Ed Quigley has a long-term look with his Antepost Armchair column to begin the week, while Fridays are all about the biggest weekend action, covered in Ed’s Weekend Watch column.
Throughout the year, make sure you check out the thoughts of Ed Quigley on Freebets!
Ed Quigley’s Weekend Watch - Saturday, December 2
Ed takes in the weekend action from Newbury and Fairyhouse.
12:30pm Newbury - Quel Destin (Each-Way)
This is a muddling affair, so I am looking for an each-way play, and the Paul Nicholls-trained QUEL DESTIN fits the bill. It has been a bit of a stop-start career for the eight-year-old, who has been a bit frustrating at times and disappointed on his comeback when well beaten at Ascot last month. However, he was taken off his feet over 2 miles and probably needed the outing in any case on his seasonal reappearance and first start after wind surgery.
He should have stripped a lot fitter for that run and steps back up in trip to 2m6f on a flat track, which should be a lot more suitable. Eased to a mark of 132, the gelding is starting to look well-treated, and if the first-time blinkers have the desired effect, he could easily get in the mix here.
Underfoot conditions should be spot on for him, and a bold show can be expected from the Paul Nicholls representative with Harry Cobden in the saddle.
1:40pm Newbury - Jet Powered
JET POWERED promised a lot last season, but after bolting up on the bridle at this venue on stable debut, he ran a stinker on Soft ground when sent off 2/7f back at this track, and that was that for the season after a small issue surfaced. With a clean bill of health, this 350,000gns purchase can kick on here now, delving into the handicap ranks for the first time off a mark of 131.
The step up in trip to this extended 2m4f looks like it should suit, and this unexposed sort should have much more to offer in this company. The prospect of a much sounder surface for this assignment compared to last time out is also a big tick in the box, and I think this six-year-old can resume winning ways.
James Bowen is in the saddle for the Nicky Henderson team, and the combination can get the job done here.
2:15pm Newbury - Bad (Each-Way)
This is an intriguing encounter, with plenty of unexposed types in here. However, BAD has threatened to run a big race for some time and eased to a mark of 120 and into relatively calmer waters compared to the spring Festivals, I think he can get involved at the business end of proceedings.
This former winner in France shaped with plenty of encouragement at Ascot when third on the comeback trail last month, and should come on a bundle for that outing. This four-year-old has got 2lb back from the assessor and looks the type who can progress this season.
Ben Jones is in the plate for the Ben Pauling team, and all being well, Bad can do the opposite of his name and produce a big run here. He is my each-way play in what should be a fascinating race.
2:00pm Fairyhouse (Sunday) - Letsbeclearaboutit
LETSBECLEARABOUTIT has jumped like a stag in both Chase starts to date and can enhance his credentials by taking the Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Chase for the Gavin Cromwell team. This intermediate trip appears to suit, and for a horse who showed a smart level of form over Hurdles last season, he looks to be thriving now tackling the larger obstacles.
He waltzed to success in a Grade 3 at Cork last time out on Soft ground, jumping and travelling with real zest before putting the race to bed in a common canter. He is late to the chasing game at the age of 8, but he seems to be a quick learner and can pass his toughest test to date. Keith Donoghue is on board the Flemensfirth gelding, and I would be surprised if the duo win this and, further down the line, end up in the Turners’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival with serious intentions of getting in the winning enclosure.
Ed Quigley’s Antepost Bets
- Do Your Job, 33/1, December Gold Cup (Tipped 28/11/23)
- Springwell Bay, 40/1, Stayers’ Hurdle, Cheltenham Festival (Tipped 22/11/23)
- Datsalrightgino, 25/1, Coral Gold Cup (Tipped 2/11/23)
- Ballygrifincottage, 25/1, Welsh Grand National (Tipped 16/10/23)
- Gala Marceau, 12/1, Mares Hurdle, Cheltenham Festival (Tipped 21/09/23)
- Marie’s Rock, 16/1, Stayers’ Hurdle, Cheltenham Festival (Tipped 26/09/23)
* Betting odds correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.
About Ed Quigley
Ed Quigley grew up just outside Cheltenham & spent over a decade with the Racing Post, where he was best known for his Longshot Column, RPTV and as a weekly columnist in the Racing & Football Outlook.
Now a Freelance Broadcaster and Journalist, he is a regular on Sky Sports Racing and Ladbrokes TV, amongst other things.
He will be adding his insight for Freebets.com and, of course, naturally, will be the go-to guy for all things Cheltenham Festival-related!
Currently, we have an Antepost Armchair article from Ed every Tuesday looking at the bigger picture and long-term plans for many horses. He also brings us his Weekend Watch on Friday, looking at the feast of action taking place over the weekend.