Whistlejacket’s Big Race Pointers
If you read my Saturday tipping piece, you will know I am a big fan of Al Dancer and he exceeded my expectations on Saturday. He has already won around Cheltenham, will again be guaranteed a strong pace to run at in the Supreme and is still value at 4/1.
Some may suggest he races too keenly to win a race like the Supreme, but despite running a bit free twice, he hasn’t looked like stopping at the business end and is a quick and economical jumper. He is my bet of the first day at the Festival, indeed probably of the meeting.
I don’t think Getaway Trump will go for the Supreme now, but is undoubtedly a good horse who will be of interest in the Coral Cup if he goes there.
Cyrname won easily for the second time in a row at Ascot. He is a cracking front runner but sadly won’t make Cheltenham because of his preference for right handed tracks. But he is likely to be of interest at Punchestown at the Festival there.
Of the others none staked a leading claim for any of the festival races, although Fox Norton will surely improve again and will no doubt scoop a decent prize at some point for his excellent trainer.
I think that I, along with a number of other observers, may have undervalued Clan des Obeaux’s performance in the King George. Saturday’s run was very impressive, especially as they didn’t go much of a pace.
You can say he didn’t beat much but he did rather more than enough and this race can be a good guide to the Gold Cup. (See Native River last year). With no stellar horse this year, and several potential rivals yet to show anything like top form, he is a good each way bet at 7/1.
Thought for Today
Maybe Paul Nicholls has stolen a march on Nicky Henderson this year courtesy of the flu scare. Nicholls always vaccinates many of his horses in early January so will have a clear run to the Festival.
Nicky Henderson reported that a number of his string need vaccinations and recuperation time before they run again and some may miss prep races for Cheltenham as a result. This may be worth taking into account when betting at the Festival.