Author: Will Smith
Published: 14:56 13/11/2014
A month or so ago, it looked as if JP McManus had three very potent bullets to fire at this year’s Paddy Power Gold Cup. One by one they have fallen by the wayside – Pendra has been slow to come to hand, while the next two on his shortlist, Colour Squadron and Uxizandre, have bypassed the race in favour of other assignments this weekend.
Instead he is represented by Eastlake, Shanpallas and Cantlow, with preference for the first named on account of his potential to be better over further than he usually races.
However, JP McManus et al may all have to play second fiddle to the Evan Williams-trained Buywise. Continually written off by his trainer, who bizarrely regularly issues downbeat reports about his stable stars, Buywise could be one of the best handicapped chasers this season.
It may be that he ends up being better over further, but given there is rain forecast for Thursday night and Friday morning, the ground will have a nice bit of cut in it, which will help his jumping and slow the others down, of which there a fair number of good ground lovers.
At 8/1 with Ladbrokes, he rates as the bet of the race, despite what his trainer says.
Having studied this race for a fair while now, I have poured over the videos of each horse, and it is hard not to be of the opinion that there is much more to come from Buywise. His two races at the course last year, over a similar distance, resulted in a fair fifth at the festival and a convincing win in April.
On both occasions it took him a while to get going but was flying at the finish on both occasions, and the ground would have been as lively as he would want it.
Should there be a deluge and the ground goes very soft, then at 25/1 generally, the Venetia Williams-trained Kapga De Cerisy could run well fresh, just as he did last year when hacking up at Sandown. It is interesting his trainer has entered him in the King George VI Chase – her only entry in the race – so clearly Kapga De Cerisy is thought better than his rating of 148.
Paddy Power Gold Cup:
Buywise – 8/1 (Ladbrokes)
Kapga De Cerisy (if ground soft or worse on Saturday) – 25/1 (generally)