Matt Brocklebank looks ahead to the New Year's Day racing at Cheltenham and fancies an unexposed Venetia Williams horse to win the staying handicap chase.
1pt win Anytime Will Do in 2.35 Cheltenham at 12/1 (Non-runner)
It's a very competitive New Year’s Day card, as you'd expect, but progressive types are conspicuous by their absence in the Markel Insurance Handicap Chase and two stand out.
Equus Secretus shaped with promise in third on his comeback at Ludlow a fortnight ago and should be up to winning races from his current mark, but at an even bigger price preference is for COMMODORE – representing Venetia Williams, who enjoyed success at the meeting last term with Aso.
Commodore isn't anywhere near that level yet but he looked to be going places with back-to-back handicap chase wins at Warwick and Sandown last season, which saw his rating rise from 109 to 135.
This term hasn’t gone to plan yet but he ran better than the finishing position suggests on his return at Bangor, while any horse as inexperienced as he can be excused a poor showing in the Ladbrokes Trophy.
He was unable to get into the race at any stage at Newbury but Charlie Deutsch looked after him late on and he’ll find this sort of company (largely older, exposed rivals) far more to his liking.
The bold-jumping grey handles heavy ground extremely well but I wouldn’t want to pigeon-hole him as an out-and-out slogger by any means, with his victory last December coming on good to soft.
He's just turned eight, remains on a nice-looking handicap mark and a return to more forceful tactics should play to his strengths. He rates a decent bet at 16/1 with bet65.
Posted at 1600 GMT on 31/12/19.
- Article updated after Anytime Will Do was declared a non-runner on Wednesday morning