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Saturday, 4 November 2017

Clash of the Titans

Today is a bit like the days of Ali vs Frazier, as Cue Card and Coneygree line-up to do battle again - as they did 12-months ago - but then it was in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, and today it is in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby over 3-mile.  Last year at Haydock, it was Cue Card who reigned supreme but then he had already run in this race and, although he had been beaten, he did have the benefit of a run. This time I can see Coneygree gaining revenge over Cue Card, not least because he has age on his side (Coneygree is a 10yo whereas Cue Card is 11yo) but also he ran a great race at Punchestown last April and I'm sure that connections now will no longer be saving something back for next the Gold Cup next March if, due to circumstances out of their control, Coneygree does not make it to Cheltenham.

However, I am confident that in taking the antepost 11/1 on Bristol De Mai, I have done the right thing.  Bristol De Mai is a 6yo, 4 years younger than Coneygree and he has shown, when winning the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase over 3-mile at Haydock in January, that he is capable of a performance worthy of winning this race.

Before we watch the Charlie Hall Chase, I will taking an interest on the 3-mile Grade 2 hurdle race as the horse that I think may win the new Ladbroke Gold Cup (used to be the Hennessey Gold Cup) has a pipe-opener - it is MISSED APPROACH.  
I've been watching the Cheltenham Festival races again looking for clues and I think (again) that the 4-mile NH Chase has thrown-up some of the best novice chase form seen at the Festival.  Having disputed the lead for most of the race, Missed Approach was looking like a potential winner coming down the hill for the 3rd-last fence but he lost the lead to the eventual winner Tiger Roll. He appeared to like the uphill finish at Cheltenham and he did resolutely hung on to be 2nd - however, he confirmed that 4-mile wasn't his trip when he ran next in the Scottish National at Ayr. I think he will relish a return to an extended 3-mile on a flatter track.
He starts the season on OR145 and when you consider he slammed Label Des Obeaux over 3-miles at level weights in January - and Label Des Obeaux went on to win the Class 2, 3-mile novice chase handicap on Scottish National day at Ayr and is now rated OR154 - you can see how well MISSED APPROACH is handicapped - he could be 10lb well-in on OR145.  I think the old "Hennessey" is tailor-made for this horse. He's 33/1 at the moment and we know he:-
- likes Newbury; stays the trip well; he's well handicapped. 
What more can you ask for? I think off OR145 he has a great chance and with Richard Johnson booked for today, it would seem this is his intended mount come December.

I have taken a look at the 3-mile Sodexo Chase at Ascot run at 3:35pm as I have a good record with it. I doubt the early fav Thomas Brown will enjoy this trip, and Braqueur D'Or has been raised 10lb for that win LTO. Emerging Force is a lightly raced horse who could do well today and he looks well-handicapped. This trip isn't got Go Conquer and even if Anthony repeated last years effort, he would do well to win - the race fell perfectly for him last season. Dark Flame is another for whom 3-mile is an unknown. One who will need every yard but should go well is Fourth Act, he ran 4th last year off OR137 and races today off OR129, he should be in the frame. There is no reason that Junction Fourteen should not go well as he is 6lb lower in the handicap than when 2nd in this race last season.  However, I do like Bigbadjohn and I think he's a sleeping giant - yes he makes the odd blunder and it cost him LTO but he could rip this race apart if he gets his act together.  Junction Fourteen should make the frame again, as should Fourth Act. The one with the best chance on form to me is EMERGING FORCE as he stays the trip, races prominently, jumps well and has tonnes of potential and he is my main wager, with a small eachway on Bigbadjohn.

2 comments:

  1. Terrific run by BRISTOL DE MAI to win the Charlie Hall Chase - hope you took my advice on Wednesday on the antepost odds, or at least placed your wager after reading this blog this morning.

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  2. wonder if you could supply your twitter handle please,I must have missed it,
    Thanks,David.

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