Tuesday 2nd November
Author: Jordan Yates (@EvRacing_)
Whilst everyone has been talking about the Melbourne Cup, it’s the Haldon Gold Cup for me here. Who needs Melbourne when you’ve got Exeter? The race is set to take place at 1:55 and it’s a Grade 2 Handicap Chase that’s contested over two miles and one and a half furlongs. Paul Nicholls is no stranger to success in the race and he has a very firm grip on it once again as he’s responsible for the current favourite and second favourite.
Hitman looks to be the Ditcheat first string who’s the mount of Harry Cobden and is currently trading at around the 11/10 mark. He’s a horse that came to these shores with a lofty reputation and he notched up two victories last season as well as a couple of solid efforts within Grade 1 company when he finished second to Allmankind at Sandown and then third behind Protektorat at Aintree. Last year’s winner Greaneteen will be looking to retain his crown, and you can find him currently installed as the second favourite at 4/1 under Bryony Frost. He signed off last season with a near four length victory over Altior in the Grade 1 Celebration Chase at Sandown and is the top-rated horse here by some way as a result of that success.
Eldorado Allen is set to take his place here for Colin Tizzard and Brendan Powell. Trading at around the 11/2 mark he was last seen when finishing fifth at Aintree in the Grade 1 Novice, several lengths behind Hitman. His best performance last season came at the Cheltenham Festival where he finished second in the Arkle, twelve lengths behind Shishkin. Zanza had a bit of an up and down season last term, with a couple of victories to his name as well as a fall and a pulled-up, he’ll be ridden by Tom O’Brien and is currently a best price of 10/1 for Phillip Hobbs.
Dan Skelton sends the progressive handicapper King D’argent to take his place in hotter company here, he had a fine campaign towards the back end of last season and improved over twenty pounds with successive wide-margin victories. Concluding the field is Moonlighter for Nick Williams and Tom Scudamore who sits at the foot of the betting at the 12/1 mark. He didn’t run his race when last seen at the Cheltenham Festival when he was pulled-up in the Grand Annual, most notably though he was only a neck second in this race last year to Greaneteen.
I think this can go to Hitman for Paul Nicholls, he’s the youngest and most progressive looking horse in the race and could still have a bit of star quality about him. He sports those famous silks that the yard have had so much success with in recent times and I think he could well give them a little bit more, he’ll have to be pretty good though to see off stablemate Greaneteen who was mightily impressive when turning Altior over and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet either. He does however, have to give a lot of weight to the five-year-old.