Angus McNae
Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
Saturday 28th December 2013
Racing UK
Stay Merry and keep with King at Chepstow

Following the action at Kempton on Boxing Day it seems pertinent to ask whether we saw a Gold Cup or Champion Hurdle winner. The answers respectively are possibly, and no as far as I am concerned.

First up let's deal with Silvianico Conti. He was a tough and efficient winner of the King George VI Chase.

He won because he got the trip better than Cue Card and Al Ferof.

In essence he is a stayer and as the Cheltenham Gold Cup is a thorough examination of stamina he must be a legitimate contender.

In last season's Gold Cup he was still going well when falling and would certainly have had a say in the finish had he stood up.

His main asset is stamina, something that he has in abundance, in contrast to Cue Card who is an exuberant forward-going horse whose chances of staying another two furlongs on a stiffer track must be remote.

As far as the Christmas Hurdle winner My Tent Or Yours is concerned, Cheltenham glory in the Champion Hurdle may prove beyond him.

He was outstayed up the hill by Champagne Fever in last year's Supreme Novices' Hurdle and he is always going to be seen at his best when a race is, in effect, a test of speed. This will not be the case in the Champion Hurdle and I just cannot see this horse having sufficient stamina to win.

His main asset is speed and that will always be seen to best effect at the likes of Kempton and Aintree. In fact I would go as far as saying that I think The New One will reverse the Christmas Hurdle form.

There are two meetings on today. It is the Mandarin Chase and Challow Hurdle day at Newbury and we also have action from Catterick.

Whilst the Newbury card is a classy one, the fields are small and it looks to be far from punter friendly.

Thus I am going to Chepstow for my best bet of the day in the Coral Welsh National. I am very keen on an each-way bet on Merry King at 9-1 with the sponsors. This horse ran a blinder in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury and that should have put him spot on for this.

He stays very well and will handle the heavy conditions. I rate him as a confident each-way selection.

Angus's Saturday selection:

2.35 ChepstowMerry King each-way at 9-1