Like everybody else, I’ve been incredibly impressed with Yanworth on trials day but the one slight niggle I have is the ground differential between then and now. While I’m fully prepared to see him win and win well, I’ll be having a small each-way bet on Bello Conti who has very limited experience but he impressed me on his sole start this season. This is something of a step in to the unknown but the vibes from the yard seem quite encouraging and I’m prepared to take a chance at big odds.
Bello Conti - 0.5pt e/w @ 25/1
This is a terrific RSA and it should involve the two principles. Annie Power’s win today reminded me just how good More Of That is, and, accordingly makes me fearful that I may have nailed my colours to the No More Heroes mast too soon. Having said that, I would kick myself if I deserted him now, he’s be so impressive in his chases, and his potential to improve in this sphere MAY exceed that of his market rival.
No More Heroes - 1pt @ 5/2
I’m going to have more than one stab at the Coral Cup. Rock The Kasbah will be bidding to give his sire, Shirocco his third winner of the meeting after the successes of Annie Power and Minella Rocco. I think the race that he won at Ascot was just about the most competitive handicap hurdles run this season and the Hobbs’ team could hardly have spoken about him more warmly in the aftermath. Better ground should suit him fine and for all that he doesn’t have any secrets from the handicapper, I don’t think he’s reached the summit of his progression.
I’m also going to take a stab at a horse who is something of a nut case but a very talented one. You will probably know where you stand with Days Of Heaven early on, but so long as he doesn’t blow his brains at the start or in the prelims, he is a well handicapped horse and he definitely wants good ground.
Rock The Kasbah - 1pt @ 12/1
Days Of Heaven - 0.5pt e/w @ 40/1
I’m going to keep this simple and stick with Un De Sceaux. I’m hardly reinventing the wheel here, but I was a good bit more taken with his Ascot win than some and his strength at the end of his races is becoming quite compelling. My suspicion is that he’s a good few pounds ahead of this field on their current level of ability. I’m in no doubt that Sprinter Sacre is his biggest danger and the more the ground dries the better his chance. Let’s hope they serve up a thriller.
Un De Sceaux - 1pt @ 4/5
I have a sneaky feeling for Cantlow in the Cross Country Chase. He appears to be the third string from Enda Bolger stable but he ran a fine race at Ascot earlier in the season and, allied to a perfectly promising effort at the first time of asking in this discipline, the 20-1 available makes quite considerable appeal. Whilst that’s where my money will be going, I won’t be able to resist a pretty throaty roar if Balthazar King gets anywhere near to winning – what a hero he has been for connections down the years.
Cantlow - 1pt @ 20/1
I’m approaching this race with utmost caution. There are some people who love the Fred Winter because a good whisper from a decent stable can give them an edge that is unavailable to most punters, but believe every whisper about an unexposed ex-French horse you hear, and you’ll go skint. So whilst I respect Paul Nicholls’ confidence in Diego Du Charmil, it goes against all my instincts to support a horse whose form I can’t get any handle on. With that in mind, I’m going to take a stab at Ardamir who looked a completely different ball game at Doncaster last time on the back of a breathing operation. Keep stakes to a minimum.
Ardamir - 1pt @ 16/1
First off, I think Ballyandy should be a shorter price. There seems to be a reluctance to believe that he is the best horse in the race even though he’s won a Listed bumper under a penalty. He’s also got course form and a pretty good attitude to boot. His full-brother Megastar ran well in this race and was also much better on decent ground, As such, I think at the prices he should be included in your calculations. He’s got the best form in the race and 8/1 is a big price.
I don’t get the feeling that the Mullins camp are unclear about which is the best of their bumper horses, but my preference is for Avenir Dune Vie of that brigade.
However, my other bet in the race is High Bridge who might have too much speed for these rivals given his outstanding Flat pedigree.
Ballyandy - 1pt @ 8/1
High Bridge - 1pt @ 12/1