Friday 15 December 2017

Sire De Grugy owes me a Christmas favour in Tingle Creek

Wayne Bailey

READERS of a certain generation may remember an orange juice drink name Jubbly, which was available in a pyramid shaped carton in the 1950s and 60s.

The drink is long gone, but their advertising slogan 'Lubbly Jubbly' lives on thanks to actor David Jason.

He remembered hearing the phrase as a teenager and years later he thought it might be the type of thing his character Del Boy would say in 'Only Fools And Horses.'

Thus, the slightly amended phrase 'lovely jubbly' entered the British and Irish lexicon in the 1980s and it's something you hear quite often to this day from punters when things are going their way.

Indeed, about three weeks ago, while watching Cheltenham, I was shouting Del Boy's phrase at the missus as the horse I'd backed, Sire De Grugy, was leading two-out in the Shloer Chase.

I had the computer beside me and when I saw his price hit 1/10 in-running on the machine, I was sure I was quids in, so I promised herself a share of the winnings.

Even though the SP was very short at 5/6, I had a good wedge on to make it worth my while.

But just like one of Del Boy's money-making schemes, it all went pear-shaped in the last 100 yards or so as Nicky Henderson's Kid Cassidy took the lead and quickly pulled a couple of lengths clear to win.

TRUTH

The wife was upset as she thought I'd had a ton on it and was waiting to collect, but not half as upset as me who knew the truth about how much money was actually at stake.

It's never good to lose a big sum of cash on a short one and it's even worse when it happens close to Christmas – although a chance is offered to get a few quid back on the seven-year-old today as he takes on eight runners in the Tingle Creek at Sandown (3.0).

I risk digging a further hole for myself with this horse, but in the absence of the brilliant Sprinter Sacre, he definitely looks the pick of the bunch and I reckon his price of 2/1 could be fairly generous.

While an odds-on upset last time should always make one cautious, Sire De Grugy was conceding 10lbs to the winner, so he didn't really lose too much in defeat.

At Chepstow previously, he made a mockery of his mark of 161 when readily winning a decent handicap, giving 11lbs to his nearest rival Majala. A subsequent hike in the weights means that handicap races are now more or less out of the question.

But trainer Gary Moore is entitled to think big and his charge's latest two races prove that his victory over the likes of Finian's Rainbow and Sanctuaire in the Grade Two Celebration Chase here in April was no fluke.

Captain Conan is the one I fear most.

While some of his Grade One victories were in races which lacked depth, Nicky Henderson's six-year-old beat the selection in a novice race last year and further improvement this term is certainly not out of the question.

Each-way

THE Venetia Williams-trained Bennys Mist (16/1) was pulled up in April's Topham Chase, but that came on the back of a long successful season and he's best not judged too harshly.

An inadequate short trip saw him finish sixth of nine runners in a handicap at Stratford last time and now eased a couple of pounds in the weights, he looks well handicapped for today's 3m 2f Becher Chase at Aintree (2.05).

Today's selections

1.50 Sandown: Balder Succes

2.05 Aintree: Bennys Mist (e/w)

2.20 Navan: Felix Yonger

2.40 Aintree: The Giant Bolster

3.0 Sandown: Sire De Grugy

3.45 Chepstow: Tara Road

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