Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sunday best?

There's some interesting Sunday fare on offer tomorrow, something that can't be said all that often...

Master Minded makes his seasonal reappearance in Cheltenham's Connaught Chase at 1.45; the race probably represents Well Chief's best chance of overturning the current two mile champion chaser in receipt of ten pounds. Owner David Johnson issued a bullish statement a couple of weeks back saying he thought his horse might surprise a few observers this year. Tataniano, currently a 10/1 chance with most layers for the Arkle in March, will be a warm order to take the opener while the feature race on the card, the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle, looks typically difficult with 19 set to face the starter. If you're brave enough to be considering a wager, it's worth noting that only one four-year-old has won in the last ten years, a big weight isn't necessarily a negative and the market is a reasonable guide more often than not - in the last decade the winner has come from the top two in the betting on seven occasions. As two near the top of the market (James De Vassy and Ronaldo Des Mottes) are both four-year-olds, it follows that Harry Tricker would be worth a look. Nick Williams has his team in fine form and Reve De Sivola brings the best form to the table in the Cleanevent Novices' Hurdle at 3.30. In the last ten years the winner has come from the top four in the market but it's worth noting that favourites have won only three renewals while second favourites have won four. Of Lidar, who runs in the concluding bumper, Alan King said in a recent Racing Post Stable Tour article, 'You could say he's been the apple of my eye ever since the first day he walked into the yard... He's done remarkably well over the summer...and his work has always been of the highest class.'

At Punchestown Sizing Europe (7/1 joint favourite with most firms for the Arkle) goes in the Craddockstown Novice Chase at 1.05 while Hurricane Fly, Solwhit and Muirhead lock horns in the 2.40.

Back this side of the Irish Sea, the going at Fontwell is described as heavy, waterlogged in places. If racing goes ahead the runners in the three and a half mile Southern National Handicap Chase (3.10) will need stamina in abundance. On the same card it's interesting connections have decided to go the novice chase route with Helium (12.50). L'eau Du Nil is unlikely to take his chance in the claimer (1.25) having finished third at Wetherby earlier today while former Philip Hobbs inmate Bureaucrat is well known as a top of the ground performer.

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