On this page you find articles on paul nicholls and sports betting in general.
22nd April 2016 / paul - Category:
Horse Racing Betting
The bet365Gold Cup traditionally brings down the curtain on the UK National Hunt season but the Grade 3 handicap chase has been rather overshadowed this year by the race to top the trainers’ money list and that’s a real shame.
While jump fans are interested in whether Paul Nicholls or Willie Mullins comes out on top in their particularly duel, the bet365 Gold Cup is worthy of its own page space and is definitely not a sideshow.
There have been some famous winners down the years and 20 stayers will be trying to add their name to the roll of honour this Saturday. Well, technically only 19 as Just A Par won the race 12 months ago and Nicholls also runs ante-post favourite Southfield Theatre. Mullins saddles Sir Des Champs and Measureofmydreams but 16 others aren’t trained by either of the chief protagonists.
bet365 Gold Cup History and Trends
The great Desert Orchid won this under 11st 11lb in 1988 and Life Of A Lord, in 1996, carried 11st 9lb to victory. Tidal Bay surpassed both when shouldering 11st 12lb in 2012 but they are the exceptions to the rule that suggests this is generally not a race for those at the top of the handicap.
Only six of the last 34 winners have carried more than 11st to success, though big outsiders don’t fare particularly well. Only three winners since 1994 have started at bigger odds than 16/1 with a third of the last 15 winners starting at single-figure odds. Those aged nine or younger have a far better strike rate than older chasers when it comes to winners and placed horses.
Several of these ran in the Crabbie’s Grand National and horses that have been placed in that before have gone on to win at Sandown. But none of the six managed to make the frame with The Druids Nephew jumping poorly before being pulled up. Sir Des Champs fell as did Hadrian’s Approach, winner of the bet365 Gold Chase in 2014. Saint Are was another pulled up while Le Reve and Just A Par both finished tailed off.
Sam Waley-Cohen claims 3lb and that means that THE YOUNG MASTER falls into the ideal weight range with only 10st 12lb. He seems to have been around for a while but is still only seven and came right back to form in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival when third behind Grade 1 winners Un Temps Pour Tout and Holywell. He’s a general 8/1 and looks sure to run well given stamina won’t be a problem as he’s already won over 3m3f over hurdles.
Of the remainder, Carole’s Destrier could run well going right-handed again after a poor run at Cheltenham and is a general 12/1. Gold Futures is 25/1 with Coral and also interesting if the ground doesn’t deteriorate with Cumbrian trainer Nicky Richards a rare raider on southern tracks.
bet365 Gold Cup Chase Current Best Odds
Southfield Theatre (7/1), The Young Master (8/1), Henri Parry Morgan (9/1), Carole’s Destrier (12/1), Measureofmydreams (14/1), The Druids Nephew, Bishops Road, Hadrian’s Approach, Theatre Guide and Le Reve (16/1), Sausalito Sunrise and Just A Par (20/1), Dynaste, Sir Des Champs and Gold Futures and Saint Are (25/1), Oscar Rock, Drop Out Joe and Spring Heeled (33/1), Seventh Sky (50/1)
7th April 2016 / paul - Category:
Horse Racing Betting
The Crabbie’s Grand National has evolved. A softening of its previously fearsome obstacles and a stricter qualifying criteria, as well as a slight shortening of the distance, have combined to generally hand the initiative to the classy chasers nearer the top of the handicap.
Of course, it’s still the race in which everyone still feels obliged to have a bet and, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t like to be hurtling towards Bechers Brook on half-a-ton of horse at 30mph. But maybe some of the romance has been taken out of the event by the animal welfare people, though I do wonder if the Aintree course ‘improvements’ have made a notable difference to casualty figures.
One redeeming factor for those having their pocket money on an outsider this weekend is that soft going could level the playing field.
BetVictor are paying out on six places at a quarter the odds.
Crabbie’s Grand National Trends
It was good to soft when Many Clouds all but rewrote the record books last year. As well as becoming the youngest winner in the past decade, he was also rated 3lbs higher than 2012 winner Neptune Collonges at 160 and carried 3lbs more. As 11st 10lb is now the maximum any horse can carry in the National, the weight shouldn’t be an issue in Oliver Sherwood’s stable star’s bid for repeat success though he runs off a mind-blowing 165 this year. You could still get a return at the general 8/1, however, though the top weight is no certainty to confirm running last year with runner-up Saint Are (a general 16/1).
Winners aged under eight and over 11 are rare so we’ll cross out On His Own, Aachen, Onenightinvienna, Vics Canvas and Vieux Lion Rouge.
Pendra’s lack of a recent run is a concern as most recent winners had had a prep race in the last two months. For the same reason, Wonderful Charm is ignored.
Six winners in the last 10 years had contested a hurdle in the same season so THE DRUID’S NEPHEW (a general 16/1) and GALLANT OSCAR (20/1 in several places) are the first two of my four selections.
Neil Mulholland’s charge appeared to be travelling like a winner when over-jumping at the fourth-last 12 months ago and slithering to a standstill. He is 9lb higher this year but ran a very nice trial when second in the Grimthorpe at Doncaster and this has been his target since last year.
Gallant Oscar was third to The Druid’s Hephew at Cheltenham last year and then won a valuable handicap on soft going at the Punchestown Festival. He, too, has been laid out for this by Tony Martin and might be the best of a very strong Irish presence.
Gordon Elliott fances the lightly-raced Ucello Conti (a general 25/1) to run well, however, and what a story it would be if RULE THE WORLD were to pass the post in front. I don’t know if a maiden over fences has ever won the big one at Aintree but Mouse Morris’ nine-year-old has some cracking credentials considering he’s never won over the larger obstacles. He was placed in the Irish National last year and also the Kerry National and wasn’t far behind Ucello Conti in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran in January when 6lb worse off – the general 50/1 is quite attractive on that evidence so he goes on our list.
Dour stayer Goonyella will be staying on in the closing stages if jumping round safely and is 20/1 with most bookmakers. Morning Assembly (a general 25/1) has been well backed since his second at Cheltenham while Gilgamboa (66/1 general) could also figure. Ruby Walsh surprisingly rides Sir Des Champs (33/1 with William Hill) but none of the Willie Mullins team make much appeal this time.
Silviniaco Conti has been a superstar for Paul Nicholls, winning seven times at Grade 1 level. But he’s failed twice in the Gold Cup and his chances of staying another mile at Aintree look remote under a big weight and the general 12/1 is much too short.
HOLYWELL’s lack of size could be a problem but he’s probably the best handicapped horse in the Crabbie’s Grand National off 153. He ran a blinder at Cheltenham and this is his time of year. He’s won at this meeting the past and, if he does get into a rhythm, I wouldn’t rule out a big run at the 16/1 with several layers including Betfred.
The Last Samuri is arguably the unknown quantity this year but I’m not sure he yet jumps well enough to conquer Aintree and the general 10/1 is short enough now.
Crabbie’s Grand National Current Best Odds
Many Clouds (8/1), The Last Samuri (10/1), Silviniaco Conti (12/1), Holywell (16/1), Saint Are (16/1), The Druids Nephew (16/1), Goonyella, Gallant Oscar and Shutthefrontdoor (20/1), Ucello Conti, Kruzhlinin and Morning Assembly (25/1), O’Faolains Boy, Sir Des Champs, Triolo D’Alene and Unioniste (33/1), Boston Bob and First Lieutenant (40/1), Just A Par, Le Reve, On His Own, Onenightinvienna, Rule The World and Soll (50/1), The Romford Pele, Wonderful Charm, Ballycasey, Ballynagour, Buywise, Gilgamboa, Home Farm, Katenko, Pendra, Rocky Creek, Vics Canvas, Vieux Lion Rouge, Black Thunder and Hadrian’s Approach (66/1), Aachen and Double Ross (100/1)
Bet365 are guaranteeing best odds in the race now that the final declarations have been made.
Crabbie’s Grand National Four To Follow
GALLANT OSCAR (20/1 general)
THE DRUID’S NEPHEW (16/1 general)
RULE THE WORLD (50/1 general)
HOLYWELL (16/1 general)
It’s worth noting that NetBet are offering money back as a free bet if your horse falls, unseats its rider or is brought down the Crabbie’s Grand National.
17th March 2016 / paul - Category:
After another record-breaking Cheltenham Festival – can Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh cap their exploits by teaming up to land the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup with Djakadam?
Second to Coneygree last year, the seven-year-old rather blotted his copy-book when falling in his prep race at Cheltenham in January eventually won by Smad Place. It was not the first time that he’d failed to cope with the fences at Prestbury Park but he’s a real talent who could well go one better than 12 months ago if everything fell into place. That said, he was beaten fair and square by Don Cossack at Punchestown last season, when Cue Card was only fourth, so does have some improving to do and he’s short enough now at the general 3/1.
Don Cossack would probably have gone close to catching Cue Card and Vautour in the King George at Kempton had he not fallen two out. The runner-up has already franked that form at Cheltenham this week and Gordon Elliott’s charge is also a general 3/1. Cue Card is the best staying chaser in the UK and is 4/1 with most bookmakers, though there is a slight doubt concerning his stamina over 3m2f.
DON POLI may not have the class of some of his rivals but he’s a tough stayer who will be charging up the hill when others have cried enough. William Hill could have blundered in putting up the assumed Mullins’ second string at 5/1 as he ran an excellent trial for this in the Lexus at Leopardstown in December and won the RSA Chase at The Festival last year with his stamina.
Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase Best Odds
Don Cossack and Djakadam (3/1), Cue Card (4/1), Don Poli (5/1), Smad Place (10/1), Carlingford Lough (25/1), O’Faolains Boy (66/1), On His Own (80/1), Irish Cavalier (100/1)
ZUBAYR only made his debut over hurdles less than three weeks ago – but what a debut it was!
Held up behind in the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton, Paul Nicholls’ juvenile made relentless headway down the back straight and cruised to the front on the bridle before the last to record an effortless victory. He made decent opposition look positively pedestrian and the Adonis has always been a good trial for the JCB Triumph Hurdle – I’ll be looking no further for the winner at 5/1 with BetVictor.
JCB Triumph Hurdle Current BetVictor Odds
Ivanovich Gorbatov (9/2), Zubayr (5/1), Sceau Royal (15/2), Footpad (9/1), Who Dares Wins (11/1), Connetable (12/1), Let’s Dance (14/1), Clan Des Obeaux and Apple’s Jade (16/1), Tommy Silver (20/1), Frodon and Leoncavallo (25/1), Gibralfaro (28/1), Consul De Thaix (33/1), Big McIntosh (150/1)
The Vincent O’Brien Handicap Hurdle is always one of the most competitive races at The Festival and there are 26 due to face the starter this year.
This is not a race in which to throw all your eggs into one basket as the winner will need luck in-running. Several bookmakers are offering place betting down to fifth place so check before you bet.
I can see HAWK HIGH running well at the general 33/1 as he’s at his best on good ground. he won the Fred Winter at Cheltenham in his younger days and his last success also came on this sort of surface at Aintree back in 2014. he’s had just the one run this winter so will be fresher than some and Tim Easterby wouldn’t have sent him down from North Yorkshire for the day out.
STARCHITECT ran a cracker in the Betfair considering he was returning from a lay-off. He’s another who will enjoy the better going and his jockey Tom Scudamore is having a good week – he is a general 12/1. Modus, widely available at 16/1, is a smart novice who still has time on his side while Blue Hell (10/1 with BetVictor) beat Coral Cup winner Diamond King on his latest start so has to be respected.
Vincent O’Brien Handicap Hurdle Current Best Odds
Great Field (8/1), Superb Story (9/1), Blue Hell and All Yours (10/1), Starchitect and Henry Higgins (12/1), John Constable (14/1), Modus, Wait For Me and Cardinal Walter (16/1), Dicosimo and Sternrubin (20/1), Mad Jack Mytton, Montbazon, Some Plan and Cheltenian (25/1), Devilment, Hawk High, Fethard Player, Sizing Tennessee and Bentelimar (33/1), Draco, Francis Of Assisi and Ivan Grozny (40/1), Kayf Blanco and Zamdy Man (50/1)
3rd March 2016 / paul - Category:
Horse Racing Betting
Paul Nicholls’ name is very prominent when you look at the list of recent winners of the stanjames.com Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase.
The Ditcheat trainer has been responsible for six of the last eight winners of this Saturday’s big race at Newbury and saddles both of the current market leaders this year in Art Mauresque and Sametegal.
stanjames.com Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase Sponsors’ Current Odds
Art Mauresque (11/2), Sametegal and Little Jon (7/1), Generous Ransom and Ultragold (8/1), Bennys Mist (9/1), Pythagore (10/1), Off The Ground and Vicomte Du Seuil (12/1), Laser Hawk (14/1), Shutthefrontdoor (16/1), Seventh Sky and Aerlite Supreme (20/1), Un Beau Roman (33/1)
I must admit to preferring Sametegal over his stablemate on the forecast going, even though Noel Fehily rides the latter. Harry Cobden can claim his full 7lb allowance and his mount achieved a rating of 150 over hurdles so a mark of 143 on his handicap debut over fences could be lenient.
The current odds aren’t giving us much leeway, however. Little Jon has been beaten out of sight in two starts since winning over the course and distance back in November and usually makes at least one serious error so the best 8/1 is plenty short enough. Former Irish Grand National winner Shutthefrontdoor is likely to find this much too sharp nowadays and is being aimed at Aintree next month.
We don’t get many French runners in handicap chases in the UK but Emmanuel Clayeux has sent over two this weekend with Jacques Ricou partnering Vicomte Du Seuil in preference to multiple recent winner Pythagore, who would have wanted much softer ground.
No recent winner of the Greatwood Gold Cup has been rated as high as 150 so that suggests Seventh Sky, who has looked in the handicapper’s grip for a while and has had a busy campaign, has it all to do. Likewise Aerlite Supreme and Laser Hawk are easy to ignore off marks of 128 and 127 respectively. Fine Parchment won this in 2012 off 130 but that was the lowest winning mark in the last 12 years.
Ultragold’s victory at Wincanton came over a shorter distance but he was successful over 2m6f at Auteuil when trained in France and Colin Tizzard’s string looks in good shape ahead of what could be a monumental few weeks.
I’m drawn to Nick Gifford’s GENEROUS RANSOM at Skybet’s 12/1 as it is only 12 months since he was finishing third in a Listed novices’ handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival off the same mark. He has only raced four times since and looked to be coming to the boil nicely when fifth over 3m at Doncaster in December. This is his time of year and best distance and, with the ground continuing to dry out, there will be worse bets this weekend.
25th February 2016 / paul - Category:
Horse Racing Betting
Richard Johnson, on the brink of a first-ever NH jockeys’ title, has ridden the winner of the BetBright Chase on five occasions so his mount this Saturday Roc D’Apsis, known at home as ‘Rocky’, is definitely worth a second look in the £100,000 handicap at the widely available 20/1.
The seven-year-old won at Kempton last month, convincing trainer Tom George that he was worth his place this weekend. George has already won the race twice with Nacarat, though it was known as the Racing Post Chase in those days, and is hoping his charge can complete the hat-trick. But this year’s renewal looks as competitive as ever and recent trends are against ‘Rocky’.
BetBright Chase History and Trends
First run in 1949, the BetBright Chase didn’t really catch the public imagination until the Racing Post took up sponsorship in 1988 and increased the prize money. The racing daily backed the race up until 2011 when Racing Plus took over – they relinquished sponsorship rights in 2014.
The race is run over 3m at Kempton every year, usually three weeks before the start of the Cheltenham Festival. It has a reputation as Grand National trial but only Rhyme ‘n’ Reason, in 1988, and Rough Quest eight years later have won it and the big race at Aintree in the same year.
Since 1997, only one chaser has carried less than 10st5lb to victory which suggests this is a race for the classier type. The bottom four in this year’s handicap would all appear to be up against it, therefore.
Philip Hobbs has trained the winner of the BetBright Chase on four separate occasions and has one of the fancied runners this year in Champagne West. He’s been very lightly raced this season and, though yet to win over three miles, should stay the trip on a relatively sharp course like Kempton.
Rocky Creek bids to follow up last year’s defeat of Le Reve in the race off a 4lb higher mark but Paul Nicholls also saddles the tough and reliable Virak and Ruben Cotter. Ziga Boy bounced back to form in impressive fashion at Doncaster while Theatre Guide looks well treated on his best form and Colin Tizzard’s stable is in good form.
Opening Batsman won the BetBright Chase in 2013 and is back on the same mark but jockey bookings would suggest THOMAS BROWN is Harry Fry’s best hope of success in 2016.
Bet365 are only one of two bookmakers currently prepared to stick their heads above the parapet in offering 9/1 against the fast-improving novice. The drying ground looks a plus for the Ascot and Doncaster winner, who was rated 145 over hurdles but can race off 140 on his handicap debut over the larger obstacles.
BetBright Chase Current Best Odds
Champagne West (5/1), Ziga Boy (6/1), Le Reve (7/1), Theatre Guide (8/1), Thomas Brown (9/1), Tenor Nivernais (12/1), Fox Appeal, Ruben Cotter and Virak (16/1), Hadrian’s Approach, Rocky Creek, Opening Batsman, Roc D’Apsis and Viva Steve (20/1), Ballykan (28/1), Astracad (50/1)
18th February 2016 / paul - Category:
Horse Racing Betting
Dual King George winner Silviniaco Conti will sport blinkers for the first time as he takes on seven rivals in the Betfair Ascot Chase at the Berkshire track this Saturday.
Paul Nicholls’ chaser has worn cheekpieces in his last seven races but his trainer thinks a change of headgear might help the 10-year-old cope with a drop in distance for Saturday’s Grade 1 contest, for which he is currently Paddy Power’s 3/1 favourite.
Ascot Chase History
First run in 1998, only three horses have won the Ascot Chase on more than one occasion – Tiutchev, Monet’s Garden and Riverside Theatre. It tends to favour 2m4f specialist rather than those stayers stepping down in trip though Cue Card, currently among the favourites for next month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, won it in 2013.
Silviniaco Conti will be Nicholls’ only representative following the non-declaration of Vibrato Valtat but he does have question to answer after his latest run at Kempton, where he was pulled up. He’s not run over a distance this short over fences since 2011 and can’t be getting any quicker. He is unlikely to offer much in the way of value as he may be trading on past exploits.
Nicky Henderson, trainer of the afore-mentioned Tiutchev and Riverside Theatre, is double-handed with former Hennessy winner Triolo D’Alene and recent Doncaster scorer Ma Filleule set to make the line-up. Flemenstar profited from Un De Sceaux’s fall at Leopardstown over Christmas to win the Grade 1 Paddy Power at Leopardstown but was then beaten by Felix Yonger at Punchestown and 2m seems his trip nowadays.
Amore Alato is facing a very stiff task for a novice while this looks a shade too far for Savello, though his form ties in closely with that of Flemenstar. Royal Regatta is certainly worth a second look, however, as he has been in good form over the course and distance of Saturday’s race in handicaps lately and deserves a crack at a contest like this.
DYNASTE has only beaten Silviniaco Conti once in six previous attempts but can improve those stats this weekend. David Pipe’s grey also sports blinkers for the first time but the last time he ran over this sort of trip he won the Ryanair at Cheltenham. Ignore his latest run over hurdles as he won’t given a hard time in punishing ground, he rarely runs a bad race in top company over fences and the general 7/2 should be snapped up.
Paddy Power’s Ascot Chase Odds
Silviniaco Conti (3/1), Dynaste (7/2), Ma Filleule (5/1), Royal Regatta (6/1), Triolo D’Alene and Flemenstar (7/1), Savello (16/1), Amore Alato (20/1)
14th January 2016 / paul - Category:
Horse Racing Betting
The Grade 3 Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick is the feature race in the UK this weekend, though whether it can still claim to be a viable Grand National ‘trial’ is a contentious issue.
Gordon Elliott had four possibles engaged at the four-day stage but only one Irish runner, the Mouse Morris-trained Dromnea, has stood his ground and he’s a general 16/1 chance with his stamina to prove over the three miles and five furlongs. I’d also pass over Ballyheigue Bay and Loose Chips on modest efforts last time in the same Kempton race in which Foxbridge (a best 16/1) finished fourth.
Betfred Classic Chase Trends
The average number of runners in the past eight renewals (it was abandoned in 2009 and 2010) is only 14 runners and that could be the field size in 2016 with Pete The Feat finishing unplaced at Catterick on Thursday. It hasn’t been easy finding recent winners, however. Only one favourite has won in 10 years, though six of those winners were sent off at odds of 10/1 or shorter.
Paul Nicholls has a terrific record in the Classic Chase having trained three winners from just five runners during the past decade, including last year’s winner Hawkes Point. Alan King has saddled two winners from his last seven runners but has a better level-stakes profit thanks to D’Argent and West End Rocker. Nicholls run last month’s Kelso winner Vivaldi Collonges this Saturday while King is represented by Doncaster scorer Sego Success and Newbury fourth Midnight Prayer – both the latter pair are previous course winners and all three have been prominent in the ante-post betting.
Race-fitness is usually a pre-requisite for this marathon so it’s a worry that What A Good Night hasn’t run since early November.
Algernon Pazham blundered his way around Aintree last time before coming to grief and may be in need of a confidence-booster. Stamina is a concern for De Kerry Man while Red Devil Lads has only had a week to recover from his slog through the mud in the Welsh National. Russe Blanc is 25/1 with Coral to give Kerry Lee a second big-race success in eight days but the grey would be a surprise victor off his current mark at this level. Houblon Des Obeaux, though fairly handicapped, is another with current jumping issues but Venetia Williams can still grab this big prize with RIGADIN DE BEAUCHENE.
The general 10/1 quoted against the 2013 winner looks excellent value as he’s been back to something like his best this season. The 11-year-old made all over a slightly shorter trip at Haydock last time and never looked like being caught. Obviously, a 6lb higher mark will make life tougher as he’s now 11lb higher than when successful two years ago. But he’ll be taking no prisoners again and still has a light weight compared to some. Robbie Dunne has never lost faith in the gelding and can be guaranteed to get the best out of him again.
Betfred Classic Chase Current Sponsors’ Odds
Sego Success (6/1), Midnight Prayer and Vivaldi Collonges (7/1), Houblon Des Obeaux (9/1), Rigadin De Beauchene and Algernon Pazham (10/1), De Kerry Man (11/1), What A Good Night (12/1), Foxbridge, Pete The Feat, Dromnea and Russe Blanc (14/1), Red Devil Lads and Ballyheigue Bay (16/1), Loose Chips (20/1)
3rd December 2015 / paul - Category:
Horse Racing Betting
The withdrawal of Sprinter Sacre and Irish superstar Un De Sceaux has turned this Saturday’s Betfair Tingle Creek Chase into a more competitive affair if anything and each-way betting will still be available on the Grade 1 race if all eight of the declared runners stand their ground, despite the prospect of further rain.
Tingle Creek Chase History
First staged at Sandown in 1979 and named after a popular chaser of the 1970s, the Tingle Creek Chase attained Grade 1 status in 1994 and has been won by some of the top 2m chasers of their generation.
Nine horses have tasted victory more than once, although only Flagship Uberalles has gone on to complete a hat-trick. News King was triumphant for the jockey/trainer partnership of John Francome/Fred Winter in 1981 and 1982, Long Engagement did the double for the Brendan Powell/David Nicholson combination in 1987 and 1989 while Waterloo Boy was successful in 1991 and the following year for Richard Dunwoody and David Nicholson.
Sound Man gave Dunwoody two more victories in 1995 and 1996, this time for Edward O’Grady, while after the Flagship Uberalles treble it was the turn of the great Moscow Flyer in 2003 and 2004 for Barry Geraghty and Jessica Harrington.
The legendary Kauto Star had first Mick Fitzgerald and then Ruby Walsh in the saddle when landing the spoils in 2005 and 2006 and his trainer Paul Nicholls has won the race a record nine times in the last 15 years.
Bet365 are the only one of the major bookmakers offering one quarter the odds for each-way betting on this year’s Tingle Creek Chase and they have VIBRATO VALTAT as their 2/1 favourite to enhance Paul Nicholls’ brilliant record in the contest, though the grey is available at 9/4 in a few places.
It’s hard to argue with the bookmakers’ assessment as soft ground is key to this one and he has conditions at Sandown in his favour. He beat Third Intention on his reappearance in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter and won the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase on this card 12 months ago, when it was also soft ground, and also landed Grade 2 contests at Kempton and Warwick. He was beaten by Special Tiara and the enigmatic Mr Mole in the Celebration Chase at Sandown in April but that came at the end of a long season on ground that was too quick.
Special Tiara might be the danger again, however, as evidence is still required over whether Simonsig or 2013 winner Sire De Grugy are the forces of old and Somersby has had chances to win this in the past and been found wanting. Josses Hill may not be quite good enough on what he’s shown so far.
Bet365 Odds for the Tingle Creek Chase
Vibrato Valtat (15/8), Simonsig (7/2), Special Tiara (9/2), Sire De Grugy (6/1), Somersby (10/1), Josses Hill (12/1), Mr Mole (14/1), Third Intention (25/1)
26th November 2015 / paul - Category:
Horse Racing Betting
The Hennessy Gold Cup is one of jump racing’s most prestigious contests and, even this early in the season, a bona fide trial for the Grand National in April. A fact never better emphasised by Many Clouds’ victory in 2014 – Oliver Sherwood’s stayer did, of course, go on to win the big race itself at Aintree just over four months later.
Hennessy Gold Cup History
First run in 1957, the Hennessy has delivered a roll of honour littered with stars of the equine world. The late, great Lord John Oaksey rode first winner Mandarin, who won it again in 1961. The great Arkle won it twice but his defeats by Mill House and Stalbridge Colonist are just as memorable. Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Bregawn and Burrough Hill Lad were also successful, as was the mighty Denman. Paul Nicholls’ huge stayer won it twice under a welter burden and 2012 winner Bob’s Worth would also go on to glory at Cheltenham.
Hennessy Gold Cup Trends
If there is one significant trend to emerge in the last 10 years, it is the fact that only superstar Denman has managed to win the Hennessy Gold Cup when aged nine or older. Only two winners have been older than seven so this is very much a race for up-and-coming staying chasers. Since 2005, only two winners have carried less than 11st 1lb to victory so class is coming to the fore. Barry Geraghty has ridden two of the last three winners for Nicky Henderson but is retained by J P McManus this year for If In Doubt (a best 8/1).
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The big problem for Saphir Du Rheu is the raising of the weights. He has to give 7lb and upwards to his rivals and these tough obstacles will test his jumping – he still tends to hurdle some of his fences and has never won at Newbury. Bobs Worth’s advancing years have to be a concern, though he’s thrown in on his old form and won recently over hurdles. However, a best 6/1 offers little value.
Smad Place and The Druids Nephew finished behind runner-up Houblon Des Obeaux in the race 12 months ago and are worse off at the weights. Fingal Bay was pulled up but later found to have broken a blood vessel, though he’s never really fulfilled early potential.
THE YOUNG MASTER couldn’t live with Saphir Du Rheu on his reappearance at Carlisle but was forced to make his own running and is now 12lb better off, if rider Sam Waley-Cohen’s claim is taken into account. The longer distance will suit Neil Mulholland’s six-year-old just as much as the Paul Nicholls horse and he impressed recently in a schooling session with stablemate The Druids Nephew – the general 10/1 looks excellent value.
Hennessy Gold Cup Best Odds
Saphir Du Rheu (4/1), Bobs Worth (6/1), Smad Place (6/1), If In Doubt (8/1), The Young Master (10/1), Fingal Bay, Ned Stark, The Druids Nephew and Houblon Des Obeaux (14/1), Theatre Guide and First Lieutenant (20/1), Urano (33/1), Benbens and The Giant Bolster (40/1), Splash of Ginge and Fox Appeal (50/1), Al Co (100/1)
24th April 2015 / paul - Category:
Horse Racing Betting
Having run in the Crabbie’s Grand National has proved no bar to performing well in the bet365 Gold Cup in the past. Burton Port unseated his rider at Aintree last year just two weeks before finishing second at Sandown but actual winners in this are less frequent. Royale Knight (a general 20/1) was sixth in the Grand National and heads a quartet of runners bidding for compensation in the last big race of the national hunt season. Rocky Creek (a general 16/1) was unplaced at Aintree but had earlier won the BetBright Chase at Kempton, ahead of Sandown specialist Le Reve (8/1 with Betfred and on betfair). Ely Brown (40/1 with Coral)and Unioniste (16/1 with Betfred) both fell in the Grand National but the latter is one of four Paul Nicholls entries in this and there has barely been a Saturday go by over the last couple of months without his stable winning at least one major race.
WONDERFUL CHARM may be the one best equipped to carry the Ditcheat banner this time and he looks attractively priced at 16/1 with Boylesports, BetVictor, Coral and William Hill. Possibly a little unlucky not to catch Duke Of Lucca (a general 14/1) over 3m1f at Aintree on Grand National day, the seven-year-old could find further improvement over this extra half-mile and the ground has turned in his favour. Very highly tried since winning at Newton Abbot in the autumn, he was placed in a Grade 1 around time last year and should give a good account.
Grand Jesture (11/1 with bet365 and Skybet)should run well for Henry De Bromhead if reproducing his latest second to The Druid’s Nephew at Cheltenham. He’s only 4lb higher but The Package (11/1 with 888sport) has been raised 10lb for winning the Kim Muir Fulke Walwyn at The Festival and isn’t getting any younger – no 12-year-old has won this in 20 years which will also count against Vics Canvas (a general 16/1). The useful hunter chaser Paint The Clouds (a general 9/1) is interesting, however, though Sam Waley-Cohen will probably have to put up a bit of overweight. He makes more appeal the former Gold Cup winner Bob’s Worth (11/1 with 888sport), who has been well below his best this season. Bally Legend (a general 25/1) often runs well in these big handicaps but this is a real staying test and he might have stamina limitations.
The faster going might help Lost The Legend (a stand-out 25/1 with Coral) but the champion trainer can charm his fans again in the season’s big finale.