Twelve winners from twenty three bets so far this month keeping my strike rate at 53% with 45.29% return on investment. Great racing on Saturday at Ascot with Champions Day With Jack Hobbs the banker on the card in the 3.05 Qipco Champion Stakes, John Gosden’s very smart 3yo has been well backed this week for the (Group 1) race with Ladbrokes (5/4 from 13/8).
Cheltenham’s new season commences with The Showcase on Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24. The two-day meeting is staged a week later this year to avoid a clash with QIPCO Champions Day at Ascot.
Trainer Emma Lavelle is considering the winner.co.uk Handicap Chase, one of two £50,000 handicaps at the meeting, for high-class performer Claret Cloak.
The eight-year-old has been kept on the go over the summer and was last seen out when runner-up to Oscar Rock in the valuable Listed Prelude Handicap Chase over an extended two and a half miles at Market Rasen on September 26.
He started his summer campaign with a deserved success in a valuable two-mile handicap chase at Kempton Park in May.
Claret Cloak also boasts some good course form at Cheltenham, having finished third in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase at The Festival in 2014.
The winner.co.uk Handicap Chase was run over two and a half miles previously but has been reduced in distance to two miles so there is no clash with the Grade Two Old Roan Chase at Aintree the following day.
Hampshire-based Lavelle said: “The Showcase is a possibility for Claret Cloak. He also has the option of the Old Roan Chase at Aintree the following day and we will just see how things are looking nearer the time.”
“He is a lovely horse to have around the yard and it is just a shame he is so restricted by ground. It is hard for him because he needs to run through the summer to get his ground but you don’t get many condition races which means he is lumping top-weight in handicaps.”
“His run at Market Rasen proved he gets two and a half miles and that opens up a lot more options for us now.”
“He has been great for us through the summer already and, if the ground goes against us, then we will leave him off and bring him back for the spring.”
Yours in sport.
Back Next Thursday.
Kevan Minter – The Colonel.