We’ve teamed up with BetVictor’s Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
The entries were announced on Wednesday for this month’s BetVictor Gold Cup the highlight of the three-day November meeting at Cheltenham. The market is headed by Nicky Henderson’s Rather Be who is the 8/1 favourite. Dan Skelton’s Rene’s Girl – who finished runner up in an Aintree Grade 1 on her last start - has been nibbled at in the market with BetVictor and is 10/1 (from 12s).
Colin Tizzard has given his former World Hurdler and King George winner Thistlecrack an entry and he would be a fascinating contender – he is due to make his seasonal reappearance in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby at the weekend having been out since Boxing Day.
We begin today’s preview at Lingfield and the form of Serjeant Painter’s (1.00) third at Kempton over 1m 3f at Kempton last time was franked when the winner Caspar The Cub followed up in a handicap last time. The selection hasn’t got the best of draws in stall nine but was quick out of the stalls last time and I hope Hayley Turner is positive on the each way recommendation.
The listed Fleur De Lys Stakes is one of two feature events on the card and Move Swiftly (2.35) has a similar poor draw to overcome for William Haggas, but she gets the vote with James Doyle in the saddle. The selection is two from three on an all-weather surface – wins on tapeta at Wolverhampton and today’s polytrack surface at Chelmsford. I think she is the most progressive filly in the contest but that draw in stall nine is a concern.
The same connections as Move Swiftly have Listen To The Wind in the 7f Novice event and she must go close given how well she ran on at Kempton debut when giving every impression the step up to 7f would suit.
The narrow vote, however, goes to Mary Somerville (3.35) who looked a sure-fire future winner when finishing runner up at Kempton on debut before pulling too hard on fast ground at Newmarket last time. She is obviously much better than that – went off a shade of odds on – and she gets another chance to confirm the promise of her debut.
At Wolverhampton this evening, I am convinced there is more to come from Sir Michael Stoute’s Mubakker (7.15) who went into my notebook when finishing fourth at Yarmouth (20/1) on debut.
The American bred selection cost $500,000 as a yearling and hit the line very well when finishing fourth having not been knocked about on debut. Jason Watson takes over in the saddle this evening and I would be disappointed if he didn’t run a big race this evening although it is a very competitive heat.
At Stratford, a 7lbs rise looks fair for One Forty Seven (3.50) who looked well ahead of the handicapper when scoring over C&D last month. This is a better race, but the selection looked one to follow over the larger obstacles with Sam Twiston-Davies again taking the mount for his dad Nigel.
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