Coneygree Has Cue’s Card Marked
Today is the day when a Gold Cup winner makes his seasonal debut and two of last season’s higher rated novices put their Gold Cup credentials on the line.
Old Foes Meet Again
The bosses at Wetherby will be thrilled to have attracted Cue Card and Coneygree for the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase and when the pair met last season at Haydock it was Cue Card that came out on top by 15-lengths. But this is a different scenario and Coneygree is picked to come out on top this time around.
Frustratingly only seen twice last season, Coneygree posted an incredible effort at the Punchestown Festival behind Sizing John and Djakadam and after a short summer break he was then primed for the Kerry National at Listowel.
The heavy ground in the Kingdom in mid-September forced a rethink and now Coneygree goes to Wetherby where he gets weight from his market principals and can be backed at 2/1 to beat Cue Card.
On his best, Coneygree has proven too good in this type of company and you are taking it in good faith that the horse will be fit enough but the Bradstocks know this horse inside out now and have had him ready since September so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Respect Meade at Down Royal
After a few baron years Noel Meade certainly has a team to look forward to this campaign and he can pull off a big race double at Down Royal this afternoon.
In his Herald column today Our Duke’s jockey Robbie Power suggested that the only negative with his horse is the lack of a run and despite Power’s confidence…
that lack of a run in this sort of company could just count against the BoyleSports Irish Grand National winner.
Road To Respect did well to win at Punchestown last month and picked up where he left off last season after his victories at Cheltenham and Fairyhouse, the latter seeing him beat Yorkhill, and the six-year-old looks capable of landing the feature honours up north today.
Meade also runs Grade 1 winner Disko in the second season novice Grade 2 on the card and while seeing him drop back in trip by five furlongs is a bit of a concern, expect this fella to be ridden from the front and able to jump his rivals into submission.
Ballyoisin obviously warrants respect after his recent weight carrying performance in handicap company, but Disko looks an exciting sort for the campaign and he wasn’t disgraced in the JLT at Cheltenham over a similar trip last March. It could be a good day or Meade and Gigginstown and you can expect the owner to win the last too with Rapid Escape.
Road To Respect (4/1) – 2.30 Down Royal
Disko (5/4) – 3.05 Down Royal
Coneygree (9/4) – 3.15 Wetherby
*Prices correct at time of publication.