We are back for the second day of The Showcase, and Jamie Taylor runs through the races and looks to find us a few betting opportunities.
A good day at Cheltenham yesterday where we managed to find a couple of winners in the shape of Thomas Campbell and El Bandit, looking forward to more quality action this afternoon on what looks like decent quick ground.
In the opener as you would expect it is a competitive affair for a handicap chase over three miles and a furlong. Keltus impressed with a victory last time and could finally be getting it together over fences, for a yard bang in form at the moment. Henryville, Coologue and Fear Glic are others in with chances in an open race but it could pay to side with Keltus who should once again go well.
Race two a fair novices’ hurdle over three miles, which sees the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Wholestone in at favourite and thus in my opinion too short at the head of the market. The two-which appeal most to me would be the Dr Newland trained Young Dillon, and the Jamie Snowden trained Three Ways who both have upside in the market. Wouldn’t be my idea of a betting race usually but would suggest these two best way to go if you fancied going against the shorty.
The third race on the card is the Masterson Holding Hurdle, a class two event over two miles where Adrien Du Pont shares favouritism with Gibralfaro at this stage. The Paul Nicholls trained four-year-old looks to have the strongest form in the book on what we have seen thus far, and the Ditcheat yard are absolutely flying at the moment further enhances already bold claims. At larger prices a bold bid can be expected from Wolf Of Windlesham who is 1 from 2 at this track, and 3 from 4 over the distance in his short hurdling career, at 10-1 he seems overpriced back on decent ground and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Onward to the fourth race on the card, a competitive fourteen runner handicap over the minimum distance, which see’s last year’s Arkle third Fox Norton heading the market off a mark of 146. The Neil Mulholland trained gelding will appreciate the better ground on offer, and certainly has plenty of room for manoeuvre from his current perch in the handicap. Whilst this isn’t a race I’ll be rushing to get involved in its hard not to imagine a bold show coming from Fox Norton at the head of the market, with Devils Bridge and Ultragold the most plausible dangers.
Back over hurdles for race five, in which the Charles Byrnes trained Top Of The Town rocks up at Cheltenham. I’m sure many of you will remember this horse being part of the massive gamble Byrnes landed at Roscommon two outings ago, but backed that up with another good win at Bellewstown on his most recent start. Whilst it is always difficult to know what to expect from a McManus runner, especially when you’ve bet one it looks possible that a big run can be expected today from Call The Cops, a winner over this C&D and goes well on better ground, the drop back into a Class 2 could be just what was needed and around 9-1 looks fair.
Race six is a four-runner Novices’ Chase in which Shantou Village is currently odds-on favourite for, and couldn’t do much more when winning by 34 lengths at Fontwell the last day, in a race which admittedly fell apart around him. Brother Tedd will provide stiffer opposition here and looks a live threat, but there isn’t much juice in that price as an alternative play to the favourite. Qualando looks about right at his point in the market but this race screams a watching brief from my view, and I’ll be doing just that.
Finally the card is rounded off with a big field bumper, which there isn’t really much to go on. On form we’ve seen Brahms De Clermont comes out a marginal best, which would suggest River Wylde is very much under-priced at the head of the market but this will be another case of watching for the future for me.
Wolf Of Windlesham 1pt win @ 10-1 Bet365, Ladbrokes, WilliamHill
Call The Cops 0.5pt EW @ 9-1 generally