In the race that was the Mackeson Gold Cup when I first got into racing I cannot recall an uncompetitive running. Mackeson have long gone, and Paddy Power now sponsor. This looks a hot running at first glance, but there are two in it who ought to end the season in graded races: Simply The Betts and Mister Fisher.
On talent and potential I find them hard to separate. Mister Fisher is the younger by a year, and has had three races fewer. What might do for him here is the trip. I doubt he’ll be at his best over this far in this race, which should call for a fair depth of stamina. He ran a fine race when 4th to Samcro over this distance in March, looking tired at the last and coming home at one pace. Before that he’d beaten Al Dancer comfortably over 2m at Doncaster, having idled as he had also done when winning at Cheltenham over an extended 20f.
But Mister Fisher had strengthened quite a bit from the prevous season and if he has done so again this summer he might well see this trip out better. The drying ground should suit him very well indeed, whereas Simply The Betts has run his best races on soft. But he has won twice on good and his trainer Harry Whittington believes he’s a better horse on decent ground. The forecast for tomorrow is good to soft (no rain incoming until after 4pm according to the professionals).
Simply The Betts has won 4 of his 5 steeplechases (2nd in the other after several mistakes and slipping). He gives me the impression that he’s still learning how to organise himself, and I think there’s quite a bit more to come. As to the trip, he’ll relish every yard and I’m hoping he’ll put himself in the Ryanair picture here. Whereas Mister Fisher idles, Simply The Betts just won’t give up, as he showed at the festival after being headed by Happy Diva, who looked to be going the better at the last. But the Whittington horse battled back and won going away.
Whatever happens, it’ll be good to see these two very promising young horses back for another season.
Having been ready to back Simply The Betts win only, Skybet’s standout EW to 6 places drew me in and that’s what I’ve taken.
Good luck, and remember to keep your stakes well inside your comfort zone. No tipster alive is reliable. We run hot and cold, and until Protektorat won, I’d been a long time on the cold list.
Cheltenham 2.15: Simply The Betts 5/1 EW 6 places Skybet
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