Weekend Racing Blog - Goshen Makes Debut at Cheltenham International Meeting

Weekend Racing Blog - Goshen Makes Debut at Cheltenham International Meeting

The Return of Goshen

A cracking weekend’s racing in prospect as the Cheltenham International meeting takes centre stage on Friday and Saturday where the exciting prospect Goshen looks to make up for his final flight blunder in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this year.

There are 15 thrilling races in total to get stuck into including  The Unibet Handicap Steeple Chase, The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase and the Huntingdon moved race, The Fitzdares Club Loves The Peterborough Chase on Friday.

Then, on Saturday afternoon the feature races are The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup and The Unibet International Hurdle at 3pm where all eyes will be on Goshen.

Al Dancer Looks Made For Cheltenham Feature

Al Dancer ran a fine trial for Saturday’s Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham (1.50pm) in a similar race at the track four weeks ago.

The seven-year-old was a beaten favourite when third in a handicap chase over two miles and four furlongs. This weekend’s contest is about the same distance and Al Dancer can improve his finishing position by two places and that outcome is 6/1 with bet365*.

The Nigel-Twiston Davies gelding has run consistently in eight starts. Those efforts each earned an Official Rating of between 151 and 154 and the third highest handicap mark in this race.

Master Tommytucker (157) and Cepage (155) carry more weight but Al Dancer runs off a winnable mark. Relative hurdles form gives Al Dancer the chance to win for the second time in three races.

Goshen Begins Champion Hurdle Campaign At Cheltenham

Goshen embarks on a season that could end with a Champion Hurdle win at Cheltenham on Saturday. The Grade 2 Unibet International Hurdle at 3pm is a two miles and 179 yards contest for horses aged four and older.

Goshen was last seen in a jumps race unseating jockey Jamie Moore at the last obstacle with the Triumph Hurdle in the bag and relieved bookies keeping plenty of Goshen money in their satchels.

The exciting gelding can be backed at 11/4 with bet365* to win the International Hurdle at 3pm on Saturday after an absence over jumps of 274 days.

He had a couple of disappointing runs over shorter distances on the Flat in September and October but this is a potential champion hurdler in the making and could be a different animal with conditions to suit.

Goshen’s jockey Jamie Moore, son of the trainer Gary, was devastated to have the juvenile hurdlers’ championship in his grasp only to lose a top race by a final flight unseating. However, on reflection he could have thought Goshen was running a huge race and about to record a wide-margin win at Grade 1 level.

International Hurdle Odds from bet365*

  • Goshen – 11/4
  • Song For Someone – 5/1
  • Sceau Royal – 6/1
  • Silver Streak – 7/1
  • Ch’tibello – 7/1
  • Full market on site.

Goshen could become a leading contender for the Champion Hurdle by winning impressively at Cheltenham on Saturday and his current best odds of 10/1 with bet365* are sure to disappear with a good run.

It will have to be a very special performance to overhaul Epatante as the 7/4 favourite in the big one in March though but that’s realistic based on Goshen’s Triumph Hurdle run.

Twiston-Davies Can Also Win Grade 2 Novices’ Hurdle

Ashtown Lad has the highest Official Rating (135) and is the 11/4 favourite with bet365* to win the other Grade 2 race on the Saturday’s Cheltenham race card at 2.25pm.

The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at over almost three miles is a prep race for the Cheltenham Festival race with the same title.

Redford Road was the 14/1 winner in 2019 but only finished 14th in the Albert Bartlett race that mattered most. In fact, there has been no win in five starts for Redford Road over the last 12 months although three of those runs were in steeplechases.

A Lot to Like

Nigel Twiston-Davies trained the 14/1 winner last year and this year he has entered Took The Lot who can be backed at 9/1 with bet365*. His horse in Saturday’s race is not far behind Ashtown Lad on the official figures and offers some betting value.

Took The Lot has had three races over hurdles and Redford Road had run once less over the smaller obstacles 12 months ago. The Twiston-Davies horses have very similar profiles so we may well see Took The Lot emulating his stable mate at Cheltenham on Saturday.

And Finally…

The trials season for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival begins in earnest at the Gloucestershire racecourse on Saturday.

Some trainers believe that the four days in March are now too dominant. However, I think ‘The Festival’ is a worthy climax to the jumps season and that does not devalue other major races before and after the meeting.

The Cheltenham build up and anticipation adds to the special attraction of the occasion and the Flat season would benefit from a similar festival finale because in my opinion Champions Day in October does not cut the mustard.

Good luck with your weekend’s punting. May the Cheltenham betting gods be smiling on you.

Ask Scu!

* Cheltenham odds quoted were correct at the time of article publication. All odds are subject to change