Former Talksport presenter Charlie McCann marks your card for New Year’s Day’s racing at Cheltenham, including the Victorchandler Chase.
Happy birthday to Mr McGoldrick who is almost old enough to vote (14 today) but showed he was still a force to be reckoned with when scoring at Huntingdon back in November. He will make another bold bid but preference is for Five Dream (2.35 Chelt) in today’s feature event despite the fact that the selection has a bit to find with Hey Big Spender on course & distance running last January. The latter is a cracking front-runner at best, but has failed to complete in three of his last four starts and a confidence booster might be the primary objective this afternoon.
VictorChandler.com handicap Chase: Prices from StanJames.com: each way ¼ odds 1,2,3:
9-2 Carole’s Legacy
8 Hey Big Spender
9 Five Dream
10 Knockara Beau
10 Can’t Buy Time
12 Mister McGoldrick
An excellent card at Cheltenham begins with a fascinating novices’ hurdle and the Nicky Henderson trained Bobs Worth (12.20) can maintain his unbeaten record over obstacles. The selection will come into his own when going over fences next season, but he looked sure to appreciate a step up in trip when landing the odds at Kempton on his seasonal debut and Barry Geraghty again takes the ride.
Golden Chieftain palpably failed to stay 3m here last month having been so impressive at Chepstow over this trip on his penultimate start. He rates the danger although the Colin Tizzard horses failed to sparkle at Taunton earlier in the week.
Buffalo Bob is progressing nicely for Kim Bailey but, taking the jockey’s claim into consideration, is 11lbs higher today than when scoring at Newbury and that might be enough to prevent a follow up. The Sliotar (1.30) hasn’t run since finishing behind subsequent RSA Chase winner Burton Port at Southwell back in February and the gelding has changed yards since that run and makes his debut for Philip Hobbs this afternoon.
The selection has nothing in hand of Blazing Bailey given their running at Ffos Las almost 12 months ago, but first time out may be the time to catch The Sliotar and Richard Johnson could have ridden stablemate Lead On. Venetia Williams has not had the best of seasons to date but she had a well backed winner at Taunton earlier in the week and money for Officier De Reserve would be worth noting.
The Grade 2 Dipper Chase is an excellent renewal with Medermit stepping up in trip to 2m 5f for the first time. He didn’t look a future Arkle winner at Plumpton last time and if he wins today the new Jewson Novices’ Chase over 2m 5f might be the Festival target, but preference is for Mr Thriller (2.00) who was not finished with when coming a cropper two out here behind the impressive Time For Rupert on his chase debut. The Pipe yard remain in excellent form and he is the recommendation in another ultra competitive heat.
Exeter stage an all-hurdle card and Karasenir (2.15) can make the most of the weight he receives from top-weight Salden Licht who was last seen running a great race on the flat in the November Handicap. He is considered potentially well treated by the yard but both Advisor and Karasenir could also be ahead of the handicapper.
Champion Hurdle sponsors Stan James begin the New Year by offering enhanced place terms of ¼ odds 1, 2, 3 and 4 places until midday on Saturday 22nd January.
Stan James Champion Hurdle (ew 1/4 the first 4)
10-3 Hurricane Fly
13-2 Peddlers Cross
14 Khyber Kim
18 Silviniaco Conti
Be lucky and stay warm