A profitable day of racing for the blog on Saturday, with SILVINIACO CONTI confirming that when faced with a proper stamina test he's the best staying chaser in training. Running on soft (or worse) ground for the first time since winning the King George VI Chase at Kempton on similar ground, the horse ran to about the same level as when he won the Betfair Chase in November 2012.
My reading of the race was just about perfect, with the only "blip" being that I under-estimated the ability of Menorah. The horse had previously shown he was capable of runing at this level when taking the Peterborough Chase (run at Kempton) in December 2012 on heavy ground - and he relished the conditions on Saturday. Whether Menorah can find any more improvement is debateable, but he's running a lot better now than he was earlier this year.
Even so, looking at the betting for the King George on Boxing Day (for which there are currently 37 entries) the odds of 12/1 about Menorah look a decent eachway wagering opportunity. He's unlikely to rverse the form with SILVINIACO CONTI, but there is not much in the race likely to keep him out of the places.
Cue Card was very disappointing on Saturday and went out very tamely, running about 15lb below his best. Dynaste will need "good" ground to show improvement at Kempton, and I'm not convinced he's a true 3-mile chaser yet at this level.
Nicky Henderson's stable looks out-of-sorts and he's only sent out the winner of 3 chase races since 1st September, though his stable-form usually improves in December and again in the New Year.
As such, I really cannot fathom why SILVINIACO CONTI is not shorter, especially as this year's field looks weaker and he's already shown that he's as good (if not better) than ever.
So far, the only horse that looks likely to challenge him is stable-mate AL FEROF who also won on Saturday when taking the Amlin 1965 Chase over 2m3f for the 2nd year in succession. This was the horse's best performance since winning the Paddy Power Handicap Chase in Nov12, and he's put a couple of indifferent runs last season behind him. Although he was 3rd in the King George last December, I really cannot see him beating SILVINIACO CONTI in that race and his only chance would appear to be if his stablemate doesn't finish. Trainer Paul Nicholls would much rather target the horse at the QM Champion Chase over 2-miles. That seems unlikely and I expect that the horse will be entered in both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Ryanair Chase, as he was last year. He looked to have at least 3lb in-hand on Saturday, maybe more, and if he goes to the Ryanair in this sort of form then he'll take some beating and the 16/1 offered by Ladbrokes looks very generous.
Another interesting performance was that of ACCORDING TO TREV in the 3m1f handicap chase at Haydock. This was a tremendous run from the 8yo when you look at the horses he beat. Renard again showed his love for soft-heavy ground with a near career-best run. Unfortunately when racing beyond 2m5f he lacks tactical speed and was outpaced (again, for the 5th time in succession) when passing that point, but stayed-on strong, if one-paced. Midnight Appeal possibly needs a trip a shade shorter than 3-mile as he is another who is one-paced but very consistent. As for Forgotten Gold in 4th, this was his best run since beaten a short-head at Cheltenham in April, and his form usually improves as the season progresses - he has to be one for the alert list.
We have the Hennessy Gold Cup this Saturday at Newbury and, with 7 x LTO winners going to post, it looks a cracker in the making. I'm very happy to oppose the Irish challenger Djakadam who has not run beyond 2m5f and fell when under pressure at the Cheltenham Festival in the race won by Taquin De Seuil. The 2nd-fav Many Clouds does not look to be leniently treated on OR151, and Fingal Bay could be well-in on OR153 if he's learned to jump a fence in the last 2 years. Smad Place looks interesting, as does last years runner-up Rocky Creek. The Druids Nephew looks held on his OR141 rating, and it's hard to believe that Hadrian's Approach is only a 7yo - he looks very interesting. Black Thunder is another strong entry from Paul Nicholls, and he'll likely be on the premises. There is one horse tho' that stands out at the weights, and that is Cheltenham Festival winner MIDNIGHT PRAYER. Only 5 chase runs, he is still very unexposed and can win his seasonal debut (which he did last October) and then ran a cracker here at Newbury in December over 3-mile. He won the National Hunt Chase over 4-mile at the Festival beating the 12lb higher-rated Shotgun Paddy a neck at level weights. I cannot understand why this horse is 25/1 with Paddy Power and I can see him starting at half those odds on the day.
Welcome to the "World of Horseracing". This blog has been providing information, comment, and selections for horseracing in the UK and Ireland since March 2010.
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Between March 2010 and April 2017, this blog recommended wagers on 520 individual races on Jump Racing in the UK, resulting in a PROFIT of £1,525.39 on cumulative stakes of £5,726 - this is equivalent to a Return On Investment of 26.60%.
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Monday, 24 November 2014
Look-back at the weekend's racing (22/23 November)
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