Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 09:05 01/01/2015
2015 gets off to a cracking start
with a card both competitive and full of quality at the home of National Hunt racing at Prestbury Park this afternoon and at the 12-1 available with bet365
the Nicky Henderson-trained Ericht is fancied to get the new year off to a perfect start by taking the Betbright Best For Festival Betting Handicap Chase at 1.55.
The son of Alderbrook was put forward as a value ante-post bet at 25-1 for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at the International meeting on the course last month and there was plenty of confidence behind the mount of Barry Geraghty who was sent off a well-backed 8-1 fourth favourite for the 2m 5f contest.
Held up in mid-division the nine-year-old made a mistake at the third fence, after which the gelding was never travelling with any confidence and was eventually pulled up before jumping the eleventh obstacle and providing the experience has not left it's mark Ericht deserves another chance to win a decent prize, especially off a 2lb lower mark than when last in action at Cheltenham.
The good to soft ground expected for the course's first meeting of the year should prove ideal for the horse who will be racing off his lowest mark since running out an impressive nine length winner from Bar De Ligne at Musselburgh last February, a reproduction of which should put him bang in the mix for the race worth over £28k to the winner.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Splash Of Ginge looked an unlucky loser in that Cheltenham race as the winner of last season's Betfair Hurdle was beginning to make inroads on first past the post Niceonefrankie when coming to grief four out. That was just the fourth start over fences for the son of Oscar who may lack the necessary experience at this stage but would prove a big danger if putting in a clear round.
In an open contest Caid Du Berlais, Persian Snow and Baileys Concerto are all capable of going close but granted a fair round of jumping Ericht looks good value to gain compensation for last month's disappointing performance over the course and distance.