Good day’s racing on Saturday. Today, I will be looking back at the action from Wincanton’s Saturday card, highlighting a couple of notable performances.
On Friday it’s Cheltenham’s three-day November Meeting and I shall have a quick look forward to that exciting meeting. And as ever I have a Monday selection for you. You can find all this and more inside.
Have a great week and enjoy the read.
Fergie wins another trophy
Sir Alex Ferguson was in attendance at Wincanton to watch his runner Give Me A Copper race in the Badger Beers Trophy. I suppose it was a tip in itself that the former Manchester United Manager was there to watch the race in person.
Before the race there was plenty of money for Give Me A Copper whose sole win over fences had come in a two-runner novice chase back in November 2017. The 9-year-old clearly hasn’t been the easiest to keep sound given this was only his fourth run since that win.
Harry Cobden always had the horse in a good position from the start. Coming to two out he went to the front and soon went two lengths clear. A good jump at the last probably sealed the win for Fergie’s horse but he did have to hold off the fast finishing Soupy Soups who had been well behind coming to four out.
As trainer Paul Nicholls said after the race, Give Me A Copper needs a good break between his races. He could well be a Grand National contender.
But Present Man fails to fire in hat trick bid
The Harry Fry trained Just A Sting had been one of the best backed horses in the morning. Another horse who goes well fresh. Racing in the first time cheekpieces he was going well coming to four out, but he made a mistake there and that ended any chance he had. He's worth noting on his next start.
Present Man who was bidding for the hat trick in the race went to the front but once headed at the 6th he never seemed happy and was eventually pulled up. Trainer Paul Nicholls felt the horse was unsuited by the softish ground but given he had won the race two years ago on soft ground I’m not convinced with the argument.
White Moon who had fell here previously, had looked on a good handicap mark before the race. Jockey Robbie Power took him out wide to allow him a good look at his fences. However, he didn’t jump with much confidence and never really got competitive before pulling up.
Rock The Kasbah jumped and ran well for a long way. He was still bang there coming to two out but once headed he soon faded out of contention. He’s won well fresh before but maybe the run was just needed.
Raffles steals Elite
Fusil Raffles so impressive when winning his two starts for Nicky Henderson last season, including the Group 1 Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival.
The 4-year-old was having his first start of the new season and not surprisingly was a little fresh. Tracking the leader Grand Sancy, he had to be ridden coming to the second last to head the long-time leader and had had to be driven out all the way to line to hold off a rallying runner-up. The front pair pulled clear of the rest but in all truth this wasn’t a strong renewal of the race.
After the race trainer Nicky Henderson felt the race had come two weeks early for the winner so he can be expected to better for the next run. We didn’t learn much about Fusil Raffles Champion Hurdle credentials but at least we know he can battle to win a race.
Robbie’s the powerman
My round up of the Wincanton action isn’t complete without a mention for jockey Robbie Power. The Irishman has built up a good partnership with Colin Tizzard and we saw the pair combine to win with Reserve Tank in the Rising Stars Novices’ Chase.
Twice a Grade 1 winning hurdler last season, the five-year-old was expected to make up into a high-class novice chaser this season. A beaten odd’s on favourite at Chepstow on his chase debut. This was a much better performance.
He was given a fine ride by Robbie Power who kept his mount on the outside, giving the horse plenty of sight of the fences. Power may not be the most stylish jockey in a finish but there are few better ‘horsemen’ and he seems to install confidence into a chaser, particularly a novice.
Cheltenham November meeting
Friday sees the start of the of Cheltenham’s three-day November meeting. The highlight being Saturday’s BetVictor Gold Cup. With more rain forecast for this week it should be run on perfect winter jumps ground which should ensure we see them good horses in action and decent sized fields.
Alan’s the king
One of top performing trainers at the meeting in the past five years is Alan King with 6 winners from 25 runners 24% +36.13 A/E 1.91 8 placed 32%. Interestingly those stats break down as follows:
NHF Race – 2 winners from 5 runners 40% +27;
Chases – 3 winners from 6 runners 50% +12.13;
Hurdles – 1 winner from 14 runners 7% -3 3 placed 21%.
He doesn’t have many runners at the meeting but those he does run often go well, in particular note his bumper horses and chasers.
BetVictor Gold Cup
Slate House heads the ante post market for the race after an impressive C&D win here at the last meeting. That was his first run since a wind-op and the procedure certainly seems to have worked the trick as he saw his race out very well. Despite his claims at the prices I prefer the claims of two other possible runners..
Siruh Du Lac – Nick Williams
Kept progressing with each race over fences last season winning all four of his starts, making 2 from 3 at Cheltenham when winning the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
The form of that win has been boosted by runner-up Janika who returned to action last week with a win in the valuable Haldon Gold Cup. Granted the 6-year-old is 9lb higher now but he jumps well round Cheltenham, looks capable of progressing further this season and at around 8/1 he looks value to me.
Us and Them – Joseph O’Brien
Runner-up in the Arkle Novices Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He made a decent seasonal reappearance when 3rd of 8 behind Snow Falcon in a Grade 2 at Gowran Park last month.
He will strip fitter for that run and the trainer thinks he can win a Grade 1 chase this season which is high praise indeed.
The race has been a long term target for the 6-year-old. Interestingly, the trainer told the Racing Post in his recent stable tour that “I’d be disappointed if he can't be as good over 2m4f as he is over 2m. He could possibly be even better”. He can be backed at 12/1.
If you want my selections for Cheltenham’s November Meeting you can find them here.
Last week’s tip Master of Reality almost landed the Melbourne Cup at 25/1 but had to settle for second at the line although he was demoted to 4th in the Stewards room. Still if you went each way you got a nice return.
2:05 – Ecu De La Noverie, trained by inform Philip Hobbs, made a promising return to action after a 270-day absence when 2nd of 9 at Wetherby 26-days ago. Today’s longer trip will be in the 5-year-old’s favour and he looks capable of going close again.
Jockey David Maxwell isn’t everyone’s cup of tea in the saddle but he’s getting better with racing experience and you seem to get a couple of extra points on his mount’s true odds.
Ecu De La Noverie
Until next week
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk