Friday, November 11, 2011

Paddy Power Gold Cup 2011

The highlight on the second day of the Open meeting is the Paddy Power Gold Cup - 20 face the starter at 2.35. With the Paul Nicholls trained top weight Poquelin standing his ground, eight of the field will be running from out of the handicap - I've concentrated my limited efforts on the animals set to carry their correct weight.

Although a 20/1 shot won this last year, in general terms the market has proved a reasonable guide - four favourites have obliged in the past decade. Poquelin's stablemate Mon Parrain heads the betting; formerly with Guillaume Macaire this five-year-old was impressive on his British debut winning a Sandown handicap chase but there were a few questions when he was run out of it over the National fences in the Topham next time. This evening Mon Parrain is 7/2 with most layers but both Ladbrokes and William Hill take a stand offering 5/1. Cyfor Malta (1998) is the only five-year-old to win this since 1960 and as Nicholls has never trained the winner of this race I'm going to oppose...

Cyfor Malta was trained by Martin Pipe and memories of the good old days came flooding back earlier this afternoon when son David recorded a 186.5/1 treble with Swing Bill (9/1), Decoy (13/2) and Grand Crus (6/4f). The yard regularly targets this meeting and Great Endeavour warrants respect in tomorrow's renewal.I fancied the grey for this last year but he came home a slightly disappointing sixth, failing to land a serious blow.

Course and distance winner The Giant Bolster, named after a Cornish legend, is a horse who has done this blog a favour or two in recent years. His jumping went off the boil last term (unseated in RSA Chase and fell at Aintree) but David Bridgwater has had jumping guru Yogi Breisner out to his charge during the summer. The trainer is on record as saying he thinks this could be a Gold Cup horse.

Another course and distance winner Wishfull Thinking will not want for lack of support but in the run-up the Hobbs yard haven't been sure in which race to run their charge and have recorded just 3 wins from 35 runs in the past fortnight.

Of the other runners, I'm guessing Grand Annual winner Oiseau De Nuit (with Brendan Powell claiming ten pounds) is priced at 40/1 because the layers don't think he'll stay while 33/1 about Calgary Bay looks big given that he was beaten three and a half lengths by Wishfull Thinking here in January and is now 13 pounds better off.

In an ultra competitive event, I'll chance Wishfull Thinking (7/1 Betfred) with an each-way saver on The Giant Bolster (14/1 Coral). Best priced outsider - Calgary Bay (33/1).

I won't get involved in the finale but I hope to see Restless Harry win on his chase debut following a stunning performance in the John Smith's Hurdle at Wetherby last time; Viking Blond could be the one to benefit if the wheels were to come off.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Plenty of money for Wishfull Thinking who was sent off 7/2 favourite. In a rough-looking event, he raced freely enough early doors; although he missed some of the trouble behind, he was a sitting target three out- Great Endeavour (8/1) took the spoils despite ploughing through the last. The selection faded to finish sixth while The Giant Bolster (12/1) did nothing to advertise Yogi Bresiner's skills, unseating Tom Scudamore at the very first fence.

In probably the best novice chase this season Restless Harry (5/4f) could only finish third, throwing in some novicey leaps along the way. Join Together (4/1) won but there was less than five lengths covering the fist four home.