Weekend Roundup: Long Run Flops As Harry Topper Lands Charlie Hall Chase And Roi Du Mee Wins At Down Royal
November 5, 2013 Leave a comment
Long Run’s exemplary British record that had seen him finish in the first three of every race he had competed in came to an abrupt end at the weekend, as the former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner could only stroll home a tame fifth in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby and left people scratching their heads over his poor showing in the Grade Two event.
However, Nicky Henderson was quick to set the record straight and let it be known that the eight-year-old scoped dirty following his exertions at the North Yorkshire track and that he would expect his Seven Barrows inmate to bounce back but bookmakers were quick to take on the Robert Waley-Cohen-owned gelding and he is as big as 25/1 with William Hill to regain the Cheltenham Gold Cup crown he won back in 2011.
Long Run’s jumping yet again failed on occasions over the 3m 1f trip and Sam Waley-Cohen was forced to sit tight as followers of the 11/10 favourite held their breath when he sent the birch flying, but it was his lack of zip in the home straight that would’ve alarmed his followers and they will be hoping that the dirty scope is the reason for his mediocre display and that Henderson can get him firing back on all cylinders when he goes in search of a third King George VI Chase title on Boxing Day, for which he is currently available at 12/1.
Kim Bailey’s Harry Topper was Long Run’s conqueror in the Charlie Hall but even though he landed the spoils by edging out the gutsy duo of Wayward Prince and Unioniste, it’s tough to see him shaping up into a genuine Cheltenham Gold Cup contender and William Hill have kept him around 33/1 for the Prestbury Park showpiece in March.
Earlier on the card, Paul Nicholls’s Tidal Bay showed he still has a love for the game as the 12-year-old dual-purpose performer landed the West Yorkshire Hurdle and the veteran was installed as a 50/1 chance for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, whilst he is a 33/1 shot for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, and who’s to say that the wily old campaigner won’t be seen bidding for top class glory? The race at Wetherby was the same he won 12 months ago en route to Lexus Chase victory at Leopardstown last Christmas before injury ruled him out of Cheltenham. It has to be thought that Saturday’s re-appearance was a warm up for another tilt over bigger obstacles and his next engagement comes in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury at the end of this month, where he’s currently a 14/1 chance and would have to be respected.
Elsewhere at the weekend, Down Royal hosted a cracking card over the Irish Sea and their feature event was the JNWine Champion Chase, which has been to throw up a few first rate winners in the past but this year’s renewal saw a shock as the likes of Sizing Europe and First Lieutenant were unable to deal with the classy Roi Du Mee, who stormed to a 12-length success in the Grade One at an sp of 12/1.
It was the Gordon Elliott trained eight-year-old’s first Grade One success but even though he gained some sporadic quotes of 40/1 by some firms for the Gold Cup, he could well shape up into more of Ryanair Chase contender for which he is around the 20/1 mark for anybody look to speculate for value within their antepost portfolios.