Friday, December 31, 2021

Paddy Power New Year's Day Handicap Chase 2022

I can't quite believe it. 

For the first time in as long as I can remember people are leaving Scotland to go and celebrate new year in England. Whatever next? PG tips a winner? Steady on now.

Plenty of trainers from down south are making the journey in the opposite direction hoping to plunder the spoils at Musselburgh in races like the Betway Hair Of The Dog Handicap Hurdle (1.40), the Betway Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle at 2.10 (Christopher Wood, wouldn't he?) and the Betway 'Auld Reekie' Handicap Chase at 2.50.

In the words of U2 'Nothing changes on New Year's Day' - and so it would seem, with Coole Cody, Zanza, Simply The Betts, Galahad Quest, Kauto Rico and Deyrann De Carjac set to do battle once again in the Paddy Power New Year's Day Handicap Chase at Cheltenham (2.00), having recently met some of their aforementioned rivals in either the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November or the Racing Post Gold Cup in December.

The going tomorrow is described as soft and Alnadam currently heads the market.

Just over a year ago Alnadam beat Funambule Sivola 22 lengths into fifth at Sandown while conceding weight to that rival; on revised ratings connections will certainly fancy their chances of confirming the form, particularly with underfoot conditions to suit.

Training horses (as well as tipping them for that matter) can be a bit like walking a tightrope and, for whatever reason, Funambule Sivola didn't run his race that day; in eight chase starts to date that Sandown effort remains the only occasion Venetia Williams' charge has finished outside the first two. The majority of that form though is over two miles and there was just a hint in the Peterborough Chase the last day that the longer trip stretched his stamina.

Coole Cody is some character. 

Having won the 2020 renewal of the Paddy Power Gold Cup off a mark of 137 (Kauto Rico fourth, Simply The Betts sixth), 12 months later in the same race Coole Cody came to grief at the penultimate flight when in the lead. Four weeks on he returned to win the Racing Post Gold Cup off a mark of 143 ( Zanza a fast-finishing second and Deyrann De Carjac fifth).

Zanza finished equal sixth with Simply The Betts behind Midnight Shadow in the Paddy Power Gold Cup here seven weeks ago (Galahad Quest a commendable fifth and Deyrann De Carjac ninth) before finishing second behind Coole Cody. 

On both occasions Philip Hobbs' charge made eye-catching late headway up the hill, although last time he looked particularly slow at the start. Perhaps I'm being a tad unfair but he reminds me a little of the Evan Williams trained Buywise who would often finish his races strongly at this venue but still manage to encounter trouble in running. Connections try cheekpieces for the first time tomorrow.

Back in November 2019, on his first run in this country, Riders Onthe Storm won what looked a competitive Aintree handicap chase with something to spare. The following March he took a tumble in the Ryanair Chase and things didn't really work out thereafter. He showed his first piece of noteworthy form since four weeks ago at Aintree when second behind Clan Legend (Galahad Quest a faller).

Kauto Riko ran a blinder when second behind Two For Gold at Doncaster three weeks ago; the handicapper has raised Tom Gretton's charge two pounds for that effort.

Vienna Court looked good in a mares' handicap chase last time but this is a stiffer task while Alan King tells readers of the Weekender that he fears 'the ground is going to be too soft' for Deyrann De Carjac.

At the 2020 Cheltenham Festival Simply The Betts won the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase on soft ground over this course and distance off a mark of 149. 

According to some rather rough calculations comparing previous encounters (which I carried out on the back of an unwanted Christmas present box after four bottles of beer) Simply The Betts looks weighted to come home ahead of Coole Cody, Zanza and Kauto Riko, although handler Paul Nicholls still thinks his charge 'is a few pounds too high'. 

I've drawn a line through the latest effort at Aintree (pulled up behind Protektorat).

There was an unconfirmed rumour Tina Turner had been booked but, anyway, Harry Cobden now takes the ride; at the time of writing William Hill offer 10/1 and pay six places. 

Simply The Betts is the each-way selection.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all readers a happy and prosperous new year.


Anonymous said...

Paddy Power New Year's Day Handicap Chase

170,A TOI PHIL(FR),7.7
167,KAUTO RIKO(FR),4.1

My system is in danger of picking up the Trevor Brooking "Creosote" moniker as it yet again sits on the fence in what looks a difficult race for punters and one in which a chance can be made for all the runners.

All the best.


GeeDee said...

Thanks for providing your ratings, TW.

Happy new year!

Anonymous said...

Simply The Betts is the each-way selection.

Great start to 2022 for the blog!


GeeDee said...

A decent effort from Simply The Betts (17/2) in this competitive handicap.

The selection raced prominently throughout, jumping well in the main. Eventual winner Vienna Court (10/1) came around the field in impressive style to take up the running before the penultimate flight.

Harry Cobden gave chase on Simply The Betts but was never able to make up any inroads into that lead, finishing one and threequarters lengths behind the mare with 5/1jf Alanadam ten lengths adrift in third, Magic Saint (50/1) a further neck away in fourth and Deyrann De Carjac (14/1) a neck fifth.