Price is right to have faith in Sunnyhillboy
IT was a bad day at the office last week with no winners from three bets and that has put a little dent in the betting pot which has accumulated over the autumn.
I felt particularly let down by Tax Free, which ended up last but one in the Wentworth Stakes at Doncaster and his defeat meant that the fancy Bordeaux I'd spotted in the off-licence that afternoon had to make way for Bulmers instead.
But I suppose it's only right to support our own industries in times of recession and I can assure you that Clonmel's finest helped ease the pain just as well as any fancy grape juice would!
Unlike the bankers, however, we mere mortals don't get bailed out when we gamble away our dough, so it's off to Cheltenham today to see if we can get some of last week's losses back from the old enemy.
The feature race is the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase (2.35), a race which has been punter-friendly in recent times, with five winning favourites this century.
Nicky Henderson's Long Run is the one most likely to go off as the jolly this year, but does anyone else feel that he's a little too hyped? The French import came to Britain with a good reputation and, to give him credit, he won some Novice events quite well before being sent to the Cotswolds for the 2010 RSA Chase, where he only managed third place following a number of jumping errors.
I backed him that day, but I won't be going back for more until he proves himself in a top race. I'm sure he has talent but I'm certainly not going to risk my money at 3/1 on that assertion.
Instead, I'm going to take a chance on SunnyhillBoy, which is generally available at 8/1. He'll have to reverse the placings with Great Endeavour, which beat him into second spot last time out in the Byrne Group Plate at the Festival in March, but on that occasion he was probably held up a little too long and couldn't make up ground on the winner, despite staying on well.
Even though he's 2lbs better off this time, he's nearly double the price of Great Endeavour and I reckon the market has called this one wrong. It's my guess he can gain revenge today, but I'm going to chicken out a bit by backing him each-way as he hasn't been seen since March.
At the time of writing, the tissue prices for Arganil in Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club Handicap (3.0) vary greatly from 5/1 to 25/1 in places.
What price the gelding actually goes off at is anyone's guess, but if he's chalked up in double figures, I'll be first in line with my cash.
Don't be fooled by his latest three dire performances on the turf -- this horse is much better on the artificial surface, with seven wins from 10 races and there's a rumour going around Yorkshire that he's been plotted up for this.
1.30 Lingfield: Baby Dottie
2.35 Cheltenham: Sunnyhillboy (e/w)
3.0 Lingfield: Arganil (e/w)