Friday, 3rd March 2017
We’ve got a couple of races to shoot at this weekend – one at Newbury and another up at Doncaster….
At Newbury, I’ll be targeting the G3 Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase (3.15) over 2 miles and 4 furlongs. We’ll get to my analysis of and selection for that race in a moment….
The other race I’ll be looking at this weekend is the C2 Grimthorpe Handicap Chase at Doncaster over 3 miles and 2 furlongs – but I’ll be covering that a little later today in ATC Extra….
Now, let’s get down to business….
The Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Newbury is wide-open if the market can be believed.
Nine of the 10 runners are priced-up at 12s or shorter. Only one – Shadows Lengthen – has been dismissed as a no-hoper.
The layers have put a mixture of progressive and potentially well-handicapped horses in at the shorter prices. But they clearly see the race as competitive and are unwilling to offer punters much in the way of incentive at the other end of the market.
I must confess that I gave some thought to swerving this race….
But that was until I looked at this morning’s weather forecast….
Quite a few of tomorrow’s runners will be hoping for good ground – or, at the very least, ground that is not too soft.
Paul Nicholls – who has won this race 8 times in the past – is on record saying neither of his two horses want it ‘too soft’.
Thomas Crapper isn’t at his best on ground with dig. Nor is Hollywoodien. Nor is Shadows Lengthen.
This morning the ground at Newbury is described as good to soft (soft in places) on the BHA website. They’ve had rain this morning. There is some heavy rain forecast tonight – depending on which weather forecasting site you look at. It is forecast dry tomorrow – but the ground could still be softer than ideal for some….
One who won’t mind a bit of dig is the Evan Williams-trained TORNADO IN MILAN and he’s the each-way selection at a general 12s – a price that is attractive enough within the context of this race….
He might be 11-years-old and older than every other horse in the race, but he’s not an old banger just yet. Nor has he been over-campaigned over fences.
He had a break after Christmas and on his comeback at Wincanton early last month Williams chose to return the horse to hurdles.
He wasn’t fancied – or at least he wasn’t backed – but he won well on heavy ground with a 10lb claimer on his back.
He’s up to 140 over hurdles now – 4lb in advance of the chase mark he’ll run off tomorrow – and he should be rested and full of confidence tomorrow afternoon….
I wouldn’t be going mad, but with dig in the ground the old-boy is a fair each-way price to land a share of the spoils….
The Contrarian Bet Box….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….
In the Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase (3.15 @ Newbury)....
That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.
That’s all from me for now.
I’ll be back a little later with ATC Extra….