Tanya Stevenson's Racing UK Blog
|Saturday 23rd November 2013|
There are more runners in Betting Shop Manager of the Year on Sunday than collectively in the two big races at Ascot! The seven runners are full of quality and while we can loiter and argue the case, the negativity isn’t going to suddenly magic up bigger field sizes.
One of the inherent problems is that the expansion of the number of races at each meeting over the years has created additional opportunities. Those opportunities have meant that horses avoid meeting each other and thus the dilution of field sizes. There is also the fact that the horse population is decreasing.
There will be plenty of column inches written on the Betfair Chase without me adding reams of verse. I’m going to sit back and enjoy a fabulous contest with a reverse forecast on the Paul Nicholls pair and although my head says Silviniaco Conti, I can see Tidal Bay defying all of them especially with the added furlong.
The aftermath of the race will intrigue, especially the ramifications and ripples in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting.
The Rainbow Hunter, owned in part by our very own Oli Bell, is a wonderful chasing type. A big brute, who won’t find weight-carrying an issue.
He runs in Haydock’s 3.35pm against some recognisable staying types. Mac Aeda returned with a blinding third at Wetherby behind Ultimate and is sure to be on the premises over the last. He perhaps needs further and a really testing surface.
Had Mr Moonshine not run at Kelso after his Old Roan Chase fourth, you’d be piling into him, yet he never runs two races alike, so he could be due a good one again.
Silver By Nature has won two Grand National Trials at Haydock, but has top weight, while Quincy Des Pictons was third in this 12 months ago. I’m sticking with The Rainbow Hunter, who won on this very day at Ascot in 2012.
I’m gutted that Viva Colonia and Lancetto meet in Ascot’s 3.15pm as both were etched in my notebook to follow next time.
Viva Colonia was certainly a horse to take out of the Old Roan Chase given the way he was closing on Conquisto and Astracad all the time. Lancetto crept into the race at Ascot last time before being given a hefty clout which stopped his momentum. I’m going to pick Lancetto and mix him in a forecast with Viva Colonia.
I can’t wait to see Annie Power run at Ascot but mind you, I can’t wait to get to London and judge Betting Shop Manager of the Year.
Good luck to all eight finalists and the best piece of advice is to enjoy yourself and relax.
3.15 Ascot – Lancetto (Viva Colonia rev forecast)
Tanya Stevenson’s Pointers:
With a little help from Kauto Star, Paul Nicholls has won five of the last eight Betfair Chases
Silviniaco Conti is unbeaten in four runs in November
Record of reigning Cheltenham Gold Cup winners in the Betfair Chase: 2005 Kicking King 4-5F 3rd, 2007 Kauto Star 4-5F WON, 2009 Kauto Star 4-6F WON, 2010 Imperial Commander 10-11F WON, 2011 Long Run 6-5F 2nd
Tidal Bay has had six runs in November winning five and finishing runner-up in the 2010 Betfair Chase
Long Run has never won in November
The 2013 Charlie Hall Chase was the first time Long Run had ever finished out the first three
Jason Maguire and Gordon Elliot have teamed up 21 times this season resulting in eight wins at a 38% strike rate
The oldest winner of Ascot’s Amlin Chase over the last 10 years has been eight
Nine of the last 10 winners of the Coral Hurdle have come from the first two in the betting
The starting price of the last 10 Coral Hurdle winners were no bigger than 7-2
Seven of the last 10 winners of the Coral Hurdle were making their seasonal reappearance
Eight of the last 10 winners of the Coral Hurdle won on their most recent start