bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase 3m5f Sandown Saturday

oddsguru bet365 gold cupSaturday brings the curtain down on another excellent National Hunt season, and having already banked well over £3,000,000 in prize money, The Master Of Ditcheat, Paul Nicholls, has yet another Trainer’s Title safely in the bag. However, as a man who has won Saturday’s valuable prize four times, he is not averse to adding another substantial Pot to his seasonal winnings, and of his 4 contenders at the time of writing, the 9yo, Give Me A Copper, looks the most interesting.

A winner of his only PTP, he made his debut under rules a winning one, easily landing a Cork Bumper in March 2016. Having moved to the Nicholls yard, he followed up with a facile victory in an Exeter Maiden (December 2016). Sent off a hot 5/4 favourite for a Doncaster Grade2 the following month, there was clearly something amiss, as he finished tailed off with the “also rans”but redeemed himself with a comfortable Ayr victory, 83 days later. He made an inauspicious start to his chasing career, unseating pilot, Sean Bowen in a Kelso Novice’s at odds of 30/100, but made no mistake when landing similar odds in a better race at Kempton 16 days later, easily beating the 135 rated, Three Ways. Having suffered a setback, he was off the course for 446 days, and despite the long layoff, ran an excellent race over Saturday’s course on his reappearance to finish 4th of the 20 runners (Sandown 3m Soft 2Feb 19). He was a beaten horse when falling at the last on soft ground in The Ultima Handicap at The Cheltenham Festival last time, but his shrewd connections have persevered with this stoutly bred individual, and back on good ground, up in trip, and going right handed, it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if their patience was rewarded.

The Nicky Henderson trained 9yo, Beware The Bear, is improving at a rate of knots, and having made a decidedly tardy start to The Ultima Handicap at The Festival last time, finished with a wet sail on a mark of 151, to win by 1 1/4L and 2L from Vintage Clouds and the 155 rated Lake View Lad. nicky henderson bet365 oddsguruA 9lbs rise on Saturday looks quite harsh, but the son of Shantou has probably earned it, and, out of the talented, Be My Native mare, Native Bid, (won all 3 of her starts) he is from a good staying NH family, and should be well suited by Saturday’s trip. He could be the first, since Tidal Bay 7 years ago, to carry top weight to victory.

The Neil Mulholland trained 11yo, The Young Master, won this 3 years ago off a mark of 148, and following a couple of seasons in the Doldrums, has come back to form with a bang, and gets into this year’s renewal on a 6 lbs lower mark. He won 2 of his first 3 starts on Good ground this term, and having got stuck in the Newbury mud in The Ladbroke in December, ran another fine race last time out, to finish 3rd in The Kim Muir at The Festival. Obviously well suited by Sandown, if he gets his preferred good ground is definitely one to be interested in, especially as he will have the benefit of the excellent 3lbs claiming amateur, Sam Whaley-Cohen in the plate.

The Mark Bradstock trained 9yo Step Back won last year’s race on soft ground under an inspired ride from Jamie Moore. He took it up at the 5th fence and always in the first two throughout, drew right away after the 3rd last to win by 13L from Rock The Casbah. He seems to have been aimed at this all season, and even off a 10 lbs higher mark looks a danger to all.

Philip Hobbs has taken the prize back to Somerset on 2 previous occasions, and if
Rock The Kasbah gets his preferred good ground he could take his score to 3. He ran well to finish 2nd on soft ground last year, and on 2 lbs better terms on decent ground, must have serious prospects of reversing the form with the Bradstock horse. He had also run well in the 2017 renewal, finishing 2 1/2L behind the winner in 5th place, running on strongly on the good ground, and if Richard Johnson can keep him closer to the pace this time, could be interesting.

Nicky Henderson’s 10yo, Vyta Du Roc,  also finished with a flourish in that 2017 renewal, just failing to overhaul the winner, Hennlan Harri and is actually 4lbs better off with Rock The Kasbah who finished 2L behind him. However he has failed to fire in his last 3 races, but that said, they certainly know the time of day at Seven Barrows, and it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise to see this current 25/1 shot, involved, particularly if the ground softens.

The Alan King trained Novice, Talkischeap, is very stoutly bred and could be well suited by Saturday’s trip. He was only having his 5th race over fences last time, contesting a handicap for the first time, he finished a respectable 5th in a valuable Sandown Grade3 off a mark of 145. He had earlier got to within 7L of the talented mare, La Bag Au Roi, giving her 7lbs over an inadequate 2 1/2miles, and had the 149 rated Lostintranslation, 6L back in third place. He looks fairly treated on 145, and despite his inexperience is a sound  jumper and has to be considered.

Selection : Beware The Bear
EW.           : Rock The Kasbah

John Gray

Racing Betting Tips Bet 365 Gold Cup 3m5 1/2f Sandown Saturday

Warren Greatrex

Warren Greatrex’s prolific scoring hunter chaser, Paint The Clouds will think he’s loose with just 10st on his back, having been used to humping around 12st and more in the amateur division.

The race was first run as the Whitbread Gold Cup in 1957 at the instigation of the Brewers chairman, Colonel Bill Whitbread, who as an amateur had ridden in two Grand Nationals. The first commercial sponsorship in British sport, the race continued under the Whitbread banner until 2002. The race’s roll of honour boasts six Cheltenham Gold Cup winners, Pas Seul (1961), Arkle (1965), What a Myth (1966), Mill House (1967), The Dikler (1974), and Desert Orchid (1988). Alas the Wonderful grey was the last Cheltenham hero to collect at Sandown, but perhaps the 2013 Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth may have something to say about that on Saturday. It is highly unlikely that the legendary Fulke Walwyns record of seven victories in the contest will ever be equalled, but Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson, and Philip Hobbs, with two wins each, have certainly got a record to be proud of.

Henderson, who won last years renewal with the 7yo, Hadrians Approach, is represented on Saturday by his 2013 Gold Cup Winner, Bobs Worth, and has been given a real chance by the handicapper. Rated as high as 180 in the past, He races off a mark of 159 at the weekend. He has been very disappointing since his win in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown in December 2013, but it is worth noting that the last time He ran on good ground, (2014 Gold Cup) He did run a decent race, beaten only 4L. It is interesting that his highly talented trainer is persevering with him, so perhaps Saturday’s less demanding test may bring about a revival.

Market leader, (9/1) at the time of writing, is the Emma Lavelle trained 7yo Milan gelding, Le Reve, and he does seem to have a lot going for him. Particularly well suited by going right handed, (5 wins 4 places from 12 runs) He has an enviable record at Sandown, where He has won twice, and been placed twice from six course appearances. He ran a fine race at Ascot in December, finishing 4L behind the very progressive The Young Master, and then beat that good yardstick Theatrical Star easily over the course six weeks later, off a mark of 139. Second to the talented Rocky Creek, (with whom he is 8lbs better off on Saturday) he was put away with the weekend contest in mind. He has never won on good ground, (only 2 runs) but his sires offspring like it, so it shouldn’t be an issue. A slight reservation would be the stables lack of form but with jockey of the moment Leighton Aspell in the plate He is definitely one for the short list.

With his exceptional record in the race, Philip Hobbs’s Duke of Lucca is worth a second look. This is certainly his time of year, with his last four wins having come in either March or April, and he will be well suited by Saturday’s forecast good ground. He stayed on with great reseloution two weeks ago over the Mildmay course at the aintree festival to deny Your Busy, and the Nicholls trained Wonderful Charm, by a nk and a nk. He meets Wonderful Charm on the same terms on Saturday, so if fully recovered from his Liverpool exertions, with only a featherweight of 10st. To carry (He is 1lb overweight) is worth considering.

Warren Greatrex’s prolific scoring hunter chaser, Paint The Clouds will think he’s loose with just 10st on his back, having been used to humping around 12st and more in the amateur division. He ran well in the Fox Hunters at the Cheltenham festival finishing third to the runaway winner On The Fringe. He couldn’t match Nora Carberry’s mount for speed from the last, but as the winner repeated the dose at Liverpool, it was certainly no disgrace. He is another animal who reserves his best for the Spring and Early Summer, (9 wins from March to June) likes good ground, and stays forever, so with his nice racing weight is another for the short list.

Henry de Bromhead’s 7yo Grand Jesture belied his odds of 25/1 when running the hugely progressive The Druids Nephew to 3 3/4L at the Cheltenham festival, off a mark of 143, on only his 7th start over fences. He ran like an improving stayer at Prestbury park, so off a mark only 4lbs higher and ridden by the very promising 3lb claimer JJ Burke He is well worth considering.

Selection: Le Reve.

E.W. : Paint The Clouds.