Friday, April 23, 2021

bet365 Gold Cup 2021

The bet365 Gold Cup (3.40 Sandown) is the feature tomorrow on the card which traditionally brings down the curtain on the jumps season. 16 have been declared with the official going described as good, good to firm in places.

Plan Of Attack heads the market. 

Last time out Henry De Bromhead's charge was travelling well enough in first time blinkers when coming to grief three out in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival (Bob Mahler brought down when staying on). Connections have decided to stick with the blinkers but 9/2 looks short enough for one that has failed to complete in three of his four runs this season. 

Favourites have a poor record in this with Beau (6/1jf) in 2000 the last one to come home in front.

Enrilo was pulled up behind Shan Blue in the Kauto Star at Kempton over Christmas (Golan Fortune fourth, beaten eight lengths) but found handicap company much more to his liking at Newbury next time out.

Paul Nicholls' gelding is relatively inexperienced with just four chase starts to his name but has nevertheless been widely tipped up; the yard has won this previously with Ad Hoc (2001 and 2003), Tidal Bay (2012) and Just A Par (2015).

Golan Fortune is similarly inexperienced over fences and was disappointing behind Time To Get Up in a strong renewal of the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter five weeks ago - the second that day, Mighty Thunder, won the Scottish Grand National last weekend. 

Handler Phil Kirkby is on record saying he had expected much better and I'd imagine Tom Scudamore will look to give the gelding a more prominent ride than he had at Uttoxeter. 

The Badger Beers Silver Trophy Handicap Chase run at Wincanton in November provides a key piece of form. 

That day El Presente finished fast to pip Potterman a short head at level weights with the four-year-old Kitty's Light impressive, finishing third, beaten three and a quarter lengths after suffering interference three from home.

Connections of all three appear to have targeted this race. 

Kim Bailey sent El Presente to Ludlow for a spin last month where he was beaten eight and a half lengths into third by Checkitout. That looked a decent effort by Nigel Twiston-Davies' inmate but connections then decided to go to Haydock nine days later where Checkitout checked out four out, eventually finishing eighth. 

After that race the trainer's representative said the race had come too soon after Ludlow; with the benefit of hindsight it doesn't look the ideal preparation for this race and the layers seem to agree pricing Checkitout at 28/1.

Potterman hasn't been seen since unseating Tom Cannon in the Hennessy at Newbury. He missed his intended prep at Taunton on account of the ground.

Kitty's Light took in a couple of jumpers' bumpers and a handicap hurdle before staying on stoutly last time to deny Didero Vallis a neck over a trip of three and a quarter miles at Kelso. If successful, Christian Williams' charge will be the first five-year-old to collect the spoils.

Prior to that Wincanton run El Presente beat Irish Prophecy a length over three miles at Exeter, the pair clear. 

Cheekpieces have clearly helped Emma Lavelle's charge; writing in the RP Weekender [02-06.12.20] the handler states:

"He's up to a mark of 142 and I'd be looking seriously at the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown or the Scottish National as both are run on courses where galloping and jumping are at a premium."  

The worry would be whether he'll stay the extended trip. His run over three and a quarter miles behind Soldier Of Love at Newton Abbot in September suggests he was running on empty approaching the last.

Two with no stamina queries are Supreme Escape and Bob Mahler. 

The former won over three miles six and a half furlongs at Chepstow last time and has been well backed today while the latter won the 2020 Edinburgh National and ran well for a long way in the West Wales National at Ffos Las at the beginning of the month before weakening to finish fourth. Warren Greatrex has trained just 18 winners this season. 

Top weight Crosspark has been admirably consistent in long distance races this term without managing to get his head in front. Tidal Bay carried 11-12 to victory in 2015 off a mark of 154.

I'm not convinced this trip is going to bring out the best in Cap Du Nord.

Three old-timers are set to take their chance - The Young Master, Smooth Stepper and Doing Fine. 

The Young Master has an excellent record in this race; he won the 2016 renewal and finished second behind Talkischeap in 2019. I note the gelding underwent wind surgery last summer.

Smooth Stepper is an out and out stayer who prefers plenty of cut underfoot; he may struggle to keep tabs on the leaders on quicker ground. 

Trainer Alex Hales states:

"He's been aimed at this race all season but I was hoping for softer ground. I'll have to walk the course in the morning before making a final decision on his participation." 

Doing Fine won the London National over course and distance in December, holding Crosspark threequarters of a length; he finished behind Golan Fortune in the Midlands Grand National last time.

It may not be the race it once was but, as ever, it's a very competitive affair. 

Irish Prophecy is of interest but that doubt about his ability to see out the trip persists while Golan Fortune should be in the mix if running his race. 

I'm going to stick with the Badger Beers form and have an each-way wager on El Presente who shaped as though he'd stay at Wincanton; Kim Bailey's yard boasts a 20% win strike over the past fortnight.

El Presente is the each-way selection, currently 9/1 with Paddy Power and Bet Victor who are both paying five places.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

A dramatic renewal of the bet365 Gold Cup with Enrilo (7/2f) passing the post first but subsequently demoted to third following a lengthy stewards' inquiry.

Paul Nicholls' charge started to idle in front after the last and then drifted and ran off a straight line, significantly impeding the challenge of Kitty's Light (9/1) who finished third but was promoted to second.

Potterman (12/1) avoided the traffic troubles on the hill and made plenty of ground after the last to finish second; Alan King's charge was awarded the race after the inquiry.

Selection El Presente (11/1) ran creditably, up with the pace throughout. He jumped the last in second place but lost two places in the shadow of the post, eventually finishing fourth, beaten one and a quarter lengths.

Cap Du Nord (20/1) was fifth and Crosspark (16/1) sixth.