Wetherby’s Charlie Hall Chase meeting didn’t disappoint, as we saw some star performances which really lit up our screens. Bravemansgame produced pretty much a flawless display over fences in landing the feature contest, whereas Ahoy Senor’s jumping totally fell to pieces as he ran down a few fences and started jumping noticeably to the right. It is all systems go for the King George as far as Bravemansgame is concerned, and is now a best-priced 5/2 to land the big one on Dec 26.
King George VI Chase, Boxing Day
The match up against Allaho at the Sunbury venue is the race we all want to see, with Willie Mullins yet to confirm whether his superstar will make the journey across the Irish Sea. Alaho is a 9/4 poke to land the spoils, but obviously if he were to line up, even money or shorter would be more realistic, so it will be fascinating to see how things develop. As for Ahoy Senor, it is most likely a trip to Aintree in December to try and get his season back on track - it was just too bad to be true.
At the prices, I still think HITMAN has the propensity to shorten massively, and offers plenty of value at 25/1. He shapes as though 3m will really suit him, and I think hindsight will suggest that his narrow defeat in the Old Roan Chase was smart form. It is possible that Bravemansgame, Hitman and Frodon all run, giving Paul Nicholls a strong hand - but I think Hitman is far from the obvious ‘third-string’.
Coral Gold Cup, Newbury, 26th Nov
Looking ahead to Newbury at the end of November, and I am happy to add OSCAR ELITE to the antepost portfolio for the Coral Gold Cup. He’s 33/1, and ran a nice prep in the West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby on Saturday. That would have removed the ring-rust, and trainer Joe Tizzard made it clear beforehand that the Wetherby outing was to tighten him up before going back over fences at Newbury. He jumped and travelled with zest for a long way, before as expected, tiring in the closing stages.
After a wind operation, I think he has the propensity to run a huge race where a proper test of stamina will suit. The Wetherby to Newbury route is one that worked for the Colin Tizzard yard back in 2016, when Native River was victorious in the famous Newbury Handicap. Oscar Elite won his point on a sound surface, but if the ground gets deep it shouldn’t be too much of an issue given that both his wins under rules have come in testing ground. He looks overpriced.
- Oscar Elite, Coral Gold Cup, Newbury, November 26th, 1pt win 33/1 (bet365)
- Hitman, King George, Kempton, December 26th, 1pt win 25/1 (Coral)
* Betting odds correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.