Friday, December 09, 2016

A Doncaster Boy

Looking at the runners for tomorrow's Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (Cheltenham 1.50) I'm imbued with a sense of the deja vu.

Taquin Du Seuil, winner of the BetVictor Gold Cup over course and distance four weeks ago, isn't amongst the declarations but Village Vic (second), Buywise (third), Aso (fourth), Bouvreuil (fifth) and Frodon (tenth) all try again - a matter of six and a half lengths covered the first five home.

Of course, in the interim the handicapper has felt obliged to have his say...

Village Vic is now three pounds higher, Buywise one pound while both Aso and Bouvreuil start from the same mark. Frodon, beaten some 35 lengths, is effectively six pounds worse off having been raised to a mark of 149 while jockey Sam Twiston-Davies can't claim three as Harry Cobden did last month.

Art Mauresque was my selection that day; the gelding ran well enough to finish seventh on ground considered softer than ideal. Although rain is forecast for tomorrow - the official going is currently good - I did wonder whether Paul Nicholls' charge would be sent on a retrieval mission. Connections have decided not; Bouvreuil and Frodon are the two Nicholls' representatives amongst the sixteen declared.

Many considered Aso the one horse to take out of that race and any rain between now and the off would certainly help the cause but it all looks terribly cramped so instead I've decided to pop up to Doncaster for a handicap that looks only slightly less compacted.

Eleven are declared for the Handicap Chase at 12.55 where I'm going to quickly discard a couple, although that doesn't make finding the winner much easier.

Samingarry has his first run in 531 days and Micky Hammond, trainer of Silver Tassie, has a 4.46% win strike rate this season.

Charlie Longsdon saddles Long Lunch; the trainer's last winner was on November 26 since when his figures read 0-26 while Lord Wishes has been kept busy enough in recent weeks.

Of those that remain, Valadom was eventually pulled up in As De Mee's race at Aintree last week having made a serious error at The Chair. Previously he had beaten Sego Success (third) and Ziga Boy (fifth) at Bangor.

Ziga Boy won over course and distance twice last year and appeared a little unlucky to lose pilot Thomas Bellamy at the first in the Becher Chase last week while stablemate Sego Success has always had this as the target having won last year's renewal off 139.

The betting suggests Blakemount is the pick of Sue Smith's two runners while back in November 2015 Knock House had No Duffer some 39 lengths adrift in a Cheltenham amateur riders' handicap.

The short list consists of Sego Success, Knock House, Blakemount and Ziga Boy. Knock House is the enigma on his first run for Donald McCain's yard; fourth in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham in March, he is short enough in the market to warrant plenty of respect but is passed over on his seasonal debut.

I expect to see improvement from Ziga Boy following his Bangor debut; I don't think there's that much between the pair yet Sego Success is currently priced at 7/2 and Ziga Boy 6/1. Blakemount has yet to win over further than two miles six.

Plenty in the field like to race with up with the pace -  at 6/1 with Coral and William Hill Ziga Boy is the win selection.

Finally, the mention of As De Mee above has put me in mind of a story I heard a couple of days ago. A friend of a colleague went to the Becher Chase meeting at Aintree last week. He arrived at the course in a taxi and unusually the driver, rather than taking a tip, gave his passenger one instead...

'As De Mee is the banker in the last!'

Duly noted, the individual concerned went about his business with the on-course bookmakers on a top-class card, in the process totally forgetting the words of that prescient taxi driver from the gods. As Paul Nicholls' charge took it up two from home in the finale, the individual in question could be seen holding his head in his hands - unofficial reports have suggested he was crying.

Don't be too harsh now; I've done something very similar on more than one occasion in the past.


Anonymous said...

From Trainer Nigel Hawke’s blog:

This weekend hopefully sees the return of an old favourite in Samingarry!

Samingarry‘s entered at Doncaster on Saturday and we are all looking forward to seeing him back on the track. He hasn’t run for 531 days but that shouldn’t be an issue because he’s done plenty of work and he’s been to Exeter for a racecourse gallop where he worked very well. Samingarry is a club horse so he should get plenty of support.

Also on Saturday we’ve got Nachi Falls entered in both Doncaster and Cheltenham and he’s on target to run at either one. Nachi Falls hasn’t run for a while after his last run where he was disappointing. He came back and was very quiet and low. His blood test was wrong and showed signs of infection so we gave him a break and treated him with antibiotics now he seems back to his old self and will be taking on the big boys on Saturday.


Given that the yard does not appear to be firing 100% dismissing Samingarry may prove the correct decision but I thought you may be interested in Nigel’s post and interesting to note that Exeter gallop.

I’m sure I’ll look silly but I could not resist taking an EW interest (2 places ¼ odds) in Nachi Falls at 80/1. This very well bred gelding was a bargain buy from Godolphin at the Horses In Training sales. His form earlier in the year when beating the likes of Diable De Sivola, Hygrove Percy and Cliffs Of Dover reads very well and if he was ‘wrong’ last time out he might just bounce back today and cause an upset at a huge price!

Good Luck with Ziga Boy.

GeeDee said...

Many thanks for these notes, TW, which make for interesting reading and provide some useful background; both horses will be worthy of consideration next time.

Nachi Falls (50/1) was far from disgraced in third behind Defi Du Seuil and Coeur De Lion (conceding three pounds to the second).

Samingarry (40/1) put in an excellent round after such a long layoff, eventually finishing seventh, beaten under fourteen lengths.

GeeDee said...

A reasonable attempt to make all from Ziga Boy (5/1) but the thrilling finish concerned No Duffer (9/1) who held Long Lunch (14/1) a nose on the line with the selection unable to go with the two principals up the home straight, coming home five lengths adrift in third.