Saturday, 14 October 2017

'He could be a Gold Cup contender' - Big Festival hero joins top novices in excellent Chepstow card

Embed from Getty Images
Aintree and Punchestown winner Sizing Codelco can prove his Cheltenham Gold Cup claims, as he attempts to overcome top weight in the Toteexacta Handicap Chase (4:45) at Chepstow this afternoon.

The eight-year-old stepped up from his unplaced Festival effort to win impressively by 13 lengths, in a listed handicap at the National meeting.

Despite a fair 11lb rise for his Lancashire romp, he continued his progression to win in Ireland only for the handicapper to add another 10lb on his back.

With his handicap mark so high, to win giving so much weight away would surely prove him as another classy chaser in the Tizzard camp.

“He’s a 160-rated horse for us who really came good in the spring,” said Tizzard.

“Whether he is good enough to give weight to all of those I don’t know, it’s a tough ask.

“If he won this then I’d have to think he’s a Gold Cup horse, if he gets beat then he’s a handicapper.

“He seems in good form, and I am looking forward to seeing where we are with him.”

Currently he is unfancied for the Festival’s most illustrious prize, with stable stars Thistlecrack, 
Native River and veteran Cue Card setting a high standard for the three-time chase winner.
Odds of 66-1 may shorten should he enjoy a victory in South Wales this afternoon.

Phillip Hobbs’ Rock The Kasbah leads the market at Chepstow. A Grade Two second last season, he makes his first start since finishing sixth in Sandown’s Bet365 Handicap (commonly named the Whitbread).

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Ballykan, Lucy Wadham’s Potters Legend and Alan King’s Label Des Obeaux also line up in the 2m7f handicap.

Embed from Getty Images
Champion trainer seeking Paul Nicholls sends two strong novice hurdlers to South Wales

Elsewhere on the card Paul Nicholls is strongly represented in the two opening novice hurdles on the card.

Dynamite Dollars (1:55) has yet to win for the Ditcheat maestro, but finished well when sixth in a competitive Newbury bumper.

“While he didn't manage to win any of his three bumpers last season when he was a little backward he created a good impression in twice finishing third including a good run in a Listed event at Cheltenham on New Year's Day,” Nicholls told his Betfair blog.

“I watched him jump well during a schooling session round a French racecourse before we bought him.

“He is built like a proper National Hunt prospect, is fit and well, can only improve with experience and I am looking forward to him starting off over hurdles here. He will run well.”

He’ll take on Captain Simon, who is two from two, for Dan Skelton and Jonjo O’Neill’s expensive new recruit Fleminport.

Meanwhile If You Say Run (2:30) has been steadily improving for Nicholls. After a point-to-point win in Ireland, he won impressively on his British debut in a bumper at this track.

“She is a lovely mare who made the perfect to start to racing with an impressive victory in a point-to-point in Ireland despite some jumping errors,” he added.

“She displayed a smart turn of foot that day and didn't surprise us at all when making all the running on her debut for us in a bumper at Chepstow in the spring on her way to winning by 13 lengths.

“She’s a smart mare who is ready to go, has a nice turn of foot and will appreciate the good ground.”

Jonjo O’Neill’s Rosie McQueen and Rebecca Curtis’ Just A Thought are her main dangers.

Read thoughts ahead of Finian's Oscar's chasing debut here, and exclusive comments ahead of the Silver Trophy here.

No comments:

Post a Comment