here are my selections for today :
 
FINGAL BAY 1500 NEWBURY (nap)
He broke a blood vessel in this last year and returns on a mark that is 9lbs lower than last year. He has always been a very smart horse, especially over hurdles. He has lowered the colours of SIMONSIG, DYNASTE and SOUTHFIELD THEATRE. He ran a creditable race behind SMAD PLACE at Kempton last time and is now 8lbs better off with that rival today. Over this extended distance that is alot and he has always enjoyed staying races. I'm sure they will have sorted his jumping out and he is now a 9 year old amd this may be his year as the top chasing horse. You need class to win this race and he has bags of it! SAPHIR DU RHEU is a lovely horse and his trainer thinks lots of him, but to win this with 11st 12lbs and as a six year old? Too much I reckon! BOBS WORTH showed a bit of form last time but I think the old flame for this type of race doesnt burn brightly enough. NED STARK is another that catches my eye.
 
MA FILLUELE 1350 NEWBURY (nb)
This one's price is shortening all the time! She didn't really run a race last time at Wetherby and she may now be better over the bigger obstacles. However, I'm intrigued that they persevere over hurdles and this slightly longer trip will help too. She's a classy mare and her mark has been dropped by a crazy 10lbs because of her Wetherby run. That's a full 23lbs lower than her chase mark where she has been second to the likes of HOLYWELL, BALDER SUCCESS and UXIZANDRE. Interestingly this is a return to a previous winning hurdles mark of OR134 when she beat SWINCOMBE FLAME over this trip at Warwick.
 
BIG CASINO 1315 NEWBURY (treble)
I really fancied this guy when he ran first time out at Cheltenham. He ran well for along way that day and just didn't stay the trip at that pace. He's been dropped 2lbs by the handicapper and also drops in class 2, as well as a three furlong shorter trip. That's a lot of boxes ticked for me, he also has an apprentice taking 5lbs off to give him a great racing weight. If they go positively with him again they not peg him back.
 
KATACHENKO 1355 DONCASTER
Defeated MON SUCCESSEUR at Wetherby on his seasonal debut in a class 3 chase just short of two miles. He steps back up in trip today but he has won at this distance before and he's only been raised one pound by the handicapper for his last win. MON SUCCESSEUR was only just pipped yesterday to boost the form a little and this horse is worth watching!
 
My Dad's selections are :
 
 
PLACINGS
FATHER 1-2 SON
PROFIT/LOSS
Father – £29.39
Son -£8.21
I also like these elsewhere – STAGE ONE 1250 DONCASTER, HARVEY HOPE 1430 DONCASTER and CALIVIGNY 1300 NEWCASTLE
 
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Cheltenham – Gold Cup Day

myWPEdit Image

Unfortunately I haven’t had a lot of time to do the blog. Had quite a bit of work to do last night so am patching something together this morning. One winner yesterday on the blog TAQUIN DE SEUIL (7-1) which takes me to win winners this week, not too bad. Whata shame it was about BIG BUCKS, I really thought he would run better than that, but hey ho let the new ones come through, and I hope he has a happy retirement,

Triumph Hurdle

My selection in this race is ROYAL IRISH HUSSAR, up until last time has done everything right including on decent ground and the way he finished at Doncaster suggests to me he will relish the Cheltenham hill. Tough race to win this though and CALIPTO looks a very good horse, and GUITAR PETE has to have a sniff after an impressive win last time.

SELECTION – ROYAL IRISH HUSSAR

DAD’S SELECTION – RUTHERGLEN



VINCENT O’BRIEN HURDLE

CINDERS AND ASHES can overcome a long absence to take this. Was a very smart horse prior to his injury and took the Supreme here very nicely, the ground has come good for him too and I expect him to have a bold show. LYVIUS has an chance too prior to his disappointing Musselburgh run and you can’t discount CHELTENIAN either.

SELECTION – CINDERS AND ASHES

DAD’S SELECTION – CHELTENIAN



ALBERT BARTLETT NOVICES HURDLE

BRIAR HILL showed his class last year in the champion bumper and has gone on from that this season with impressive victories. I think he will take all the beating here, and is a worthy favourite. On softer ground DEPUTY DAN would have a right sniff. The outsider I like is URBN HYMN who was a good wine rod a grade 2 last time.

SELECTION – BRIAR HILL



BETFRED GOLD CUP

BOBS WORTH is another worthy favourite and he showed he is back to his old form with a good victory at Leopardstown last time. The ground will suit, he’s been here before and has every chance. I thought SILVINIACO CONTI may have a chance but the ground and Nicholls’ form this week puts me off. ON HIS OWN has been supplemented for this after a smooth win at Fairyhouse, he has a bit of class about him and I would;t be surprised to see him run very well.

SELECTION – BOBS WORTH

DAD’S SELECTION – BOBS WORTH



FOXHUNTERS

Again not one I get really bothered about but have opted for PEARLYSTEPS who when on song can produce an excellent round of jumping and that will be needed here.

SELECTION – PEARLYSTEPS



MARTIN PIPE HURDLE

Tough race this and competitive as ever. My money lies on JUNCTION FOURTEEN was improving well in the season and ran some superb races before failing in the Lanzarote. He can bounce back today.THOMAS CRAPPER has good course form and could run well at a big price too.

SELECTION – JUNCTION FOURTEEN

DAD’S SELECTION – THE SKYFARMER



GRAND ANNUAL

The curtain comes down for another year and hopefully some shekels will be deposited in my account when DARE ME wins. He was so impressive last tome at Warwick and has been raised 15 lbs for it. I don;t think that will stop him, he’s on the up and should take this today in a finish with MR MOLE.

SELECTION – DARE ME

Cheltenham 2013 Gold Cup Day

Well what a day that was!!! The nap HOLYWELL rompted in at 25-1. As I said on the blog he was one of my two top bets for the festival, and boy did he prove me right. Good job to be fair, as all my other selectons disappointed. It was great to hear on twitter of a few of you who took my advice, and thanks for your nice comments. I'm on a bit of a run at the moment and hoping it will continue.
 
On to the final day, where has it gone already! Below are my selections for Friday and the second of my big fancies! Enjoy the racing and enjoy the Gold Cup.
 
1.30 TRIUMPH HURDLE

This is always a difficult one to win and it is competitive again. My selection in this is FAR WEST (2nd – 4-1), while the Nicholls string hasn't been firing on all cylinders, this one is a damn good horse. He has won well twice here and that could be his trump card. I'm hoping this gets the Ditcheat team off the mark. I think the slightly better ground will go against ROLLING STAR. I am however having a little each way on SWYNMOR (unplaced) who despite his poor effort last time looked all over the winner before falling at the last before that. He may still run to his capabilities.
 
2.05 VINCENT O'BRIEN COUNTY HURDLE

This is the race for my second big fancy of the week. He is a real favourite of mine, but this is not a case of heart ruling head as he has fantastic ability and the form to boot. COTTON MILL (nap) (FELL) ran exceptionally well at Newbury behind MY TENT OR YOURS and they even thought of entering him in the Champion Hurdle. Next year definitely. Last season he was very impressive at Warwick defeating subsequent impressive winner AMBION WOOD. He was then going just as well as SIMONSIG in last year's Neptune when unseating Denis by going throught the side part of the hurdle. He will appreciate the better ground and will have the pace to run these into the ground up the hill. His was impressive last time and that will have put him right and DENIS O'REGAN did say this was his best ride of the week. For a little each way money HISABAAT (unplaced) is on a very good mark considering his form in the Triumph here last year.
 
2.40 ALBERT BARTLETT NOVICES HURDLE

The winner of this race has to have immense battling qualities. AT FISHER'S CROSS (WON 11-8) has been nothing but impressive this year and showed true grit and determination when holding off THE NEW ONE last time out. How much stronger does that form look now, he also beat MEDINAS by about 12 lengths here on December, further form franked. Whilst this as always is a tough race to win I can't see past this one!
 
3.20 BETFRED GOLD CUP

I have to side with the favourite BOB'S WORTH (nb) (WON 11-4) here. Not only does have have superb course form (4 from 4) but he will stay all day and has been finishing his races off so strongly. If you go back into his form he has beaten the likes of ROCK ON RUBY and CUE CARD and in his last two outings defeated FIRST LIEUTENANT here in the RSA Chase. He then jumped superbly in the Hennessey beating TIDAL BAY, and look what he did since then. He has the class, the form, the engine and is the one for me. SILVINIACO CONTI has done nothing wrong and is a good jumper too but if push comes to shove in the final furlong or two I think he'll struggle. I am going to have a bit each way on CAPE TRIBULATION (unplaced) who has come on so much lately and the forecast rain and the staying slog this is will help him, I just don't think he has the class.
 
4.00 FOXHUNTER CHASE

Again another one that really doesn't interest me, but I will put up TRICKY TRICKSTER (PU) to maintain his comeback from injury. He was a potentially top class horse and did run well in the Grand National a few years back.
 
4.40 MARTIN PIPE CONDITIONAL JOCKEYS HANDICAP

GEVREY CHAMBERTIN is going the right way and was very impressive at Wincanton. However, there are a few with better chances in this at a lower weight. MA FILLEULE (unplaced) is one of those, receiving 11lbs off GEVREY is a lot to get and when you look at her form it makes me fancy her chances more. She won well at Warwick last time in a Grade 2 race, so she drops in class and the second (SWINCOMBE FLAME) franked the form when running well behind QUEVEGA on Tuesday. The third in that race KAUTO SHINY also ran well in the same race behind the supermare! At a big price DOUBLE ROSS (3rd – 14-1) is worth my each way money, he is the only confirmed front runner and may not get pegged back!
 
5.15 GRAND ANNUAL CHASE

The final race of the festival and I'm hoping to go out with a bang. ULCK DU LIN (treble) (PU)has the right profile for this and is a progressive horse. This one has more to offer and ran well beating NOZIC last time in bad conditions, and depending on the weather it may be a slog in this.
 
So those are my selections, I am equally as confident about COTTON MILL as I was with HOLYWELL, but please don't think that what I say is gospel and as I had a 25-1 winner I know it all, I don't! If you are having a flutter, do so at a level you can afford and good luck!
 
Here are my selections in short :
 
1.30 FAR WEST (2nd 4-1) SWYNMOR (ew) (unplaced)

2.05 COTTON MILL (nap) (FELL) HISABAAT (ew) (unplaced)

2.40 AT FISHER'S CROSS (WON 11-8)

3.20 BOBS WORTH (nb) (WON 11-4) CAPE TRIBULATION (ew) (unplaced)

4.00 TRICKY TRICKSTER (PU)

4.40 MA FILLEULE (unplaced) DOUBLE ROSS (ew) (3rd – 14-1)

5.15 ULCK DU LIN (treble) (PU)