Betting Tips

Ed Quigley: Antepost Armchair - Monday 11th April


The 2022 Grand National provided a fairytale ending to the riding career of amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen, who landed the most famous steeplechase in the world on board 50/1 shot Noble Yeats. What a way to bow out of the game, with a stunning CV that includes a Cheltenham Gold Cup and two King Georges. Trainer Emmet Mullins is really making a name for himself, and in the process saw off Grand National favourite Any Second Now, who was 12 twelve months ago. Followers of this column will be happy, as Santini and Fiddlerontheroof made the frame for each-way backers

There were plenty of other highlights from three days of top class action, as Jonbon got back to winning ways in battling, seeing off El Fabiolo to land Grade 1 honours, and connections have confirmed he will be going chasing next season. Many people feel he will be a logical pick to go down the Arkle route next season, but I just wonder, maybe 2m4f might suit him a little better. Time will tell.

Gentleman De Mee, caused a minor upset to beat Arkle hero Edwardstone; with Alan King and Tom Cannon making no excuse in defeat. The winner is a 14/1 poke for next year’s Champion Chase, and there may be some mileage in that price. A bigger shock came in the form of Sire Du Berlais (16/1) rolling back the years to see off dual Stayers’ Hurdle winner Flooring Porter. It was a race which left many people – myself included, scratching their heads. The 10-year-old was bitterly disappointing in the Pertemps Final, but really was on his A-game here, as he got the better of Danny Mullins’ mount.

Clan Des Obeaux and Epatante both returned to former glories, landing Grade 1 honours once more, with the latter making her first start at 2m4f. The consummate ease in which she won now opens up different avenues for next season, and I wonder, will they roll the dice with her over three miles at some point I wonder?

One of the hardest races to evaluate from a form perspective was the Mildmay Novices’ Chase won by Ahoy Senor. Is he the real deal? Or do we take the form with a pinch of salt? The truth is probably somewhere in between, as Fury Road travelled well before emptying (subsequently showed signs of post-race ataxia), L’Homme Presse (who saw off Ahoy Senor at Cheltenham easily) ran flat as a pancake, and Bravemansgame, who was sent off the 11/8f, ran a bafflingly poor race to trail home last of the four runners. However you slice it Ahoy Senor is now a best-priced 10/1 for the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup – a race which no doubt, if he stays fit, he will end up in.

The horse I would like to take out of the meeting as an ‘eye-catcher’ would be the Paul Nicholls trained Hitman, who ran a belter in defeat behind Fakir D’oudairies in the Melling Chase. He jumped and travelled superbly, only to bump into a more streetwise character in the closing stages. Still only six, he has the scope for any amount of improvement, and it was noted in the aftermath by Paul Nicholls that Hitman “will be going up to three miles next season”. Priced up at 33/1 for next season’s King George, I think that is fair, and he goes into my antepost portfolio.

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To more immediate affairs, and Cheltenham’s 2-day April meeting takes place this Wednesday and Thursday, where on the opening day I like the claims of Captain Morgs, Stolen Silver and Datsalrightgino; hopefully we get some good runs for the money on ground which should be no worse than Good to Soft.

And finally, Constitution Hill and Honeysuckle are both amongst the entries for the Punchestown Champion Hurdle on April 29. How good would that be, and who would you be with? I will sit on the fence for now, and just hope that we do get the clash we all want to see!

Edward Quigley

Edward Quigley

Ed Quigley joins us weekly to provide his weekend watch tips and his long-term antepost armchair Monday column.