Racing Daily with BetVictor – Jan 28

Frodon was cut to 14/1 (from 20s) with BetVictor for the Cheltenham Gold Cup after his brave win from the front in the Cotswold Chase on Saturday. The horse was given another wonderful ride by Bryony Frost but was running on fumes for the last half-furlong and he makes no appeal over an additional furlong at the Festival.

If we did see a Grade 1 winner on Trial’s Day, then it was surely Paisley Park who ran out an impressive winner of the Cleeve Hurdle. Emma Lavelle’s hurdler was cut from 10s to 3/1 at BetVictor for the Stayers’ Hurdle and the further he went the better he looked at the weekend.

The 3m Novices’ Chase at Kempton this afternoon is a hot contest, and this is very much a retrieval mission for Nicky Henderson’s On The Blind Side who did not look a natural over fences when last of four – albeit in Grade 2 company – at Cheltenham on his belated seasonal reappearance. This step up to 3m should suit but he has a bit to prove now and is reluctantly overlooked.

This is the first time Talkischeap (1.30) will have raced right-handed under rules, but he gets a narrow vote for Alan King whose yard remain in good form despite a barren Saturday when they had three seconds. The selection is 33/1 with BetVictor for the RSA Chase at the Festival – same price as On The Blind Side – and this should be a most informative novice chase.

Pym (2.05) is not the star many thought he would become but he sets a decent standard having improved for the step up in trip when second at Cheltenham in a Grade 2 back in November. He must give 7lbs to a couple of fascinating newcomers – Emma Lavelle’s Joyrider and Pyms’s stablemate The Cashel Man who was a decent stayer on the level for David Simcock.

I hope it’s a good day for Alan King as his Second Time Around (2.10) gets the vote in the 2m 4f Handicap Chase even though he jumped slightly out to the left at Huntingdon last time from this mark on his chase debut. I remember thinking when he finished second at Hexham over timber back in June that he could win improve over fences.

The finale represents a slight step up in grade for Tierra Verde (4.15) but I feel she can follow up her recent Taunton win under top-weight from a 6lbs higher mark. Colin Tizzard’s Empreinte Reconce looks the danger in a first-time tongue-tie. A market move would be worth noting.

At Ludlow Scaramanga (1.45) was a horse I had a lot of time for on the level and I remember thinking there would be more to come from the front two when he was beaten half a length by Spirit Ridge at Leicester in a decent 12f handicap. All his flat form was on good or faster ground, but as a son of Mastercraftsman today’s good to soft ground should not provide any problems as he makes his hurdles debut for Paul Nicholls.

Mistress Massini (4.00) has done us a couple of favours of late and I hope he can defy a 10lbs rise for Anthony Honeyball whose yard have had a virus in recent months and have not had a single runner in the last fortnight. The selection has been a rare highlight in what has been a difficult season for the yard, but I expect them to have a very good second half of the season.

Over at Wolverhampton this evening I hope to see Pride’s Gold (6.25) return to winning ways having finished runner up at Lingfield last time. The selection is 10lbs better off with Castle Hill Cassie for the 2l she was beaten here over 7f back in November and today’s extra distance should suit Simon Crisford’s filly.

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