terrypicI balk at calling it Bet Victor Gold Cup day because the then Victor Chandler Gibraltar based company screwed me for £200 a few years ago and I’ve never bet with them since then. They are grade one shits and if you, Michael Tabor (now the owner of this disreputable bookie with a history of misbehaviour), wants to sue me for that, bring it on! By the way, the picture is Terry Biddlecombe, having won the Mackeson, for that is how we remember it.

Now on to better things in the shape of what we all know as the Paddy Power Gold Cup and, for those with longer memories (like me) the Mackeson Gold Cup with a roll of honour including Fortria (1960 and 1962), Gay Trip (1969 and 1971), Bradbury Star (1993 and 1994) and that great grey Señor El Betrutti off 10st in 1997.

Now on to the races!

12.40 Triumph Hurdle Trial 2m

So, these are largely debutants at this level and I’m keen on Wealth Des Mottes (2/1) as a classic P F Nicholls import from France. I see the challengers as Nucky Thompson (16/1) and Defi du Seuil (another at 2/1) for JP. It’s a lottery but I have a feeling that the selection will be thereabouts in March.

1.15 Novices’ Chase 3m

Thistlecrack (1/6), currently 4/1 (10/1 bar) for the Gold Cup has to follow up on his spectacular chasing debut at Chepstow. His form leading into this is 1/211111-1. A watching race that I’m really looking forward to.

1.50 Handicap Chase 3m 3f

Not my sort of race from a betting perspective. For the sake of it, I’ll choose Cogry (9/1) as a random bet (if I was giving stars it would be 0 stars), just a choice in the absence of anything else.

2.25 Paddy Power (formerly Mackeson) (Handicap) Gold Cup 2m 4f

I’m all against More Of That and with As De Mee (9/1) for Nicholls/Bowen off a very attractive 10st 8lb which is perfect for this race. It’s important to remember that this is an early outing for decent horses in a handicap. Those who think that they have really decent handicappers wait for the Hennessy, notwithstanding the greater distance. Genuine 2m 4f Festival contenders are generally saved (see my earlier posts).

3.00 Handicap Hurdle 3m 1f

This is my bet of the day. Irish Saint (at a superb current 18/1 e/w) is comfortably ahead of the rest of these. Some may say that the top weight is too much but I’d bet on him at the Festival and I think that he’ll hose in. Bet now because I’m convinced that the odds will shorten.

3.35 Intermediate Handicap Hurdle 2m 5f

By its name this is one avoid (0-140 with conditions). As I’m writing it’s 10/1 the field so I’ll just pick one, Robin Of Locksley (9/1) for an each way based on good trainer and jockey at a low weight. I don’t recommend any bet on this race.

4.05 Mares’ Bumper 2m 1/2f

If the last one was difficult, at this time of the year, this one is ridiculous. I’ll just follow Timeform and go with Irish Roe at 13/2.

Not a day for combinations (I’ve checked Wetherby) or a placepot.

I’ll know early because I’m going for a double with Wealth Des Mottes and As De Mee for a Nicholls double.

Good luck!