Charlie Hall Chase Tips 3m1f Wetherby Saturday

Dynaste

David Pipe’s Dynaste ran some great races in defeat last term and is our selection for Saturday’s big one.

First run as the Wetherby Pattern Chase in 1969, it assumed it’s present title in 1990 and the roll of honour features some marvellous steeplechasers, including four Cheltenham Gold Cup winners, Davy Lad, Burrough Hill Lad, Forgive’n Forget, and See More Business. Ten pound penalties have to be carried by winners of a Class1 weight for age chase after 30th September 2014, and in the last eight renewals only last years winner, Menorah, has managed to win carrying this maximum impost. This always competitive race is run at a very strong pace putting emphasis on stamina as well as speed, underlined by the fact that nine of the last ten winners had winning form over at least three miles. Probably due to the less demanding nature of the Wetherby fences in recent years, less experienced animals have been making their mark and two six year olds have won two of the last three runnings. Plenty have won this on their seasonal debut so lack of a previous outing is no bar to success. Paul Nicholls has hit the back of the net on three occasions and both Pipe (Our Vic 2006) and Hobbs (Menorah 2014) have both won once.

The ten year old Menorah would be a very popular winner if he could repeat last years success, and judged on the way he beat Al Ferof at the end of April in his last race, his chances of doing so are by no means remote. However it is eleven years since a horse older than nine has won and as he is again burdened with the maximum penalty he may find Saturday’s test just beyond him.

Aintree hero, Many Clouds who has won first time out for the last two seasons, and only an eight year old, may well have many more big days ahead of him so has to be considered. Having won at Cheltenham in January, serious Gold Cup hopes were entertained only to be dashed by a lacklustre display on the big day. Never able to keep up with the murderous pace set by Coneygree he did stay on to finish sixth, but covered himself in glory four weeks later, when winning the Grand National by 1 3/4L from St Are. He seems to be an out and out stayer and burdened with the maximum penalty, Saturday’s contest is unlikely to play to his strengths.

David Pipe’s Dynaste ran some great races in defeat last term, not least when finishing second in the King George VI chase to Silviniaco Conti, with Al Ferof five lengths back in third, and Cue Card another three and a half lengths further behind in fifth. He also got to within 1 1/2L of Many Clouds, whom he meets on 10lbs better terms at the weekend, at Cheltenham at the end of January. The rest of his season was curtailed by injury and by all accounts he was disappointing on his reappearance in a Grade3 hurdle at Auteuil on very soft ground three weeks ago. However he has come on for a run in the past, and following injury too much may not have been expected. Unpenalised on Saturday he is definitely on the short list.

As a 6yo second season chaser, the Rebecca Curtis trained Irish Cavalier is of interest. Having won the novices handicap chase off a mark of 137 at the Cheltenham festival he kept himself busy at the Punchestown equivalent, running twice within three days. Thrown in at the deep end he ran a fine race to finish fourth, beaten less than 4 1/2L by Valseur Lido in the Grade1 novices chase, and again ran well three days later finishing second to Blood Cotillion. Progress had clearly been maintained when comfortably disposing of Henryville on his reappearance at Newton Abbot on October 9th, earning him a new rating of 156. Further improvement is required to win at the weekend but in the hands of his very talented trainer this is more than possible.

Cue Card has had a frustrating time since his last win in November 2013. Between stress fractures and breathing problems he has been something of a hospital case, but connections are now hopeful that his problems are behind him, and indeed his last two runs behind Don Cossack in the Spring were more promising. Colin Tizzard reports him to be putting in some sterling work at home, and racing unpenalised it would be no surprise to see him add to his already amazing winnings of nearly three quarters of a million pounds.

Having won the race three times Paul Nicholl’s Sam winner is worth a second look as he does seem to run his best races in the first half of the season, and he did win first time out last year. He is saddled with a 10lb penalty for his win at Aintree last December, but coming from this yard it would be no surprise to see him defy it and is another well worth considering.

Selection: Dynaste

E.W. : Sam Winner

Betting Preview Racing Post Trophy (Group1) 1m Str Doncaster

Doncaster

Deauville, a good looking bay colt, he is by Galileo out of a Danehill mare, Walklikeanegyptian, is our selection.

Originally called The Timeform Gold Cup, it was first run in 1961 under the sponsorship of the Halifax tipping service. It was given Group1 status when the current race grading system was introduced in 1971 and assumed it’s present title when first sponsored by the Racing Post organisation in 1989. It is the last Group1 of the British flat racing season and having five of the last eighteen Derby winners on it’s roll of honour can certainly be considered a good guide to a horses Epsom prospects. So is there a putative Epsom hero lurking in Saturday’s field? Well if so the likelihood is that it will be trained by A.P.O’Brien, who has been responsible for seven winners of The Racing Post Trophy since 1997, two of whom (High Chaparall, and Camelot) have gone on to Epsom glory. At the time of writing he is responsible for half the ten runner field and if the market is to be believed, Deauville represents his best chance.

A good looking bay colt, he is by Galileo out of a Danehill mare, Walklikeanegyptian, and unusually for a Ballydoyle potential high flyer, made his racecourse debut in a Listowel maiden over 7f on heavy ground at the end of May where he duly obliged. He next appeared eight weeks later in a Leopardstown Group3, again over 7f where starting at 9/2 he beat the long odds on favourite (and subsequent Dewhurst third) Sanus Par Aquam by 1/2L in a workman like fashion. His jockey, Joseph O’Brien was pushing along from halfway but stayed on stoutly at the finish, strongly suggesting that a step up to a mile was required. He duly reappeared two months later in the Group1 Royal Lodge Stakes over a mile at headquarters and was beaten 3/4L by Saturday’s opponent, Foundation. On the face of it the Gosden horse should confirm the form, but I wonder if the Newmarket race played to Foundation’s strengths. The way the race was run, at a very steady pace and in a slow time, where Deauville, for whatever reason, lost a couple of lengths mid race, but then ran on stoutly, you would have to say undoubtedly favoured the speedier Gosden runner. Saturday’s race is invariably won by a staying type and there would have to be some doubt if Foundation’s pedigree, (by a miler, out of a miler) fits that particular bill. Deauville on the contrary is more stoutly bred and with a strong pace almost guaranteed at the weekend their second meeting could be very interesting.

Foundation didn’t see a racecourse until the beginning of August when taking a lowly Cl5 maiden at Haydock Park. Great strides forward have been taken since, winning a listed race, again at the Lancashire venue, and culminating in that impressive win in the Royal Lodge. Obviously out of the top drawer, he looks the one to beat.

The all conquering Hugo Palmer yard has a very interesting runner in Menghil Khan. He made a promising debut only four weeks ago where despite running green he finished third in a Newmarket maiden, and showed the benefit, when trotting up at Nottingham on soft ground over 1m 1/2f a fortnight later. He is very well bred, being by the first season sire, Lope De Vega ( winner of the French 2000gns and Derby) and out of a Danehill mare who is a half sister to two Group1 winners. He did seem to relish the soft ground at Nottingham so if a similar surface prevails at the weekend this 150,000gns yearling might just cap a ‘superb season for his highly talented trainer.

The penny seemed to drop late on in the group1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on “Arc” day for another O’Brien blue blood, Shogun. Having been pushed along in midfield for most of the race he seemed to get the message late on and finished with a flourish, and despite coming sixth, was only 1 1/2L behind the winner. By the Australian stallion Fastnet Rock, who is doing so well with his European runners, and out of a Galileo mare who was second in the Group2 1m6 1/2f Parkhill stakes he is another who could be well suited by Saturday’s contest and is one to keep on the right side of.

Selection: Deauville

E.W. : Shogun

Cesarewitch Handicap Newmarket 2m2f (Rowley) Saturday

Low Key

The market for this year’s renewal is headed by the David Pipe trained 8yo Low Key and he certainly has plenty to recommend him.

It takes a true stayer to succeed in this unique stamina test, as most of the race is run in a straight line, affording little if any opportunity to get a blow into your animal during the relentless pillar to post gallop. Having exited the stalls in Cambridgeshire, the field takes a sharp right turn and makes it a hell for leather charge across Newmarket Heath to eventually join the Rowley mile and pass the winning post in the adjoining county of Suffolk. Winning form over at least two miles on the flat, or good winning form over hurdles is highly desirable.The race is often targeted by National Hunt stables, with such names as Pipe, Revely, Fitzgerald, Henderson, Martin, and Hobbs figuring on the roll of honour in the last quarter century. Indeed Philip Hobbs has figured twice in the last decade, with Detroit City (2006) and last year with Big Easy. His candidate this year, the ex French Golden Doyen, would be worth a second look, but needs nine above him in the handicap to come out to get a run.

The market for this year’s renewal is headed by the David┬áPipe trained 8yo Low Key and he certainly has plenty to recommend him. He won the Cesarewitch Trial over course and distance three weeks ago with the very promising 3lbs claimer Tom Marquand in the plate, racing off a mark of 82. He stayed on strongly to beat another of Saturday’s contenders, Encrypted Message by 3 1/2L and should confirm the form at the weekend. He has now won five times, (twice over hurdles) for the Nicholshane Maestro, who clearly has discovered the key to this eight year old, who only joined the team last year. He has already improved by at least 25lbs since joining the Pipe Academy so Saturday’s mark of 86 looks highly doable and with young Marquand again claiming 3lbs his prospects look decidedly rosy.

Another National Hunt trainer, Lucy Wadham, has an interesting contender with her 6yo gelding Noble Silk, partnered by Oisin Murphy. He ran a fine race over 2m4f at Royal Ascot keeping on well to finish 4th to Clondaw Warrior to whom he was conceding 5lbs. Following a nine weeks break, he disappointed at York but ran a more promising trial for this last time at Doncaster, going down by 3L over an inadequate 14f off a mark of 94. Bound to be much better suited by Saturday’s trip and racing off 94 again, the current odds of 40/1 look generous, and having had a light campaign is one for the short list.

Tony Martin’s Quick Jack who finished a close third last year, tries again off a 7lbs higher mark and this tough competitor, who won the hugely competitive Galway Hurdle at the end of July merits maximum respect. He was a gallant second in the Chester Cup in May going down by 3/4L to the subsequent Ascot Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris to whom he was conceding 6lbs. After his Galway triumph he never got going when favourite for the Ebor Handicap at York seven weeks ago. Badly drawn over an inadequate trip the York form can be ignored, but in view of his run in this last year, and his second in the Chester Cup, I wonder if he quite gets home over 18f. Certainly off a 7lbs higher mark than last year he has it all to do.

There is the whiff of a “Prescott plot” about the way Sir Mark’s William Of Orange has been campaigned. Placed over 14f in his first two races this year, he ran his best race of the season when upped to 16f at York in July, running on strongly to take second at the post, 3/4L behind Eshtiall after a troubled passage. Subsequently tried over 21f at Goodwood he didn’t seem to quite get home, and then, having been sent to the front for the first time, in an attempt to make all,in his last race, the Doncaster Cup, he faded from two furlongs out to finish seventh behind stablemate Pallasator. He races off a mark only 5lbs higher than that promising run at York, so it would be no surprise to see him involved at the finish.

Roger Varian’s 4yo Montjeu gelding Steve Rogers looked well suited by the step back up in trip when taking a two mile Cl3 Chester handicap four weeks ago off a mark of 83. There was nothing special about the form, but he did travel really well throughout and went about his business very professionally when asked. A winner of five of his seven races since January and racing off a mark of 87 this very genuine animal may well live up to merit his Captain America pseudonym*.

*Steve Rogers was the alter-ego of Captain America.

Selection: Low Key

E.W. : William Of Orange

Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe Racing Tips

Found can win the Arc

Aidan O’Brien has a live contender in this years renewal with his 3yo Galileo filly Found.

I hope you were on our e.w selection, Third Time Lucky, in last weeks Cambridgeshire, who thanks to a never say die ride from Adam Beschizza, got back up in the shadow of the post to win at the rewarding odds of 14/1. The big question come Sunday is whether the amazing mare Treve can pull off a record breaking third win in the Longchamp showpiece, The Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe under her pilot Thierry Jarnet.

The superb 5yo mare, trained by Criquette Head-Maarek, having won her only race as a 2yo went from strength to strength in her 3yo campaign winning all four of her races, including the Prix de Diane, the Prix Vermeille, and culminating in a scintillating win in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe. Things didn’t look so rosy the following year, when having failed to hit the back of the net in her first two races, she was very disappointing when only a poor 4th in the Prix Vermeille. However she was a revelation in the Arc itself when confounding her odds of 14/1, she showed great acceleration from the final bend and won with her head in her chest from Flintshire and Taghrooda, with the St Leger winner Kingston Hill, back in fourth. This year has been much more straightforward, with her winning all three starts, culminating in a sparkling display in the Vermeille three weeks ago. She goes to post a worthy favourite, but one wonders if that fabulous performance three weeks ago can be repeated on Sunday. Nevertheless if in the same form as last year, she will be extremely hard to beat.

On the figures the one with the best chance of doing so would seem to be John Gosden’s Golden Horn. Having won the Dante, the Derby, and the Eclipse he was sent off at 4/9 to win the Juddmonte International only to lose his unbeaten record to the filly Arabian Queen, in a muddling race. He retrieved his somewhat tarnished reputation in the Irish Champion Stakes when winning, but in controversial circumstances. Having been joined by FreeEagle, (also runs Sunday) 2f out, the Gosden horse was probably getting the better of the argument when jinking violently right a hundred and fifty yards from the finish and gave Free Eagle a severe thump which at the very least cost him the runner up spot, as Found, away from the trouble, ran on well up the rails to capture second place. After a stewards inquiry the placings remained unaltered, but it has to be said that if adjudicated in France, Golden Horn would undoubtedly have lost the race. Having been on the go all season the Gosden Colt can’t be described as having had an ideal Arc preparation, but with the ground likely to be in his favour, and bullish noises emanating from Newmarket he has to be on the shortlist.

One who has travelled a more traditional route is the Andre Fabre (seeking his eighth win in the race) trained Dubawi Colt New Bay. Having won the Prix du Jockey Club at the end of May he enjoyed a nice summer holiday before returning eleven weeks later to win a Gp2 at Deauville. In his next race, The Prix Neil, a tried and trusted route for previous Fabre winners, and New Bay’s first attempt at 1m4f, he stormed home winning easily from three of Sunday’s opponents, Silverware, Migwar, and Erupt. This fast improving animal is of the highest class and must have a great chance of adding to his amazing trainers c.v.

While the great Vincent O’Brien sent out the winner of the Arc from the famous Ballydoyle stables on three occasions, (Ballymoss1958, Alleged 1977 and 1978) his successor, Aidan, somewhat surprisingly has only managed a single win, (Dylan Thomas 2007). The current tenant however has a live contender in this years renewal with his 3yo Galileo filly Found. She won on her debut as a 2yo, and having finished third in the Gp1 Moyglare, won the Prix Marcel Boussac here at Lonchamp, finishing her two year old campaign rated equal best European 2yo filly. Her 3yo career got off to a bad start when a training set back led to her withdrawal from the 1000gns at Newmarket and she reappeared in the Athasi Stakes, finishing second. She didn’t have the rub of the green next time when slightly unlucky in the Irish 1000gns going down by1/2L to Pleascach. Another second followed when going down by a hard fought neck in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. Stepped up to 1m2f in the Royal Whip at the Curragh, she impressed when putting the year older Answered firmly in his place. Her second in the Irish Champion Stakes was full of merit, and being by Galileo, she may well improve further for Sunday’s step up in trip. She has always been very highly regarded at Ballydoyle, and sources close to the connections suggest that the cash is down.

Selection: New Bay

E.W. : Found