Saturday 13th November 2021
The November Meeting 2021
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
Day 1 winners:
Art Approval (10/3)
Back On The Lash (4/1)
Welcome to my Saturday preview of this year’s November Meeting, the action kicks off at 12:30 and we’re straight into graded company with the Grade 2 Triumph Trial Hurdle over two miles and half of a furlong take centre-stage. Magistrato could well be the one to be with here for Paul Nicholls, an impressive 12 length winner on stable debut at Chepstow last month and he could prove to be another top recruit for Ditcheat. He’s the obvious most likely winner, but from a punting perspective I’ve taken a chance on Knight Salute for Milton Harris and Paddy Brennan, who’s a considerably bigger price which is currently 9/2. He was last seen when lowering the colours of the smart Impulsive One at Kempton in pretty impressive style, Daryl Jacob expected his mount to win that day and said it would take a good one to beat him and this horse did just that. He could prove a very nice type and his yard are flying along at the moment.
The second race of the day comes up at 1:05 and it’s an Amateur Jockey’s Handicap Chase over three miles and a furlong. Now this is a minefield, it’s currently 11/2 the field which should tell you everything you need to know. I’ve come down on Strictlyadancer though for Christian Williams and Ben Bromley, this is simply because he’s one of few horses that doesn’t look completely exposed and is coming into the race in-form having won here last month. He beat Fact Of The Matter by a length and a half that day and has been raised five pounds, which doesn’t seem overly harsh.
We move onto the 1:40 which is a Grade 2 Novices’ Chase over two miles. Another small-field affair which isn’t a betting race for me, but as far as the winner is concerned it looks to be all about Third Time Lucki for the Skelton’s. He was mightily impressive on his chase debut here last month and will be extremely tough to beat here on that back of that effort, of which he should progress even further from.
The feature race of the day and the meeting in fact comes up at 2:15 and is the Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase, a Grade 3 affair over two miles and four furlongs. I’ve had two darts in the race here from a punting perspective, and the first of which comes in the form of Protektorat for Dan and Harry Skelton. He was last seen when claiming Grade 1 success at Aintree in April last season, and this has apparently been the target for him since. That piece of form is clearly the standout on offer here and he is the old cliche of a ‘Grade 1 horse in a handicap’, his mark doesn’t look too extreme either. The second arrow goes on Zanza for Phillip Hobbs and Tom O’Brien, I’ve had my fingers burnt on this horse in the past and he’s sometimes not the most reliable, but on his day he’s a very capable performer and his run the last day at Exeter will have set him right for this. If getting a clear round he’s definitely not without a chance. Lalor would’ve been a pick for me, but the risk attached to him on the back of his recent efforts is what tempered my enthusiasm, he’s still a big threat though now under the care of Nicholls. Al Dancer and Midnight Shadow are others to note.
It’s the 2:50 next which is a Listed Handicap Hurdle over three miles. This is another extremely competitive affair of which I’ve taken a tentative alliance with Onagatheringstrom for Fergal O’Brien and Paddy Brennean. The six-year-old made a pleasing seasonal reappearance here last month when he finished third in a hot novice event, he’ll have to step up again from that effort if he’s to take this particular assignment, however, he is still progressing and has every chance of going well for his trainer who had success here on Friday.
The penultimate race on Saturday arrives at 3:25 and is a Class 3 Intermediate Handicap Hurdle that’s contested over a distance of two miles and five furlongs. I’ve taken a chance on Gowel Road here for the Twiston-Davies duo of Nigel an Sam, who’s currently trading at around the 8/1 mark. This represents a slight ease in grade for him on his recent assignments as he was last seen finishing sixth in the Grade 3 Silver Trophy at Chepstow. That was far from a bad run and he’s been dropped a further two pounds for his troubles, back within this company and off this mark he’s definitely got place claims at the very least. The ‘fancy’ horses here are Mackelduff and Unexpected Party, and they look to set the standard.
Closing the day is the 3:55 which is the Mares’ National Hunt Flat Race over two miles and half of a furlong. Bonttay heads the betting for this Listed affair for Fergal O’Brien and sets a solid standard after her win here last month, it’s Lady Excalibur for me though here for Alan Johns. She looks to have something about her and is unlucky not to be three from three, her latest win came at Aintree in a competitive bumper and I think there could well be more to come from her. She’s only small but if dealing with this track I make her a big player.