Excellent news that Sunday’s abandoned Peterborough Chase has been rescheduled for Taunton tomorrow and there is the possibility that Colin Tizzard’s evergreen Cue Card will take his chance with the west-country track anticipating no problems.
No turf racing today but the recent cold snap should relent in time for Cheltenham’s two-day December Meeting the highlight of which is the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup. The BetVictor Gold Cup winner Splash Of Ginge is 12/1 with BetVictor to do the double last achieved by Exotic Dancer 11 years ago and it is fair to say that he could have been more harshly treated by the handicapper.
One horse I have a lot of time for is Long House Hall (12/1 at BetVictor) although the Dan Skelton runner does need decent ground to be seen at his best. The ground is likely to be too testing at the weekend but do keep an eye out for him when he reappears as he does have a very good record fresh.
Three all-weather cards today including the rescheduled twilight card from Wolverhampton yesterday – we put up Rowlestownerendezvu (5.25) yesterday but the cat might be out the bag (14s into 7s) given he was very well backed before the meeting was abandoned. The selection is 6lbs lower than when finishing fourth at Kempton and this step back up in trip to an extended mile-and-a-half will certainly suit.
Eight races at Lingfield this afternoon and Volpone Jelois is interesting on his all-weather debut for Paul and Megan Nicholls but there is no question that the filly Kohinoor Diamond (1.00) has more ability than she has shown so far and is fitted with blinkers for the first-time this afternoon for Sir Mark Prescott.
The selection has a good draw in stall five and if the headgear works the oracle, she is potentially well treated despite a 3lbs rise for finishing second over C&D three weeks ago. If she takes more of an interest in the early part of the race, I will be disappointed if she doesn’t go very close. It may be significant that the selection has three entries for the weekend.
The well-bred Dash Of Splice (1.30) can give David Elsworth a belated birthday present in the ten-furlong maiden. The selection is a brother of 12f winner Dashing Star and half-brother to top-class mares’ Barshiba and Arabian Queen. The selection is still an entire and it will be disappointing if he can’t make it third time lucky.
Music Major (2.30) has only been raised 3lbs for winning over C&D last time and that success was gained having been switched inside from stall thirteen. The selection has a cracking draw in stall three this afternoon, is unbeaten in two starts over today’s C&D although those wins were at 14/1 and 20/1. We are unlikely to get such lucrative odds this afternoon.
Attain (3.00) is well handicapped on his best form and is taken to go one better than when second over 12f here at the last meeting. The four-time C&D winner is well housed coming out of stall two and he is taken to reverse recent C&D form with Pink Ribbon from his more favourable draw.
At Kempton, Monadee is likely to be all the rage for Roger Varian having shaped with promise when third over C&D on his second start. He is hardly one of the stable stars, however, and I hope to see the filly Azpeitia (3.40) build on last month’s racecourse debut when fourth at Doncaster. That run was on soft ground, she has to handle this quicker surface and will get further in time but she gets the vote for Ralph Beckett and Richard Kingscote.
Tribal Warrior (4.40) ran a race full of promise on debut when finishing a close sixth from a coffin draw in stall 14 of 14. The selection hasn’t been particularly lucky with the draw again this afternoon (9 of 14) but the hope is that Luke Morris can ride a race with the step up to a mile a positive on breeding.
Rydan has been running better than his finishing positions would suggest in recent starts and it will be worth noting if the market speaks in his favour on his first start over two miles. The vote, however, goes to Continuum (6.40) who had a sighter here last month in a race not run to suit and the hope is that jockey Tom Marquand can get the veteran involved from his good draw in stall one.