Friday, November 14, 2014

Cheltenham Open meeting 2014 - Saturday

Eighteen face the starter for tomorrow's Paddy Power Gold Cup at 2.30 - earlier today a low sun resulted in fences being omitted in the novice chase but a request to bring forward the off-time of Saturday's feature has been rejected by the BHA.

Last year Johns Spirit won carrying 10-2 racing off a mark of 139; tomorrow, together with Oscar Whisky, he carries 11-12 and races off 156. Jonjo O'Neill's charge looked impressive when winning over course and distance last month but the stable has only recently emerged from a spell in the doldrums.

In the past decade no horse has carried more than 11-8 to victory; seven of those winners carried under 11-0.

Jamie Snowden's Present View heads the market, despite suffering a slight setback when returning with a cut after finishing a head second to Vicente in a hurdle race here last month.

The gelding won the Rewards4Racing Novices Handicap Chase at the Festival in March (Buywise fifth and Persian Snow sixth); Buywise, in receipt of three pounds, was beaten seven lengths that day but appeared to be making ground up the hill after a couple of indifferent jumps on the way round - this one has been well tipped up.

In an ultra-competitive renewal I'm going to stay loyal to Johns Spirit who has shown his liking for Cheltenham in the past. This evening Paddy Power offer 11/1 and pay a quarter the odds five places so Johns Spirit is the each-way selection.

Philip Hobbs is having a terrific season and saddled a treble earlier today with Bold Henry (14/1), Champagne West (7/2) and Balthazar King (4/7f).

In the novice chase at 1.15 I'll oppose the David Pipe trained Kings Palace with Sausalito Sunrise (11/4 Ladbrokes, Skybet, bet365).

Finally Kilronan High went into my notebook when beating a Nicky Henderson hotpot seven lengths at Towcester last May.

The mare sweated up badly before making all to win at Perth a couple of months back; at 14/1 (Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, bet365) she is worth a small each-way interest in a competitive-looking bumper.


GeeDee said...

A huge effort from Johns Spirit (8/1) under top weight; leading at the last, he was reeled in in the shadow of the post, going down a head to Paul Nicholls' Caid Du Berlais (10/1).

I wasn't prepared to take a short price about Kings Palace on his chase debut, especially after he'd fallen when beaten in the Albert Bartlett the last day, but Tom Scudamore's mount jumped for fun at the head of affairs and beat Sausalito Sunrise (11/4) four lengths; the selection didn't help his cause with a couple of sticky jumps three and two from home.

In the bumper Kilronan High (20/1) was well beaten in ninth, losing her position two furlongs out. Harry Fry's Bitofapuzzle (4/1) came home three lengths ahead of Montana Belle (14/1) with Willie Mullins' hotpot Darling Carlotta (6/4f) third.

TO said...

John's Spirit ran a stormer. Disappointing it didn't hold on but a gallant run. Nice tip, too.

GeeDee said...

Thanks, Jason.

Even with the help of my very best armchair finish, Johns Spirit just couldn't hang on...