Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Day 2011

There's a tricky-looking card on offer at Cheltenham tomorrow for the first day of the new year. Seventeen go to post in the feature, the Chase, at 2.35; in my book a number of the runners have issues in the jumping department - I'm going to leave well alone but must say it's fantastic to see Mister McGoldrick in the line-up at the age of fourteen.

The form of the Relkeel run over the course and distance three weeks ago is a decent starting point for the Cheltenham & Three Counties Race Club Hurdle at 12.55. Karabak beat Any Given Day and Celestial Halo the last time but has to concede four pounds to both those opponents tomorrow; plenty will think Karabak can do just that - according to today's Times connections intend to go straight to the World Hurdle with their charge if he does the business here. Having said that, others will fancy Donald McCain's Any Given Day to reverse the placings. At the weights Celestial Halo is the one to beat but I note he's never won at this distance while Nicky Henderson's Oscar Whisky, fourth in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle last March, is given every respect. This evening layers go 9/4 Karabak, 3/1 Any Given Day, 7/2 Celestial Halo and Oscar Whisky; at those prices Celestial Halo gets the vote.

In the Dipper (2.00) Hell's Bay would make some appeal each-way at a price but I'll take a chance with David Pipe's Mr Thriller - this one was in the process of giving Time For Rupert a run for his money when coming to grief two out the last time. Nicky Henderson's Master Of The Hall is feared.

I intend to have a small speculative wager on Milton Harris' grey Rose Of The Moon in first. In a stable tour article last month the handler told us this one has already schooled over fences and is described as 'an exceptional prospect'. Finally the concluding bumper looks the best race of its type we've seen this season. Roger Charlton's Keys will generate a lot of interest as will Cinders and Ashes and facile Exeter winner Cousin Khee.

Postscript: Some people simply never learn and have asked me to take a quick look at tomorrow's all-hurdle card at Exeter on their behalf. The feature Bathwick Tyres Handicap Hurdle at 2.15 looks very competitive. This evening's tissue has David Pipe's Hunterview at 16/1 - I can't see that price being available tomorrow but if it is, it would look very good each-way value. Hunterview hasn't shown his best of late but if the gelding bounces back he has a shout - he beat Advisor at Ayr in April and was beaten under six and a half lengths conceding 17 pounds to Salden Licht at Plumpton last January. Other Exeter suggestions (for the brave only):

12.40 Mr Hudson / Filbert
1.15 Bermuda Boy
1.45 Baby Car
3.25 Spanish Cruise
In the bumper (4.00) I note Sam Thomas is booked to travel from Cheltenham to ride Morgan's Bay for Tom George.

Whatever happens, let me take this opportunity to wish all readers a very happy new year...

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Oscar Whisky (3/1) was well backed before the Cheltenham & Three Counties Race Club Hurdle and he took the spoils in some style, beating Any Given Day (7/2) seven lengths with Celestial Halo (9/2) a further six adrift in third.

I didn't expect to see Mr Thriller sent off the 7/2 favourite for the Dipper but he was. The jumping gave cause for concern from an early stage - he wasn't fluent at a couple and looked low at one or two as well. A mistake at the eleventh put paid to his chance but the writing was already on the wall. The race went to Hell's Bay (16/1) who didn't jump the last all that well but still had enough in the tank to keep Medermit (9/2) at bay. The third horse home, Reve De Sivola, was a further 22 lengths behind.

A decent effort from Rose Of The Moon (12/1) in the opener; he made a lot of ground to chase home the winner. That's the second time he's been ridden away out the back - I wonder if connections will consider riding a little closer to the pace the next time...

At Exeter Hunterview was sent off8/1. He ran a sound race from the front but had no answer to Salden Licht (2/1f) who won with a bit in hand and some more. Hunterview finished third, losing second spot to Sir Kezbaah on the run-in.

A couple of winners on the rest of the Exeter card; Filbert apart, they went off at rather short prices...

12.40 Mr Hudson 8/11f third
12.40 Filbert 9/1 won
1.15 Bermuda Boy 13/8f won
1.45 Baby Car 13/8f fifth - [apparently 'ran a stinker']
3.25 Spanish Cruise / fav won
4.00 Morgan's Bay 5/2f sixth