Friday, November 12, 2021

Cheltenham November meeting 2021 - Paddy Power Gold Cup

Last year, despite slipping badly after the fourth, Coole Cody went on to win an extraordinary renewal of the Paddy Power Gold Cup (run over the Old Course) with a display of jumping I described at the time as 'hairy'; that day Spiritofthegames finished second, Al Dancer third, Simply The Betts sixth with Aso the last of the 16 runners to complete in seventh.

Four weeks later Evan Williams' charge jumped right on occasions when finishing sixth behind Chatham Street Lad in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (run over the New Course) with Midnight Shadow second and Al Dancer ninth. He subsequently finished fourth behind The Shunter in the Paddy Power Plate at the Festival and fourth behind Manofthemountain over the New Course in April. 

Quite clearly dear old Coole Cody loves the place - as his prep last month he raced over the hurdle track and was headed by Guard Your Dreams on the run up the hill - and tomorrow he tries to repeat last year's victory off a mark four pounds higher. The layers rate him a 16/1 shot but even at the age of ten it would be foolish to discount his chance.

Twenty go to post; the going is described as good, good to soft in places. 

This evening there appears to be a three-way fight for favouritism between Lalor, Protektorat and Al Dancer.

Lalor last won a race in 2018, underwent wind surgery in July and has only recently moved from Kayley Woollacott to Paul Nicholls.

Protektorat won the SSS Super Alloys Novices' Chase over course and distance twelve months ago and last time out beat The Shunter at Aintree. Only three six-year-olds have come home in front in the past 20 years: Celestial Gold (2004); Exotic Dancer (2006); and Johns Spirit (2013). 

Sent off 5/1 favourite last year, Al Dancer finished four and a half lengths third behind Coole Cody off a mark of 154; he races off 149 tomorrow and has recently moved to Sam Thomas' yard.

Top weight Simply The Betts is another to have undergone wind surgery in the summer and then move to Paul Nicholls' yard. I think I'm correct in saying that the last top weight to oblige was Bradbury Star in 1994.

Galahad Quest had a pipe-opener at Wetherby a fortnight ago and bids to become the third five-year-old winner after Cyfor Malta (1998) and Caid Du Berlais (2014).

After a promising start Caribean Boy didn't really live up to expectations last season but Spiritofthegames has decent form at the track - second in the race last year and a head second behind Warthog in the 2019 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup - while Manofthemountain jumped well to win the Ballymore Silver Trophy in April (Coole Cody fourth). 

Five weeks ago Paint The Dream beat Manofthemountain nine and a half lengths in the John Ayres Memorial Handicap Chase at Chepstow; on revised terms the former looks weighted to confirm that form but still looks to have his fair share of weight.

Here's the heads up - I've had Midnight Shadow pencilled in for this since that second behind Chatham Street Lad last December; his third behind Allmankind in the Old Roan last month looks an excellent preparatory run.

Going back to New Year's Day 2020, Sue Smith's charge somewhat fortuitously beat Paint The Dream one and a quarter lengths in the Dipper after Champ came a cropper two from home; the Alan King trained Deyrann De Carjac was a further threequarters of a length behind in third.

After reading Alan King's bullish note about Deyrann De Carjac in the Weekender, I looked through the form. Not to beat about the bush, he's had his problems in recent times but two years ago he won a Huntingdon novice chase with the likes of Pym, Whatmore and El Presente in arrears. 

The handler tells us his charge is 'not badly treated off 137 judged on his best form' and states:

"His preparation has been great and he seems to have put behind him the niggles that hindered him last season. He schooled on Monday and seems in good order. He is a good-ground horse..." 

At the time of writing Midnight Shadow is generally a 10/1 shot while Deyrann De Carjac is 33/1 - and Sky Bet are paying seven places.

Temptation, it's a terrible thing... Deyrann De Carjac is the each-way selection, 33/1 with Sky Bet.

To finish, a quick footnote for the fastidious...

The 'Straight from the Stable' feature in this week's RP Weekender features Donald McCain's Bankhouse stables in Cholmondeley, Cheshire. 

I don't know what the editors were up to but, untypically, the copy is littered with typographical errors and in places reads as though it was dictated over a mobile phone with poor reception:

Of See The Sea (7 b m Born To Sea - Shahmina):

"It could be a case that she could shoulder a race (sic) in a higher class race."

Of Bannixtown Glory (7 b m Fame And Glory - Me Auold Segosha):

"I understand Dan Skelton has Molly Ollys Wishes targeted at the same race, but it's grand a chance to add more black type to her broodmare page."

Of Chti Balko (9 br g Balko - Ina Scoop):

"A grand old horse who simply wants Haydock on very deep ground and when he comes ready and the conditions are right we will."

For the record, my own editor, a lugubrious individual who drones on incessantly about the old days, is usually to be found in a battered shed at the bottom of our garden, surrounded by empty bottles of craft ale.


Anonymous said...

Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase

171,AL DANCER(FR),5.3
165,FUNKY DADY(FR),2.9

I can see, based on his form over the winter of 2019/20, the case for Deyrann De Carjac. Alas the system only crunches numbers, cannot take into account the thoughts of his trainer, would have liked to see a bit more spark of the promised revival from DDC LTO and has thus overlooked him.

Overall it looks a competitive renewal and the system is struggling to find an edge. Zanza tops the output and if not flattered in the Haldon Cup could be considered a nice progressive type given that his three runs prior to the Haldon Cup all had valid excuses. If Z were to drift to 16.0+ on the exchanges I’d take an interest otherwise I’ll happily sit this one out.

Good luck!


GeeDee said...

Difficult race, TW. Hopeful rather than confident as they say.

If memory serves, think you put up Coole Cody to win last year.

Anonymous said...

Here's the heads up - I've had Midnight Shadow pencilled in for this since that second behind Chatham Street Lad last December; his third behind Allmankind in the Old Roan last month looks an excellent preparatory run.


I got the odds I wanted about Zanza so a losing race for me.


GeeDee said...

Decent effort from Zanza, dead-heating with Simply The Betts in sixth, TW.
Coole Cody had jumped well in front before coming to grief at the penultimate flight.
Wish I hadn't changed my mind now... ;)

GeeDee said...

Coole Cody (14/1) went hard up front and made a bold attempt to repeat last year's victory. Jumping out to his right on occasions, he was challenged by Midnight Shadow (9/1) as they approached the penultimate flight where he came to grief leaving Sue Smith's charge clear of his field.

The gelding stumbled at the last allowing the chasers in behind to make ground up the hill but they were never going to get there in time.

11/2f Protektorat made a msitake at the fifth but ran with credit under top weight to claim second while Lalor (7/1) claimed an eye-catching third. Dostal Phil (16/1) was fourth and Galahad Quest (22/1) fifth.

Selection Deyrann De Carjac (50/1) struggled to go the pace set by the principals and was in rear for most of the race; never on terms, he eventually came home eleventh - just nine and a quarter lengths behind the winner.