Friday, January 23, 2015

Cheltenham Trials Day 2015

On ratings Dynaste is the best horse in tomorrow's BetBright Cup Chase (previously known as the Argento) and bookmakers concur making David Pipe's charge the market leader. The grey stays three miles on a flat track but in my opinion appears slightly less effective over this trip on an undulating track; it's interesting to see connections have chosen to fit cheek pieces here. At the price he's passed over.

Eight weeks ago Many Clouds won the Hennessy off a mark of 151 (Smad Place 20 lengths adrift in fifth). The handicapper now rates the gelding 10 pounds higher and Oliver Sherwood hopes his charge will prove good enough to contest the Gold Cup come March. The gelding's profile reminds me a little of Rocky Creek who finished second in last season's Hennessy and then came to this race to be beaten by The Giant Bolster.

I've seen plenty of tips for bottom weight Smad Place who was slightly disappointing on his seasonal debut in the Hennessy. Afterwards trainer Alan King said that perhaps he should have given his charge a preliminary run; the handler reported the grey 'quiet' for a couple of weeks after Newbury but appears more bullish now. The horse receives weight from all his rivals (12 pounds better off with Many Clouds) but on official ratings he's still the lowest rated animal in the field after Theatre Guide and has just five chase runs to his name.

All of which leaves Black Thunder and The Giant Bolster. The former fell in last year's RSA Chase and looks relatively unexposed while the latter is one talented but quirky individual who happens to like Cheltenham and happened to win last year's renewal. In recent times he has shown his very best form with Tom Scudamore in the plate but Tom is aboard Dynaste tomorrow, leaving the ride to another Tom, Tom Cannon, who got on well with the horse in Haydock's Betfair Chase. Connections have previously tried all manner of aids (hood, visor, hood and visor) and have opted for just the visor on this occasion.

This renewal looks stronger than last year so I'm going to leave The Giant Bolster and chance Oliver Sherwood's Many Clouds. At the time of writing Coral stand out from the competition offering 100/30.

Just six runners in the Cleeve Hurdle (3.35) with Saphir Du Rheu reverting to the smaller obstacles after a couple of blips over the bigger ones. He's top on official ratings with owner Andy Stewart saying:

"He's no Big Buck's but he's only six so we're giving it a go."

That doesn't exactly exude confidence but you could argue some of the uncertainty is factored into the 2/1 available.

Question marks hang over the others; with the Festival on the horizon, I'll leave the race alone.

Peace And Co is currently quoted 5/2 for the Triumph Hurdle in March so it's no surprise to see him odds-on for the opener.

The novice hurdle at 3.00 appears more competitive but layers still go 5/1 the field bar favourite Value At Risk who is quoted as low as 12/1 for the Neptune in March.

On a line through Thomas Brown there isn't much to choose between Robinsfirth and Vago Collenges while Philip Hobbs' Stilletto could be anything.

Looking for an each-way play, marginal preference is for Robinsfirth (8/1 bet365); in the past week the Tizzard yard has clocked up four wins from just nine runs.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Plenty of money for Smad Place beforehand, sent off 11/4 second favourite.

After an impressive round of jumping from selection Many Clouds (4/1), he took the last a length or so ahead of pursuers Smad Place and Dynaste (5/2f) but neither of the greys could reel him in. He'll be back for the Gold Cup in March where better ground is likely and wouldn't necessarily play to his strengths.

Two lengths covered the first four home in the Neptune but unfortunately Robinsfirth (7/1) was in fourth.

Value At Risk (11/10f) was backed as though defeat was out of the question; he was beaten fair and square by Ordo Ab Chao (16/1) with the favourite reclaiming second from Vago Collonges (8/1) up the hill.

Plenty of market activity in the Cleeve with Un Temps Pour Tout sent off 7/4 favourite; Saphir Du Rheu was available at 7/2 in places at times - those who took the view that was value about the top-rated horse in the field were rewarded as Saphir (3/1) wore down the gutsy Reve De Sivola (4/1) to win a neck. The favourite, in receipt of weight from the first two, could only finish third. No doubt there's a target at the Festival in mind and David Pipe will have left something to work on but connections paid big money for this individual - is he just starting to look a little expensive?