first_imgSaturday’s Betfair Chase sees the return of Long Run and this looks an opportunity to get his career back on track. However for me his best days may well be behind him and this is a chance to take him on at short odds. Never at his best last year, there is a theory that he will bounce back to the level of form that saw him take the 2011 Gold Cup. I prefer the theory that he has always been a precocious talent as his mother has yet to breed a winner over 7yrs old and whilst he may still be able to perform to a high standard, he will never reach former heights and needs to be opposed at short prices.The problem, in opposing him on Saturday, is that he may not need to be at his best to win. However oppose him I must and finding the danger looks easy when looking at the market. Silviniaco Conti is comfortably 2nd best and represents last year’s good crop of novices. It was difficult to ascertain his best trip last year as connections were reluctant to give him the stamina test that for me he appeared to need. However after impressive wins at Aintree and Wetherby at trips exceeding 3 miles, it now seems all systems go, with the Gold Cup the eventual target. He is a big danger with race fitness assured and I would much rather back him at 3/1 than Long Run at 6/4. But how good were those races he won as the Charlie Hall in particular was awful. I think he needs to prove he is top class and at 3/1 I respect but pass.Imperial Commander returns to action and his participation certainly adds greatly to the race. He may also never reach former glories but Saturday could be the time to catch him. There seems to be the old cliché that he will come on greatly for this first run back which for me is usually utter rubbish. More and more these days trainers can get their horses very fit at home and horses coming back from a long absence are more likely to be race fit than those coming back from a short break. The reason is simple: trainers will not take chances with horses who have been injured as running them under prepared is a sure way to injure them again. So expect Imperial Commander to be ready for Saturday and if he retains the majority of his former ability, expect him to go close. Clearly there are doubts but at 7/1 I would take a chance.The Giant Bolster proved a revelation at the end of last season and on his Gold Cup runner up form is massive at 10/1.This big unit, as the name would suggest, is only 7 and has his best days ahead of him. There is the concern that he is yet to perform properly away from Cheltenham but those risks are compensated by the price. I prefer to take the view that David Bridgewater is taken the training game much more seriously these days and is starting to reap the rewards. He may need this and he may be a Cheltenham horse but how can he be 10/1 and Long Run 6/4 on the Gold Cup form, as he is the potential improver of the pair.The only other one to consider is Weird Al who is very well named and who is undoubtedly best caught fresh. He will have his supporters and I would rather back him at 12/1 than the fav at 6/4.He is worth a saver at those odds.Betfair Gold Cup recommendationsImperial Commander 7/1 1 pt winThe Giant Bolster 10/1 1.5 pts winWeird Al 12/1 0 .5 pt winlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *