October and the first throes of Autumn are upon us, and that means one thing. The National Hunt season is just about to kick into gear.
Across the Irish Sea at Gowran Park on Saturday, there is an appetiser of the very highest order – the PWC Champion Chase.
Won for the last two years by the evergreen, ever-classy Sizing Europe, Henry De Bromhead’s stable star is back to attempt the hat-trick. Not many people would begrudge him such a victory, and at his very best he will win this.
However, he is about to turn 12 and at some point his star will wane. At around the even money mark in an eight runner field, there is some great each-way value to be had elsewhere, particularly as three of the runners have a mountain to climb on the figures.
In the Arkle earlier this year, Baily Green chased home Simonsig, who has perhaps the biggest reputation in training, bar his stablemate Sprinter Sacre. That run marked him down as a horse to follow in my book, and with step up to 2m 4f sure to suit, he is a great each-way price at 8/1 with Paddy Power to topple the mighty Sizing Europe.
Currently yielding to soft and with a dry day forecast, the drying ground will only help Baily Green and seriously inconvenience Rubi Light, Roi Du Mee and Quito De La Roque.
Mouse Morris won this in 2010 with China Rock, and he has a great chance of book-ending Sizing Europe’s two successes with another win in this year’s renewal.
Baily Green was brilliant throughout last year, and produced his best when fresh off a break at the Cheltenham festival. He is the youngest horse in the line-up and granted there could be any amount of progression in him with another summer on his back, he is a must bet at 8/1.
PWC Chase (Gowran Park 4.40) – Baily Green (each-way) 8/1 (Paddy Power)