Tanya Stevenson
Tanya Stevenson's Racing UK Blog
Saturday 22nd February 2014
Here’s hoping Irving gets turned over

Saturday’s Dovecote Hurdle at 3.15 is a pivotal race for the SkyBet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle as it contains the second favourite in Irving. Vautour supporters, me included, will be hoping Irving meets with defeat.

This is because if Irving gets beaten, I could be in a position to hedge out on Vautour very early. 

First Mohican won’t be an easy adversary for Paul Nicholls’ charge, thus providing us all with a viable yardstick to Irving’s growing reputation. 

While all will be focused on the bigger meetings, lest we forget Chepstow, I’m sure my talkback will be coming alive at 3.05 and 3.40 as Kerry Lewis, daughter of trainer Richard Lee, assists me throughout the afternoon.  The Grey Gold must have a massive chance of consolidating recent form at Sandown with his visit to Chepstow for the 3.05pm. 

As for Kris Spin, he could struggle if One In Milan is on his A game in the 3.40pm. 

Evan Williams’s charge ran a blinder in the Welsh National at the course when fourth, seven lengths behind Mountainous

He has been rested since and loves heavy ground. He could well be headed for Aintree and the Grand National and this is an ideal prep. 

At Newcastle you have to have immense stamina to win the Eider Chase, more so than if you are trying to watch the curling at the Winter Olympic Games!  Sun Cloud certainly possesses the credentials as he is on for a hat-trick after victory in the North Yorkshire National at Catterick. 

I also like Presented, who appeared very strong when hauling in his rivals at Fakenham recently and he has a feather weight. I sense I’m leaning for a reverse forecast. 

On Sunday I could be heading for Fontwell with their excellent card including the National Spirit, which could provide a further step to the top of the ladder.

There are just a few weeks until the Cheltenham Festival and the last week has been full of revelations and further clues. 

My Tent Or Yours did what he had to at Kempton but there was much chuntering in the house when I flicked over from the Arsenal v Liverpool FA Cup tie to watch him!

It is a shame that a charge of being in possession of prohibited substances, including anabolic steroids, brought to Philip Fenton in January 2012 by the Department of Agriculture takes so long to come to a conclusion. 

Such matters should be cleared up and drawn to a close with much more haste.  The whole situation will now play out after Cheltenham, which is unsatisfactory. 

Back to those with hopes and dreams. Pearl Castle made those who piled into the 4-6 at Doncaster on Wednesday sweat before he assumed control at Doncaster.  He is not the biggest which would concern me for his chances in the JCB Triumph Hurdle.

Vieux Lion Rouge roared home at Sedgefield by 12 lengths on Thursday conceding weight to all. He was even eased towards the finish but he has five entries for the Cheltenham Festival including three handicaps. I can’t wait to see where he goes!

Since I last wrote a column here Captain Chris made a mockery of his rivals in the Betfair Ascot Chase; he has won his last two races by 23 lengths and 19 lengths and surely that goes some way to offsetting his believed dislike of going left-handed. 

It can’t be that bad at Cheltenham as he has an Arkle Chase on his CV.  It was 36 years ago the last time an Arkle winner claimed the Gold Cup - I wonder if Captain Chris can repeat Alverton’s feat, albeit a couple of years later.

Tanya Stevenson’s Saturday tips:

3.05 Chepstow: Grey Gold at 4-1 with bet365

3.40 Chepstow: One In Milan at 7-1 with Paddy Power

Tanya’s Stevenson’s Saturday’s Pointers:

BetBright Chase:

Richard Johnson has ridden in the BetBright Chase 14 times winning five times. He has also been second three times and third twice

Ten of the last 14 winners of the BetBright Chase carried over 11st

Only one of the last ten favourites have won the BetBright Chase

Six of the last seven winners of the BetBright Chase were aged seven and eight

betbright.com Adonis Juvenile Hurdle:

Six of the last ten favourites have won the betbright.com Adonis Juvenile Novice Hurdle

Nine of the last ten winners of the Adonis Novice Hurdle came from the first three in the betting

Eight of the last ten winners of the Adonis finished no worse than second on their most recent run

Over the past ten years Alan King has had seven runners in the Adonis Hurdle for two winners, two seconds and two thirds.

Five of the last 13 winners of the Adonis Hurdle to go on to run in the JCB Triumph Hurdle in the same season have won

Skybet Dovecote Novices' Hurdle:

Since 1988 Nicky Henderson has won the Dovecote Hurdle six times

Alan King’s last six runners in the Dovecote have produced three winners

Paul Nicholls last nine runners in the Dovecote have produced one winner, two seconds and three thirds

Nicky Henderson’s last seven Dovecote runners have produced two winners, second and a third

Seven of the last eight winners of the Dovecote Hurdle were aged four or five

BetBright Mobile Pendil Novices’ Chase:

Paul Nicholls is trying to win his eighth BetBright Mobile Pendil Novices’ Chase in nine years

Betfred Eider Chase:

The last nine winners of the Eider Chase all carried 11-0 or more

Seven of the last ten winners of the Eider Chase finished in the first two last time out

Only two of the last ten favourites have won the Eider Chase

Mathematician Betting