The contrarian word on the weekend action....

Last Updated: 26.10.2018

Friday, 26th October 2018

The contrarian word on the weekend action….

Our focus on ATC switched to the jumps this weekend.

Tomorrow is Day 2 of Cheltenham’s season-starting Showcase meeting and the race I’m interested in is the C2 3m1f ‘Matchbook Betting Exchange’ Handicap Chase at 2.05....

A nice field of 17 goes to post on ground described this afternoon as good.

 Those are perfect underfoot conditions for the Paul Nicholls-trained BRAQEUR D’OR and he’s my pick of the prices at this afternoon’s 12s with BetVictor and the 10s with William Hill & Unibet....

  • First-time-up....

The last time the 7yo was seen was in the valuable 3m novice handicap chase run at Ayr on Scottish Grand National meeting in April....

He was well-fancied for that assignment. He’d been saved for the assignment on good spring ground And Nicholls was among those who gave the 7yo (6yo then) a good chance, despite the horse not racing in the 126-days leading up to the race.

It’s always difficult to know how forward horses are at this early stage of the season. There’s no form in the book and we must take a certain amount on trust.... 

But the preparation ahead of that Ayr assignment offers encouragement that Nicholls can get his charge right at the first time of asking tomorrow....

He disappointed in the Ayr race – soon beaten and 36-legnths adrift of the winner at the post. He clearly underperformed. He’s had a wind-op in the meantime, and that offers a clue....

Earlier in the season he’s produced a good 3rd in the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot ahead of another good show when finishing 4th in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury....

Both those performances were produced off a mark of 139. He gets to go tomorrow off 135 tomorrow and viewed against those highlights of last term, this is a horse that is certainly handicapped to put in a big one tomorrow....

Harry Cobden is the new number one rider at Ditcheat. He was on the horse for the Ladbrokes Trophy tomorrow and he will certainly be motivated to hit the ground running with a big win on the first televised Saturday of the new season.

The early-season good ground and the reduced mark – in combination with a double-figure price – are the elements that make this a bet for me. The yard’s form is a plus too....

As I say, at this early stage of the season, some things must be taken on trust. I am trusting that the horse is fully primed to fire. If he does, he will go close....

The Contrarian Bet Box….

To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….

In the Matchbook Betting Exchange’ Handicap Chase (2.00 @ Cheltenham).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – BRAQEUR D’OR (12s @ BetVictor @ 10s @ William Hill and Unibet)

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.

 

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for now.

I’ll be back in your inbox a little later with ATC Extra....

Win, lose or draw – enjoy the racing tomorrow....

Until next time. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd