Friday, November 21, 2014

Haydock Betfair Chase meeting 2014

Faugheen is the stand-out horse at Ascot tomorrow but Haydock has the better card with the Betfair Chase (3.00) the highlight.

Last year's first, second and third [Cue Card, Dynaste and Silviniaco Conti] head the market but they come into the race with questions to answer; Taquin Du Seuil can be considered a contender on the back of his second to Menorah in the Charlie Hall three weeks ago with underfoot conditions here likely to suit.

I was surprised to see Cue Card backed into favouritism for the Haldon Gold Cup on his first appearance after suffering a pelvic injury at the beginning of the year. Well beaten at Exeter, the longer trip here will help but that run was just 18 days ago - last year's winner doesn't come to this in the same form as last year and I remain unconvinced.

I tipped Dynaste for the race last year but on his seasonal reappearance he came up just short and I suspect we may see a repeat performance tomorrow.

Paul Nicholls ran Silviniaco Conti in the Charlie Hall as a preparation for this; the handler felt his charge was a little short in this race last year.

Silviniaco, sent off even money favourite at Wetherby, was somewhat disappointing in fifth and sports cheek pieces for the first time.

I was tempted by Taquin Du Seuil who can look awkward on occasions but did nothing wrong the last day; the value has disappeared though - he's just a 5/1 chance now.

Silviniaco Conti is priced 4/1 with Ladbrokes this evening yet on official figures has 15lbs in hand over Jonjo's horse - Silviniaco Conti gets the nod.

At least Melodic Rendezvous (regular jockey Nick Scholfield is riding at Ascot) provides some level of opposition for The New One in the Betfair Price Rush Hurdle (1.50) but it will be a major shock if Twiston-Davies' charge doesn't come home in front.

The three mile 'fixed brush' handicap hurdle at 2,25 is very difficult.

Aubusson and Vieux Lion Rouge are horses I like but, pressed for an each-way selection, I have sided with Sybarite who at eight years of age is older than ideal but should stay this trip on the ground - Ladbrokes offer 14/1 at the time of writing while Skybet quote 12/1 and pay five places.

Regular readers will know I've followed Polly Peachum quite closely since her win at Warwick back in March. Following victory at Wincanton two weeks ago, the handicapper has had his say and raised Nicky Henderson's mare a further eight pounds to a mark of 155.

She held a five-day entry for tomorrow's fixed brush hurdle at Haydock but also holds an entry for the listed hurdle at Kempton on Monday (2.10). Both Woodland Walk and Hi Note hold entries for that same Kempton event but connections have opted to run in tomorrow's 1.30 at Ascot instead.

Should Polly make the line-up on Monday, she'll be attempting a trip of three miles for the first time and easy conditions underfoot will be far from ideal.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

The cheek pieces brought about a return to form for selection Silviniaco Conti (100/30) who jumped well to beat Menorah (10/1) two lengths with Dynaste (9/2) third. 3/1 favourite Cue Card wasn't fluent at a couple of obstacles on the final circuit and couldn't match the winner coming off the home turn, eventually finishing fourth.

A red-letter day for seven pound claimer Lizzie Kelly as she rode Aubusson (9/1) to victory in the fixed brush hurdle, collecting over £45,000 in the process.

Sybarite (14/1) ran an enigmatic race. The selection lost his midfield position in the back straight on the final circuit and looked likely to be tailed off and pulled up but he then stayed on dourly from four out to eventually finish sixth, beaten some 25 lengths.