Friday, November 13, 2020

Cheltenham November meeting 2020 - Paddy Power Gold Cup

Seventeen have been declared for tomorrow's Paddy Power Gold Cup - still referred to as 'The Mackeson' in our house - which is due off at 2.15. 

At the time of writing three share favouritism - Mister Fisher, Saint Sonnet and Simply The Betts - and all three make their seasonal debuts.

Back in March Samcro beat Melon a nose in an epic finish to the Marsh Novices' Chase with Mister Fisher a highly creditable fourth (beaten four and a quarter lengths) and Saint Sonnet seventh. 

Lady Cricket won the 2000 running at six years of age and since only three more six-year-olds have come home in front - Celestial Gold (2004); Exotic Dancer (2006); and Johns Spirit (2013). Since the inaugural running in 1960 only two five-year-olds have collected the spoils: Cyfor Malta (1998) and Caid Du Berlais (2014), trained by Paul Nicholls...  

I like Simply The Betts who has won four of his five chase starts to date, most recently beating Happy Diva, last year's winner of this race, one and a quarter lengths (Spiritofthegames sixth, Kauto Riko fourteenth and Siruh Du Lac falling two out) in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate at the Festival. The handicapper has raised Harry Whittington's charge eight pounds for that effort.

Things fell right for the mare Happy Diva last year; she held Brelan D'As a neck on the line (Spiritofthegames and Siruh Du Lac both pulled up); 4/1 favourite Slate House looked sure to be in the mix but knuckled on landing at the penultimate flight. Happy Diva is now rated eight pounds higher, Slate House four pounds.

Al Dancer was well beaten in the Arkle but had a pleasing pipe-opener beating Master Tommytucker at Newton Abbot five weeks ago. The Twiston-Davies operation usually fires in the winners during the summer months; that hasn't been the case this year but the stable has been in better form recently.

Siruh Du Lac won the 2019 running of the Brown Advisory when trained by Nick Williams but, unfortunately, last year proved something of a write-off. The horse underwent wind surgery in July and was sent to the Pipe yard at the end of last month. The stable has a rich history in this event - Martin trained eight winners: Beau Ranger (1987); Challenger Du Luc (1996); Cyfor Malta (1998); Lady Cricket (2000); Shooting Light (2001); Cyfor Malta (2002); Celestial Gold (2004); and Our Vic (2005); David won the 2011 renewal with Great Endeavour. Could connections win with a horse having its first run for the yard? Siruh won't be inconvenienced by the forecast rain.

Spiritofthegames may have been pulled up in last year's race but four weeks later Dan Skelton's charge was beaten a head by Warthog in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at odds of 40/1. 

Of those at bigger prices, The Russian Doyen has only had two runs since finishing fourth in the 2019 running of the Close Brothers Novices' Chase; the Weekender reports that handler Colin Tizzard thinks this horse is well handicapped. 

The Tizzard horses have taken their time to come to hand this autumn but Sizing At Midnight looked to be in with every chance when coming to grief three out in the Badger Beers last weekend.

A change of scenery seems to have helped Coole Cody; regular contributor TW provides his ratings and makes the case for Evan Williams' charge below.

An ultra-competitive renewal with most layers paying five places and race sponsors Paddy Power, Sky Bet and William Hill all paying six. 

Working through the fifteen left on my shortlist, Siruh Du Lac and Slate House were the two that made it to the short shortlist. I note there has been money for Siruh Du Lac this evening and that one gets the nod.

Siruh Du Lac (9/1 with Paddy Power paying 6 places) is the each-way selection.

TW provides his ratings and selection:

177,SIRUH DU LAC(FR),8.5
178,AL DANCER(FR),7.5
179,SKY PIRATE(GB),5.2
172,BRELAN D'AS(FR),4.1

Mister Fisher has highest system win chance [15.3%] but odds of 11/2 provide zero edge so he’s not a bet for me.

Next up on the system is Coole Cody [CC] who has the top system form rating of 184. I’m not sure why owner Wayne Clifford decided to move him to Evan Williams but the change in scenery and the switch back to chasing appears to have chirped him up a bit!

CC has had 3 races this term; he won an ordinary novice chase easily in August before keeping a couple of Paul Nicholl horses honest in two subsequent efforts. In the middle race of the three he pulled well clear of Irish Prophecy who went on to be 2nd to El Presente [winner of last week’s Badger Beer] and then followed that good effort by comfortably winning a handicap at Taunton by 14 lengths on Thursday off a mark of 135 which I’m hoping suggest CC’ mark of 137 in this is a bit lenient.

Whilst CC may not have the right profile for a race like this [it is his first handicap chase] conditions should suit, he should cope if further rain gets into the ground, he has race fitness on his side and I’d like to think he can make the frame at odds of 20/1+.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

What a race! I've never seen anything quite like it.

TW is in a rich vein of form; having tipped up El Presente to win last week's Badger Beers at Wincanton, he tipped Coole Cody to win the Paddy Power Gold Cup.

Blog selection Siruh Du Lac (12/1) got no further than the very first fence; the beast overjumped, unceremoniously dumping Tom Scudamore on the turf in the process.

Racing freely, the loose horse set Coole Cody (10/1) alight and Evan Williams' charge quickly built a five length lead. He slipped, nearly losing his hind legs after the fourth, but racing away from the stands he looked to have increased his lead to some ten lengths. The jumping was hairy at times but, crucially, the horse negotiated the obstacles without losing momentum. Jumping the last, Spiritofthegames (14/1) looked a big threat but Coole Cody wasn't for passing; he went on to prevail by three and a quarter lengths with Al Dancer, heavily backed into 5/1 favouritism, third and Kauto Riko (50/1) staying on up the hill in fourth. Sky Pirate (10/1) was fifth and Simply The Betts (7/1) sixth.