Friday, December 11, 2015

A chance at Cheltenham's International meeting 2015

I'm suffering from a certain sense of deja vu with six in tomorrow's Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (Cheltenham 1.50) having competed in the Paddy Power Gold Cup four weeks ago.

Blog selection Buywise was a fast-finishing second to Annacotty that day but I'm not tempted to revisit the form. Tomorrow's race is run over the new (rather than old) course - five of the first six were separated by less than seven lengths last time.

Instead the Albert Bartlett at 2.25 has caught my attention.

Hot favourite Unowhatimeanharry is potentially vulnerable having been pulled up on his only previous effort beyond two miles five; I note no horse older than six has won this in the past ten years.

The trip could yet cause a problem for one or two others in the field. Ennistown, rated 99 and a winner over ten furlongs on the Flat, will see his stamina tested while Justanothermuddle races beyond two miles three for the first time.

Two with form at this distance and beyond are Net Work Rouge and Ballycross; the former beat the latter some seven lengths over three miles two furlongs at Warwick the last day. Kim Bailey's charge is weighted to confirm placings here but Ballycross is less exposed - the difference layers offer in their current pricing doesn't reflect that form with Net Work Rouge available at 9/2 while Ballycross appears unconsidered at 25/1 with Paddy Power.

Connections have taken their time with Final Nudge who lost his confidence after a fall in a point-to- point back in 2012. That patience seems to be paying dividends now - Final Nudge boasts two wins in November including one over two miles five at Wincanton on heavy ground.

Colin Tizzard's West Approach completes the line-up; a half brother to Thistlecrack, he's not dismissed lightly and has been nibbled at in the market.

On ratings Net Work Rouge has two pounds to find with the Harry Fry horse; at 9/2 Net Work Rouge gets the nod - 25/1 Ballycross looks too big.           

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Hmmm, burnt fingers here.

11/10 favourite Unowhatimeanharry put in a fighting display to repel the challenge of Final Nudge up the hill (6/1).

Selection Net Work Rouge (5/1) led for most of the journey but as the tempo increased on the second circuit he needed to be ridden into several flights, looking awkward on occasions. The distress signals came out three from home - he was swallowed up two out and pulled up quickly before the last suggesting something may have gone amiss.

It didn't really make any difference - the winner was clearly the best horse in the race and had no trouble whatsoever in seeing out the trip on soft ground.