Sybarite – 2.30 Cheltenham
Happy New Year to you all! And what better way to see in 2015 than with a full card of racing today. The main action comes from Cheltenham and Musselburgh and I think there are a couple of nice bets to be had.
At Cheltenham, the 3m2½f handicap chase at 12.45 features a whole host of out-of-sorts horses who might just be nicely handicapped if putting their best foot forward. Trouble is there is no telling who might do that today, and there is very little wrong with the 11/2 and 8/1 about Alfie Spinner and Saint Are with William Hill, who both arrive here in good form and will be thereabouts.
Later on the card, the 3m handicap hurdle has a nice shape to it as Sybarite has perhaps been overlooked at 13/2 with Coral. The three ahead of him in the market are all vulnerable. Southfield Vic is unexposed but chucked in at the deep end for handicap debut, while Knight Of Noir might want the ground a tad softer, and Ulzana’s Raid should find it hard to finish ahead of Sybarite again given the weight turnaround, and a slightly less patient ride on Sybarite should see him avenge matters.
Up at Musselburgh at 1.00, it might be worth chancing that Keith Dalgleish can work his magic on the incredibly well-handicapped All The Aces. He has acquired the horse from Eamonn Hogan’s yard in Ireland – which is where he got Montoya’s Son, who has won three times for him and owners Straightline Construction Ltd.
It is interesting that All The Aces takes the same path across the Irish Sea having been firmly in the doldrums on the Emerald Isle. As a result his handicap mark is very tasty and had a spin around Kelso three weeks ago to blow away the cobwebs. At 14/1 with Coral he is worth a bet now, and will go off a well backed 5/1 shot or a 20/1 outsider. Let’s hope it’s the former.
While the Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle at 2.10 is the richest race on the card, and can go the John Ferguson-trained Ruacana. Ridden for the first time by Mikey Ennis, who has struck up a great relationship with the same stable’s Purple Bay, and with course form on the flat, his seasonal reappearance at Sandown suggested he could be about to regain the thread of progression.
At 8/1 with William Hill he is too big, in a race where most arrive on sky-high handicap marks.
As with a couple of weeks ago, it might be worth chucking them all in an Each-Way Lucky15 to hopefully get the New Year off with a bang!
Sybarite – 13/2 (Coral)
All The Aces – 14/1 (Coral)
Ruacana – 8/1 (William Hill)