What a weekend of racing action we were treated too and Sam Boswell is here to provide you with a racing round-up.
November Meeting Gold Cup Goes North
The feature race of the three-day meeting at Cheltenham was landed by Sue and Harvey Smith with Midnight Shadow. Last year’s winner Coole Cody had set a strong pace and left the race at the second last leaving the northern trained 10-year-old out front on his own.
He successfully held off a closing pack to secure the valuable handicap despite a small error at the last.
Well done to connections of Midnight Shadow who land the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham 👏👏👏pic.twitter.com/GsxvcvQYod
— BetVictor Racing (@BetVictorRacing) November 13, 2021
Next on his radar could be the King George according to his trainer, BetVictor are a market-leading 50/1 on him going on to win at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Small Field Sizes To Continue?
The unavoidable topic of small field sizes continues to raise its head, sadly whilst most strongly felt in the novice chase division. That said even at Punchestown and Cheltenham we saw some small field sizes Sunday in the Morgiana and the Supreme Trial.
Whilst a multitude of factors seem to exist one short-term that will change soon is the weather. Plenty of trainers have not yet been able to school for significant periods of time on grass at home and that is at least hopefully one short-term issue that will be resolved once mother nature kicks into gear.
Bumper Winner Boost Punters Pockets
On a busy weekend of racing, it was a bumper winner that seem to give racing fans the biggest cheer. Chris Poole director of trading at BetVictor reported that Bonttay was one of the best back winners of the weekend. Fergal O’Brien had the one-two in the bumper and it seems plenty of BetVictor customers have taken note of the trainers’ record in this type of race at his local track.
Bonttay (WESTERNER) retains her unbeaten record with success in the Listed Mares’ Bumper @CheltenhamRaces for @OBMRacing & owners C B Brookes & Fergal O'Brien.
Bred by P Connell#CoolmoreNHSires #HomeOfChampions
— Coolmore (@coolmorestud) November 13, 2021
Eye Catchers To Note
The purpose of this is to try and find the slightly less obvious types than just listing you winners who impressed everyone over the weekend. Let’s look at four horses that went into my notebook.
Dewcup Ted Walsh Punchestown
Dewcup ran in one of our sponsored races on Saturday at Punchestown and whilst Bob Olinger didn’t run, we still saw a few nice horses in the Beginners Chase. To my eye, Dewcup ran a cracker, even without the attentions of a riderless horse who caused him issues in the closing stages I don’t think he would have beaten the winner. That said he could prove to be a nice project longer-term over fences, and I will be interested to see where he goes next.
Congratulations 👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/Xh5tp9DTsW
— Tattersalls Cheltenham (@tattscheltenham) November 13, 2021
Yorksea Gary Moore Cheltenham
This horse ran in the first race on the Saturday at Cheltenham and the French import by Sea The Stars was well entitled to have needed this run, but his finishing effort was easy to spot as he stayed on into third behind a now three-time winner in Knight Salute and the race fit Saint Riquier. He certainly looks like a type that will win races for the Moore team and is one I will be very interested in next time out.
♞ A knight in shining armour
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) November 13, 2021
Oscar Elite Colin Tizzard
Oscar Elite was easily the clearest eye-catcher over the weekend that didn’t win. It wasn’t nice to see him fall on chase debut, but he had traveled and jumped so well to a point. I wanted to take him on in the race given the surface I felt was too quick to be seen at his best. I was in the process of being proved very wrong before he made a race-ended error three out. This novice chaser will win a nice race for connections at some point this season and to me in time looks like he could end up a type to claim a big staying chase such as a Welsh National.
No Ordinary Joe Nicky Henderson Cheltenham
Considering how lightly raced No Ordinary Joe was coupled with his free-going nature I thought it was a great effort to end up third in such a competitive handicap. It will be interesting to see what connections opt to do next but the rest of the season over hurdles should help him mature. I can defiantly see him claiming a nice handicap over hurdles at some point this season.
Great training effort by the Skelton team to bring back West Cork from a mammoth lay off to win the Greatwood 👏👏👏pic.twitter.com/29HP7aJ7ks
— BetVictor Racing (@BetVictorRacing) November 14, 2021
Cheltenham Festival Market Movers
We saw plenty of Festival movers over the weekend and these were the five we wanted to highlight to take out of Cheltenham and Punchestown.
Sporting John – First Show of 14/1 for the Stayers Hurdle
Third Time Lucki – 10/1 into 8/1 for the Arkle
Nube Negra – 10/1 for the Champion Chase from 14/1
Sharjah for the Champion Hurdle – 12/1 from 14/1
Knight Salute – first show 25/1 Triumph Hurdle