Good morning all,
Saturday see’s the curtain drop on the jumps season. Mind you it’s not long before the new one starts. Whilst I’m now mostly focused on the upcoming month of flat action. There’s still the small matter of next week’s Punchestown Festival and before that Sandown’s Bet365 Gold Cup Day on Saturday.
Inside today’s main piece I preview Saturday's big betting race. Plus, I have selection from Perth.
3:40 – bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) – 3m 5f
It been confirmed that top weight Clan Des Obeaux won’t be taking in the race and will instead be going over to Punchestown. That decision means the strongly fancied Kitty's Light gets in off her proper handicap mark.
Was pulled up in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton at Christmas but bounced back to win on his handicap debut at Newbury 62-days ago. He’s won here over hurdles and is 4-5 on good ground. Only 5lb higher than at Newbury. He remains on a competitive mark although he’s only run once in a double figure field and that was in a bumper. If he handles the ‘hurly burly’ of a big handicap and his stamina holds, he must have a big chance.
Plan Of Attack (4/1)
Has been subject to strong support in the past few days. The 8-year-old seemed to be travelling well when falling four out in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham. There’s likely a big handicap in him when everything clicks. However, given this season’s form figures are PP8F he hardly rates much value at his present odds.
Kitty’s Light (5/1)
The 5-year-old first caught my eye when a strong finishing third in the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton last November. She then ran in a couple of “jumpers’ bumpers” and a hurdle race, before returning to fences and a win at Kelso last month. The handicapper has raised her just 4lb for that success which came over 3m 2f. She should stay further and this race looks to have been the plan for the mare who is well suited to a sound surface.
El Presente (7/1) & Potterman (10/1)
The pair finished first & second in the Badger Ales Trophy. They both go well on good ground. The former returned from five months off with an underwhelming run at Ludlow 30-days ago but probably needed the run. Better expected here and the 8-year-old who can improve for the step up to 3m 5f.
Potterman is having his first start since unseating his rider at the 13th in the Ladbroke Trophy. There shouldn’t be much between the three at Saturday’s weights.
Irish Prophecy (16/1)
Trained by Emma Lavelle had a winter break after winning at Taunton in November. Had a nice spin over hurdles last month which should put him spot on fitness wise. Although, he’s not sure to stay a strongly run 3m 5f.
The Young Master (25/1)
Won this race in 2016 and finished runner-up in 2019. He goes well on good ground but hasn’t been seen since pulling up at Perth in August. Nicely treated on his best form but he's now a 12-year-old.
Is a big priced outsider but he’s 2-2 at Sandown and has winning form on good ground. The 8-year-old has yet to race beyond 3m but shapes like he will stay. Pulled up, at Chepstow, on his first start for 492-days earlier this month so hard to gauge his well being.
Tom Scudamore is an eyecatching jockey booking for Golan Fortune (14/1) a late starter over fences. He won on his chase debut at Ludlow and ran well in Grade 1 & Grade 2 novice chases on his next two starts over the larger obstacles. Wasn’t the best away and could never get into the race in the Midlands Grand National last time. If you forgive that run, he looks nicely weighted here.
If you want my Sandown & Punchestown selections. You can get them here.
3:30 – Republican bounced back to form and put in a career best effort over hurdles when a one & half length 3rd of 15 at Haydock 19-days ago. Step up to 3m 2f can bring out a bit more improvement in the 6-year-old who looks on a handy mark. Not a great price but he will do for me.
Republican – 7/2
Good luck with your Thursday bets.