Friday, April 22, 2022

bet365 Gold Cup 2022

There as a dramatic finish to last year's bet365 Gold Cup with Enrilo passing the post threequarters of a length ahead of Potterman with Kitty's Light a short-head behind in third. 

Following the inevitable stewards' inquiry, Potterman was awarded the race with Kitty's Light promoted to second and Enrilo demoted to third having hung badly left and hampered Kitty's Light racing up the hill; most commentators felt Kitty's Light would have have won given a clear run. 

The three do battle once again tomorrow along with Cap Du Nord who was only beaten five lengths in fifth. Enrilo is just one pound higher, Potterman two, Kitty's Light effectively five as Jack Tudor no longer claims three while Cap Du Nord goes off a mark five pounds lower.

15 face the starter at 3.32 tomorrow; the going is described as good, good to firm in places.

For some time this race has been the specific target of both Enrilo and Potterman.

Enrilo hasn't had the best of seasons - falling in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury and then pulling up behind Commodore at Cheltenham in December when sent off the 11/4 favourite. He ran better next time when fourth behind Cap Du Nord and Kitty's Light in the Coral Trophy at Kempton in February; to my mind he doesn't look the easiest of rides but Paul Nicholls tells readers of his Betfair blog the horse is 'ready to run for his life'.

Favourites do not have a good record in the race; Alistair Jones' preview in the Weekender indicates the last outright market leader to oblige was Mr Frisk in 1990.  

Christian Williams has certainly made a name for himself in recent weeks with the likes of Kitty's Light, Cap Du Nord and nine-year-old mare Win My Wings who became the first horse since Willsford in 1995 to win the Eider Chase at Newcastle and the Scottish Grand National at Ayr in the same season. 

She beat stablemate Kitty's Light seven lengths in the Scottish National (Fidux fourth, Prime Venture sixth with Via Dolorosa and El Paso Wood both pulled up) but has subsequently been clobbered 14 pounds by the handicapper; this looks a tough task. 

Kitty's Light isn't the biggest of individuals though; to date connections have preferred to avoid early scrimmaging and ride their race from the rear. The gelding was pulled up after suffering interference in the Ladbrokes Trophy - he has finished second four times this term. Cheekpieces are tried for the first time and I wonder whether Jack Tudor will give his mount a more prominent ride tomorrow.

Of his three runners Williams is on record saying he'd place his fiver on Kitty's Light.

Underfoot conditions will suit Irish raiders Hewick and Streets Of Doyen; the former doesn't look particularly well handicapped even allowing for Jordan Gainford's three pound claim while I'm not convinced the trip will play to the latter's strengths. 

The only Irish trained winner in the past 20 years was Church Island in 2010. 

In the same timeframe only four have carried more than 11-00 to victory: Puntal 11-04 (2004); Lacdoudal 11-05 (2006); Tidal Bay 11-12 (2012); and Potterman 11-09 (2021). 

Flegmatik is another with concerns about the trip but off a featherweight Musical Slave's chance is respected. 

Cheekpieces seemed to help this one beat Enqarde with something to spare at Haydock last Saturday and he goes off the same mark tomorrow. Back in January in receipt of one pound he finished just two lengths behind Win My Wings at Exeter.

Domaine De L'Isle finished fourth in the Becher behind Snow Leopardess, tenth in the Eider behind Win My Wings and unseated Harry Bannister at the Chair at Aintree a fortnight ago. 

Step Back likes it at Sandown and won the 2018 renewal; no horse older than 11 has ever come home in front.

At the time of writing the top of the market is centred around Enrilo, Kitty's Light and Win My Wings.

The bookmakers aren't taking any chances with Musical Slave; several pay five places and 12/1 about Potterman looks fair value. Last year's 'winner' underwent wind surgery in January and won the Borders Handicap Chase at Kelso last month.

I thought Fidux ran well at odds of 66/1 on his first try at a marathon trip in the Scottish National three weeks ago. 

That was his first outing for 112 days; Daryl Jacob takes the ride once again. 

The gelding certainly isn't weighted to reverse form with Kitty's Light or Win My Wings but he has won off this mark previously - the shorter trip and better ground here should help his cause.

Paddy Power, Betfair and William Hill are paying five places and offer 22/1 at the time of writing. 

Fidux is the each-way suggestion. 


TW said...

Going this morning is given as Good, Good to Soft (in places).

Fidux may well be warming to the longer trips but I've yet to be fully convinced he wants a yard further than 3 miles.

Potterman runs of a career high of 149 but I agree with you that "..12/1 about Potterman looks fair value.." so that will do for my EW shout in the race.

Good luck and thanks for the 2021/2022 season postings!


GeeDee said...

Good luck, TW, and thanks for your contributions throughout the season.

GeeDee said...

On Saturday January 8th 2022 the Veterans' Chase Final was run on heavy ground at this track. Lilly Pinchin quickly built up a substantial lead on Valadom (22/1) which she maintained until jumping the Pond Fence for the final time; Valadom eventually finished fifth and was the last of the 13 starters to complete.

On Saturday April 23rd 2022 the bet365 Gold Cup was run on good ground at this track. Lilly Pinchin quickly built up a substantial lead on Step Back (33/1) which she maintained until jumping the Pond Fence for the final time; Step Back eventually finished fourth with just six of the 15 starters completing.

The spoils went to 16/1 Irish raider Hewick who, off 149, may not have looked particularly well handicapped to some people (cough); in a matter of strides the gelding proved that particular prognosis entirely false by bounding away from two out to win hard held by eight lengths from Musical Slave (5/1), with Kitty's Light (4/1f) third, Step Back fourth, Cap Du Nord (16/1) fifth and the well-backed Streets Of Doyen (15/2) the last to complete.

Selection Fidux (25/1) raced mid-division for much of the trip, jumping well in the main, but he started to go backwards as the race developed in earnest and was last seen pulling up - just before the Pond Fence.