Friday, November 01, 2019

An each-way chance in the 2019 Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot

Earlier today Gordon Elliott bagged a five-timer at Down Royal, with the 2018 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle winner Samcro making a big impression on his first run over the larger obstacles.

The 2018 Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner Summerville Boy also made a successful chase debut - at Uttoxeter - but Tom George's charge wasn't quite as slick over the fences.   

It's Charlie Hall Chase day at Wetherby tomorrow and England are playing South Africa in a World Cup final but it's Ascot for me where the going is currently described as good to soft, good in places but with gusty winds and heavy rain forecast.

Seventeen have been declared for the Sodexo Gold Cup (3.20); top weight Black Corton is set to concede at least seven pounds to all his opponents.

The Kim Bailey trained Vinndication heads the market. I've plenty of time for this youngster who tries three miles for the first time having undergone wind surgery in April. The layers price him up a full three points shorter than joint second favourites Mister Malarky and On The Blind Side.

Mister Malarky won the Reynoldstown Chase over course and distance in February (Top Ville Ben, a well-beaten fifth that day, goes in the Charlie Hall at 3.40) and then went on to finish an excellent fourth behind Topofthegame in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham the following month.

Now I know they tell you to forgive and forget, and I can see why some of those rugby fans might be tempted to support On The Blind Side, but I'll be honest - I have found it extremely difficult to forget On The Blind Side's run in that RSA Chase last March; he was the first one beaten - and he happened to be carrying my money as well.

Gary Moore won this with Traffic Fluide last year and with Antony in 2016; Gary's Larry, presumably not named after the Downing Street cat, looks another likely contender this year. Last November, conceding two pounds, Larry was one length adrift of Mister Malarky when coming to grief two out in a Plumpton novices' handicap.

Soft ground should suit Springtown Lake, fifth in the Close Brothers Handicap Chase at Cheltenham, but he jumped left when winning at Sandown and also when finishing fourth behind Adrien Du Pont at Kempton last Christmas.

At around 16/1 the Paul Nicholls inmate makes some appeal but at a recent stable open day the handler indicated this one can be difficult as he has to be held up and can encounter traffic problems in running. In addition, the jumping isn't always foot perfect, all of which tempers enthusiasm somewhat.

Potterman is a young horse who has made hay this summer. Quoting Alan King in the Weekender:

"He's a proper good-ground horse and could have one more run before having a winter holiday with a view to coming back for a decent handicap in the spring."  

It's slightly more difficult to make a case for some of the older runners but 2017 winner Go Conquer loves Ascot and goes well fresh while an old favourite of mine, Relentless Dreamer, would be entitled to come on for his third behind Ballyoptic at Chepstow last month (Ballyoptic another declared for the Charlie Hall at 3.40). There appears to have been some support for Rebecca Curtis' charge this evening.

And I see Double Shuffle, second to Might Bite in the 2017 King George, is 25/1 in places but, to my mind, he prefers a flat right-handed track (called Kempton).

Since its inaugural running in 2006 as the United House Gold Cup just two horses older than nine have come home in front - See You Sometime (2006) and Roberto Goldback in (2012). I've concentrated my efforts on the younger participants with potential.

At the time of writing bet365 offer 10/1 Larry and pay a quarter the odds four places; Larry is the each-way suggestion.


Anonymous said...

2mm of rain overnight but a heavy batch of rain forecast pre racing though with the strong South Westerly wind it might blow through quite quickly. Walk In The Mill is a non-runner [lame].

Easy to imagine Larry running a big race for you; but to my mind 10/1 is a bit shorter than his chance.

Four made my value short-list; Adrien Du Pont [ADP], Double Shuffle [DS], Potterman and Ami Desbois and I ended up splitting my stake between ADP and DS.

Both selections finished last term on a low but easy to forgive both as the National fences are not every horse’s cup of tea.

Bar that last run I thought ADP looked progressive enough last season and he runs here off 149 which taking his jockey’s 3lb claim means he is only 2lb higher than when finishing 4th in this last year. I was lucky enough to get 18/1 [5 places 1/5 odds] last night.

DS was clearly flattered when he finished so close to Might Bite in the King George but he is still a decent enough chaser. The Topham and a speculative Gold Cup entry aside he had a fair season last term and his run at Ascot when he split Top Notch and Frodon suggest the course might not be too much of an issue. I again jumped in last night at 25/1 [5plcs 1/5 odds], but I see he is available at 28/1 this morning, I might top up.

I hope England get the sporting day off on a high!

Good luck


GeeDee said...

You make a good case for both your selections, TW. I looked quite closely at ADP but in the end his style of running, the tendency to hit the odd one when trying to make up ground and the fact some of Nicholls' runners have need their first run all conspired to put me off (although I think several in the field are likely to come on for their first run).

Good luck!

GeeDee said...

On paper the Sodexo Gold Cup looked a very competitive affair beforehand but Vinndication was sent off the 2/1 favourite and the money was not misplaced as Kim Bailey's charge won in impressive style on this first try over three miles.

Regal Encore (20/1) came home some five lengths adrift in second with top weight Black Corton (12/1) third and On The Blind Side (5/1) fourth.

Selection Larry (10/1) was held up but ran a disappointing race, never threatening to make up his ground and eventually finishing a remote tenth, beaten some 27 lengths.

I'd imagine connections of the winner will be making some plans this evening while the course groundsman who barely avoided a mid-race collision with front-running Go Conquer will be counting his blessings.