Friday, October 27, 2017

Cheltenham Showcase meeting 2017 - Saturday

The Jockey Club publicity tells us 'The journey starts here' and there's a definite start-of-term feel to tomorrow's card at Cheltenham where the going is described as good, good to soft in places.

Connections have chosen to bypass the Masterson Holdings Hurdle with Triumph Hurdle winner Defi Du Seuil at 2.35.

Alcala looks the one to beat in the novice chase at 4.20 with well-regarded Two Taffs close enough on ratings to provide a decent test. I was impressed with the way Alcala won the Market Rasen Summer Plate in July; subsequently the gelding was unlucky to slip up on the bend in the Chepstow novice won by Finian's Oscar.

Sixteen face the starter for the two mile Randox Health Handicap Chase at 3.10. Top weight Vaniteux has to give eight pounds and upwards to his field; the bottom four, Un Beau Roman, Lord Ballim, Exitas and Lord Ben all race from out of the handicap. There's likely to be plenty of pace from the off.

Double W's makes the trip down from the north and holds a prominent position in the betting. His comeback fifth at Kelso twenty days ago looks short of what's required (The Flyingportrait third) but they went hell-for-leather up front that day. The generally-held view is that the lack of a recent run eventually found him out but he did go out rather tamely, beaten almost 20 lengths; he owes his position in the market to victory in Aintree's Red Rum Handicap Chase last April.

In last year's renewal Sizing Platinum finished second behind Fox Norton with Mr Fiftyone fourth; Sizing Platinum starts off a mark eight pounds higher tomorrow while Mr Fiftyone is rated seven pounds lower.

A number of the field came home behind Rock The World in the Grand Annual at the Festival; course and distance winner Le Prezien fared best in eighth (beaten 12 lengths) with Eastlake tenth, Mr Fiftyone fifteenth, Sizing Platinum nineteenth and Un Beau Roman pulled up.

Foxtail Hill is one who likes to race from the front. In January he made all to win the Hugo's Restaurant Barbados Trophy Handicap Chase here over two miles five and on the back of that was sent off favourite for the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase but he hit the second hard and fell at the eighth. I'm not convinced this is his optimum trip while Poker School has done all his winning in this country on right-handed tracks.

Of the market leaders Le Prezien and Sizing Platinum make most appeal but on the look out for some (marginally) better value I'm going to make a case for the top weight.

Sold out of Nicky Henderson's yard for £125,000 in May, Vanituex wears a first-time tongue tie on his first run for the Pipe yard.

Granted, this looks a tough ask but he has solid form in the book - he beat Romain De Senam five lengths over two miles at Ayr in the spring (Double W's pulled up), won on his seasonal debut in 2015 and finished third behind Sire De Grugy on his seasonal debut last year.

With layers offering a quarter the odds four places, in an open competitive event Vaniteux is the each-way suggestion at 12/1.

The final word in this week's post has to go to Mr Bob Wells of London.

On Tuesday October 24 The Times ran a piece in conjunction with website indicating that, despite winning over £7 million as an owner over the past 30 years, the Queen has ultimately made a loss on her racehorses.

Mr Wells picked up a similar theme in a letter to the paper the following day:

"My father once pointed out, with some satisfaction, that the family's first TV set was bought in the early Fifties with the proceeds of a day's racing at Newbury. My mother pricked his bubble by suggesting, had it not been for Newbury races, we would have had a set in the late Forties."

Thank you Bob Wells. Marvellous stuff.


Anonymous said...

My system has churned out Theflyingportrait; whilst he is more exposed as a chaser than many in the field he does still look to have a progressive profile and 2 miles on the drying Cheltenham turf, I do not think there will be much Good to Soft left come post time, should be ideal.

He’s a summer horse who is likely to be put away for the winter and whilst it might be fanciful to think that this race has been the target he will be fully primed when others are using the race as a starting point.

I’ve taken an EW interest at 25/1 and as he is sure to race prominently I might also try and mop up anything at 40.00+ on Betfair in the hope of laying at 30.00 in race for a 10/0 position.

Vaniteux is also among the top ranked so I hope he runs a big race.

Enjoyed Mr Wells story and feel his Father is a kindred spirit.

Good Luck


System Ratings

176 COBRA DE MAI(FR) 17.59 8.2
166 LE PREZIEN(FR) 7.42 19.5
170 DOUBLE W'S(IRE) 6.86 22
171 VANITEUX(FR) 6.02 25
166 POKER SCHOOL(IRE) 4.91 32
162 SOME PLAN(IRE) 4.76 32
172 FOXTAIL HILL(IRE) 4.34 36
157 LORD BALLIM(FR) 3.5 42
160 EXITAS(IRE) 3.36 44
153 LORD BEN(IRE) 2.99 50
166 EASTLAKE(IRE) 2.82 55
158 UN BEAU ROMAN(FR) 1.95 80
165 MR FIFTYONE(IRE) 1.69 90

GeeDee said...

Good luck, TW.

With Exitas a non-runner, most layers now go quarter the odds three places; according to Oddschecker, Paddy Power pay four places one fifth the odds, Skybet five places.

GeeDee said...

Coming to the home turn, the race was between Foxtail Hill (15/2) , Le Prezien (5/2f) and Sizing Platinum (12/1). The last-named was quickly dropped by the other two with Foxtail Hill, who had led from the off, battling grimly up the hill to deny the favourite a neck with Sizing Platinum 11 lengths adrift in third.

Purchase of an upgrade to my current TV solution has unfortunately been further delayed; selection Vaniteux (20/1) vanished completely out of camera shot as they came up the hill - he trailed in a well-beaten seventh, some 20 lengths adrift.

By contrast, as TW predicted, The Flyingportrait (25/1) ran prominently in second place for much of the race before fading from two out to finish ninth - a highly creditable effort.