Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
|Saturday 7th December 2013|
Lack of Sprinter Sacre is not as disappointing as many make out
There is no doubt that his absence is a blow for Sandown for his presence would have surely put numbers on the gate. It is also a blow for all those who enjoy watching 1-12 shots canter all over their rivals and win hard held. Let's face facts. If he was running he would win as he liked and whilst it would be good to see him back on the racecourse there is little enjoyment to be derived from a race that is actually a one horse affair.
The purists would disagree and that is fine, but one point that is indisputable is that the absence of Sprinter Sacre means that we have an exciting competitive race in store, and one that punters can take a view in.
For the purists there will be another day when he will strut his stuff in a solo time trial.
It's hard to get away from Sire De Grugy in the big race. He was really impressive on his seasonal reappearance and then did not jump well enough when defeated at Cheltenham. It is also possible that he was not at his best at Cheltenham, as he was feeling the effects of the big effort that he made at Chepstow. Now refreshed and with the Gary Moore yard in good form he looks set to run a massive race. He should be backed to win with a degree of confidence.
My second selection is something of an each-way poke in the Pertemps Qualifier. The horse is Upswing, who I think will be better for the experience of a competitive handicap last time. In truth that last time out effort was not a bad one at Cheltenham, but he just found the pace of the race something of a culture shock. With that experience behind him I expect him to jump better and travel better. He does have a fair bit to find with Whisper, who finished in front of him at Cheltenham, but I think it is worth taking a chance with Upswing, who will be a lot more streetwise today. He should be backed each-way.
Angus's Saturday selection:
1.20 Sandown: Upswing each-way at 11-2 with Paddy Power
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