Angus McNae
Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
Friday 11th November 2016

Racing UK

Three fancied horses to oppose at Cheltenham’s Open meeting

There are three exciting days of action coming up at Cheltenham. Each day provides plenty of decent punting opportunities but, without knowing the exact runners at the time of writing, it is tough to be categoric as far as selections are concerned.

However, here are some early thoughts in terms of horses I will be looking to oppose over the weekend.

Firstly, I am against More Of That in the BetVictor Gold Cup on Saturday. He is a very talented horse - but one with problems.

He was imperious in 2014 when winning the World Hurdle but since then he has only run four times. The last time we saw him he was third in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in March, where it was reported that he bled.

Now he is back and Jonjo O'Neill seems bullish about his chances. However, from a punter's’ point of view he is just as likely to bomb out as to win.

For a seasonal reappearance, this really competitive 19-runner handicap is a tough start to a season for a horse with issues. On balance, he should be opposed in the win and place markets on the exchanges. The reason I think he should be lay for a place is that, with his infirmities, Barry Geraghty will surely look after him if he cannot win.

Top Gamble
© Grossick Photography
Top Gamble

It has rained this week, so the Top Gamble bandwagon has started to roll.

This will serve to compress his price and there is no way I am climbing aboard when he contests the Shloer Chase on Sunday.

He is currently a 7-2 chance and is one to lay in the win market.

For a start, the ground is currently good and surely he wants it softer than that. Indeed his very best efforts have been saved for soft ground or worse. Secondly, he has had a seven-month lay-off.

In my book, this does not make him a 7-2 shot.

The opening novices’ hurdle on Sunday looks set to feature Moon Racer versus Ballyandy the rematch.

They met at Perth recently, where Moon Racer ran out a game winner.

He is rated as a 6-4 shot to win again but Ballyandy must have a great chance of turning the form around.

He travelled like the best horse in the race and, but for a momentum stopping error two out, might well have won. He is also a hardier type and is 4lb better off.

Moon Racer has only been seen twice since winning the Champion Bumper in 2015 and he had a tough race at Perth. For me, Ballyandy is far more likely to come out of their Perth encounter in better shape and he should be able to turn the form around.

Moon Racer should be a lay in the win market on the exchanges at around 6-4.