Nice max bet landed last week at Lingfield with Sabre Rock (11/10) keeping my overall strike rate up to 38% and Monday’s easy winner Urban Castle (9/4) is one to keep on the right side of this winter on the all-weather.
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The on-line betting group BetBright are backing the £100,000 BetBright Cup Chase on Festival Trials Day, Saturday at Cheltenham.
The feature race on Festival Trials Day was first run in 1980 and attained Grade Two status in 1999. The BetBright Cup Chase is a key pointer for experts and punters alike to The Festival where last year’s winner, Cheltenham specialist The Giant Bolster, went on to finish a close third in the pinnacle of chasing, the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.
After sponsoring four races at the Home of Jump Racing for the first time on New Year’s Day, BetBright are further extending their partnership with the course by backing the prestigious contest for at least three years. The race was previously sponsored by Argento between 2010 and 2014.
Reflecting its importance to the countdown to The Festival the BetBright Cup Chase has been dominated by some of the big names in racing. Eight-time champion trainer Paul Nicholls has recorded four victories so far in the BetBright Cup Chase, with See More Business (1998 & 2001), Taranis (2010) and Neptune Collonges (2011), while 19-time champion jockey A P (Tony) McCoy is the most successful rider with three triumphs – Cyfor Malta (1999), Exotic Dancer (2007) and Neptune Collonges (2011).
Brian Farrell, BetBright’s Marketing Director, commented: “BetBright are delighted to be supporting Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day. Starting from our four races on New Year’s Day, BetBright’s Cheltenham sponsorships are helping to provide a clear path for punters – and everyone in racing – to assess their potential Festival fancies. The BetBright Cup Chase will be a key indicator towards this.”
Carey Buckler, Regional Sponsorship Manager for Jockey Club Racecourses South West, said: “I am delighted that BetBright will be sponsoring the BetBright Cup Chase for the next three years. The race is the highlight of the card on Festival Trials Day and often throws up a key contender for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.”
Four BetBright Cup Chase winners have subsequently gone on to glory in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Peter Easterby-trained Little Owl won the BetBright Cup Chase in 1981 before taking chasing’s Blue Riband the same year. Master Oats achieved the same feat for trainer Kim Bailey in 1995. The Paul Nicholls-trained See More Business, successful in the 1998 BetBright Cup Chase and then again in 2001, captured the Gold Cup in 1999, while Looks Like Trouble achieved this brilliant double in 2000 for trainer Noel Chance.
Dawn Run, who won one of the most memorable Cheltenham Gold Cups in 1986, ran in the BetBright Cup Chase prior to her famous victory. Starting the 4/9 favourite, the great mare looked to be well in command when unseating her rider Tony Mullins at the 16th fence. She was remounted to finish fourth behind Misty Spirit. She returned to Cheltenham in March to land chasing’s championship event, becoming the only horse to win both the Champion Hurdle and the Cheltenham Gold.
Nationl Hunt trainer David Brigwater’s remark that the Ludlow stewards are idiots has cost him £2,000 by the BHA last week I am sure it was a heat of the moment thing, as my old dad has always told me think it lad but dont say it.
Nicky Henderson was very happy with Sprinter Sacre the day after his come-back run at Ascot, Henderson said ”He ate up and did all the right things. No damage was done, which is always a relief. The checks on his heart were fine. He will have an easy week or ten days and then we’ll start his build-up to Cheltenham.”
The Willie Mullins trained Vautour won pulling a cart at Leopardstown on Sunday in the Killiney Chase and is now 3/1 favourite for the JLT Novices Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
News this week that Nicky Henderson’s Long Run will miss the Grand National due to injuries he received from his flight home from Paris last summer.
Easter Day has been well backed this week 9/1 from 12/1 with Paddy Power for the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster this Saturday. Hurricane Fly will be very hard to beat in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday the 4/5 with Ladbrokes looks a fair price for the prolific hurdler.
Back next Thursday.
Kevan Minter – The Colonel