Friday, November 14, 2008

Saturday's Paddy Power Gold Cup

Twenty go to post for tomorrow's Paddy Power Gold Cup run over two and a half miles at Cheltenham. The market has proved a reasonable guide over the past ten years with the winner coming from the first three in the betting on seven occasions. Paul Nicholls' Silverburn is likely to start favourite but I have no qualms in opposing him on grounds of value. In addition I think there's a possibility he'll have trouble handling the cut and thrust of this big field. Nicky Henderson fields Barbers Shop and Fleet Street. I'm put off by the fact that this race was clearly plan B for Barbers Shop; if he wins, expect the press to send plenty of deferential comment the way of the owner, Her Majesty. Imperial Commander is respected; of the horses at the top of the market, for me the Twiston-Davies inmate makes most appeal. Alan King's Ouzbeck has made striking progress this autumn and beat a number of tomorrow's rivals last time out. He's been raised a hefty-looking eleven pounds for that victory and the soft ground might not suit. Since finishing second behind Ouzbeck, Yes Sir has gone on to win but he looks another who would prefer better ground. The one I like with a racing weight is Andy Turnell's Bible Lord. This horse was third behind Ouzbeck over course and distance on his first run of the season; he's entitled to improve for that and at the weights has fair prospects of reversing the placings. Going through his form of last season, if I have a reservation, it's that his jumping can let him down a little when things hot up at the business end of a race. Priced up at 11/1 he appeals as a decent each-way wager in this ultra-competitive handicap.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

The Paddy Power Gold Cup was run at a frantic pace on very testing ground with no prisoners taken. Bible Lord (12/1) proved relatively unfancied on the day. He raced prominently for much of the race but hit the fence at the top of the hill hard and that, in effect, put paid to his chance. He was struggling thereafter, eventually finishing eighth. In truth, on that running, I don't think he would have made the first four had he not hit that fence. The race developed into a battle between Barbers Shop (5/1) and Imperial Commander (13/2), with the latter staying on strongly to win by two and three quarter lengths. Market leader Silverburn (11/4f) was making headway when making a hash of the second last; he finished sixth. This looked an imposing performance by the winner - in the post-race interview jockey Paddy Brennan said in as many words that this was the best horse he'd sat on. The Hennessy at Newbury in two weeks' time looks a possibility - Hills go just 5/1, although he's a 7/1 shot elsewhere.