Racing coverage on terrestrial TV this Saturday comes from Cheltenham, Lingfield and Wetherby. The Paddy Power Gold Cup is, undeniably, the highlight of a four-race card from Cheltenham, but stay-at-home punters also have the Listed Churchill Stakes and Golden Rose Stakes from Lingfield and a competitive novices’ hurdle from Wetherby to unravel.
Best odds on racing guaranteed
The Blue Square Bet Churchill Stakes (2.15 Lin.) sees the return of Roger Varian’s 3-year-old Farraaj, who finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs last November, but hasn’t been seen since occupying the same position in the Group 3 Premio Parioli at Capannelle in April. His absence is worrying, as is the fact that he’s never run on Polytrack, so a safer option may be Martyn Meade’s 5-year-old True to Form.
The son of Rock Of Gibraltar has something to find with the likes of Farraaj, Circumvent and Genzy on official BHA ratings, but he’s a regular all-weather performer and wasn’t beaten far when fifth in a similar race over course and distance in February.
The ante post market for the Paddy Power Gold Cup (2.35 Che.) has been very lively indeed, with the likes of Grands Crus, Hunt Ball, Al Ferof and Walkon all well backed since the weights were published 10 days ago. However, one horse who’s hardly been mentioned in the build-up to the race, but nevertheless appears well handicapped, is Henry Daly’s 7-year-old Kingsmere.
Kingsmere hacked up in a novices’ chase at Stratford in July, earning himself a 12lb hike in the weights, and was still going well enough when falling two out in the race won by Carlito Brigante on this course last month. The fact that Henry Daly is running him here, rather than in another novices’ chase, suggests that he fancies his chances at the weights and, at long odds, he looks ripe for a spot of each-way burgling.
Later on the Lingfield card, the Blue Square Bet Golden Rose Stakes (2.50 Lin.) is tricky because most of the runners have little, or no, recent form on Polytrack. Of those that do, Garry Moss’s 7-year-old Capone, who won over course and distance last November and comes here on the back of a win over 6 furlongs at Kempton, possibly has the best chance.
However, he’s been beaten on all four starts in Listed company, so it may pay to take a chance on George Olroyd’s 4-year-old Ladies Are Forever, who’s reunited with Silvestre De Sousa, who’s ridden her to two of her three career victories.
Over at Wetherby, the Book Online @ Wetherbyracing.co.uk Novices’ Hurdle (2.55 Wet.) offers very little form for punters to go on. Donald McCain’s 4-year-old Deise Dynamo may have won by 28 lengths on his hurdling debut at Kelso last month, but the favourite for that race fell two out, so what he actually beat is debatable.
He looks vulnerable under a penalty, so the one who could take advantage is Tim Walford’s 4-year-old Shimla Dawn, who fell at the last in a similar race over course and distance two weeks ago. He wouldn’t have won that day, but the form has been franked by the third, Vuvuzela, so he looks to have a good chance of making amends.
2.15 Lin. True To Form
2.35 Che. Kingsmere (e/w)
2.50 Lin. Ladies Are Forever
2.55 Wet. Shimla Dawn