It has been a long week for me with five bets that resulted in a void race, a fourth, sixth, third and second placed finishers! The money is only lent Mr Bookmaker, get ready to pay-out!
Cheltenham takes centre stage this weekend with Saturday and Sunday being days two and three of the three-day November meeting. Some big names should be lining-up. Also across the Irish Sea on Sunday the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown has a star-studded line-up with Faugheen, Samcro and Supasundae set to clash in the Grade 1 – plenty to keep jumps fans happy.
Back to Saturday; they race at Uttoxeter and Wetherby over the jumps as well and at Lingfield on the Polytrack and Wolverhampton in the evening under the lights on the Tapeta. I am concentrating on the All-Weather at Lingfield and Wolverhampton.
Lingfield has two Fast Track Qualifiers for the All-Weather Championships in the shape of the Listed Churchill Stakes and Golden Rose Stakes and I fancy one in each.
At 2.45 it is the 1m2f Listed Churchill Stakes. Addeybb was perhaps a surprise entry and it will be fascinating to see how the gelding goes with connections trying a winter campaign with the Lincoln and G.2 Bet365 Mile winner. If he wins well here he would surely go to the head of the market for the Easter Classic on Finals Day. James Doyle was booked nice and early to ride and even though he has weight to concede all round he is 10lb clear in the OR’s. 2-1 was around on Tuesday and I helped myself to a bit of that back then; generally 7-4 now.
They face the six furlongs at 3.15 for the Listed Betway Golden Rose Stakes. Gifted Master won this last season before then being put away until Finals day; it looks likely connections might be trying the same trick this year – reportedly the race has been the target for a while. James Doyle was again booked for this one nice and early which also looks positive. The draw could have been kinder but at 7-2 early Friday morning, he looks the solid option to me. I put up Could It Be Love as an each-way punt last weekend and she never got going at all. She could run into a place here but you can’t be backing her after that run at Doncaster. Above The Rest is rated as such on OR’s but has to concede weight to them all under the race conditions and looks up against it. Muthmir hasn’t run over this far since 2015 and has spent most of this year running into a place barring his one win at Haydock.
Godolphin had a few entered here there and everywhere for the weekend and their Magic Illusion from the yard of Charlie Appleby had three entries across Friday and Saturday. The one he takes up is the Ladbrokes, Home Of The Odds Boost EBF Novice Stakes at 6.45 up at Wolverhampton over 1m1½f. He has been beaten favourite on his two runs to date at Ascot and Newmarket but ten future winners have come out of those races suggesting they were pretty decent heats. He should have too much for this line-up and is fancied to get off the mark – he will be the bet as long as priced Evens or better when the satchel swingers chalk up.