CUTTING THE MUSTARD

CUTTING THE MUSTARD
December 11, 2021 Lee Bolingbroke

The Racing Post Gold Cup Handicap Chase at 1.50 heads the TV coverage from Cheltenham this afternoon and a field of 13 is due to line up.

At 6-1 the field this has a wide open look to it and no less than six horses that contested the Paddy Power Gold Cup pitch up for another go, headed by the winner (and our selection then) Midnight Shadow.

Off a 7lbs higher mark, we doubt that Sue Smith‘s runner can repeat the dose but that race may still hold the key. Finishing best of all into 4th was the Philip Hobbs trained Dostal Phil, having its first outing since an abortive trip to Punchestown in April. Second season chasers have a good record in races such as this and we take Aidan Coleman to bring it home at 7-1.

At 2.25 the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle has just six runners, with the Irish raider, Blazing Khal fractionally odds on after winning a Grade 2 here in November, for which it carries a 5lb penalty. This should bring it closer to Gelino Bello, which was two and a half lengths adrift on that occasion and these two may well fight out the finish.

However, we are gonna take a chance on the ‘could be anything’ runner Barony Legends, which won its only hurdle race by 27 lengths at Lingfield at the end of October. Second in an Irish Point before joining Olly Murphy, this 5-y-o should relish today’s trip & we suggest a sporting each way bet at 13-2.

We can’t for the life of us work out the Unibet International Hurdle at 3.00 so will apply the Spanish Archer to this one and move on to the Close Brothers Mares’ Handicap Hurdle at 3.35, which closes the coverage.

Favourite for this event is Martello Sky from Lucy Wadham‘s yard, who comes here after taking on the boys at Aintree and apparently running well above today’s handicap mark of 140. Winner of a Listed contest over this CD in April, we hope she will give the Mustard Man his third winner (yes, he’s on Barony Legends), this time at 11-4.

Cameras are also at Doncaster for three races, starting with the bet365 Handicap Hurdle at 2.05, in which we give a cracking chance to Lucky One.

This 6-y-o was previously with Paul Nicholls and makes its debut for the Skelton operation, albeit in the same ownership. A mark of 137 for handicap debut looks lenient on some of last season’s form and its reasonable to assume fitness, so we recommend an each way bet at 10-1.

The Juvenile Hurdle at 2.40 is anyone’s guess and we do try not to, so let’s move swiftly on to the bet365 Handicap Chase at 3.15.

In the hope that not too much of the wet stuff has toppled on to the Donny turf, we venture an each way bet on the consistent Fidux, which ran so well at  Haddock last time out and could well have a say in the finish. 8-1 is an attractive price.

Here’s hoping it’s Coleman day.

Summary:

Dostal Phil 1.50 Cheltenham 1.5pts e/w @ 7-1 (5 places)

Barony Legends 2.25 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 13-2 (2 places)

Martello Sky 3.35 Cheltenham 2pts win @ 11-4

Lucky One 2.05 Doncaster 1.5pts e/w @ 10-1 (4 places Hills)

Fidux 3.15 Doncaster 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (3 places Hills/Coral)

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