FOR me this weekend’s Paddy Power meeting is when the National hunt season really gets underway and what better place to start than Cheltenham, the best course in the country for Jumps fans.
It’s probably somewhat hypocritical of me to put something else up when I have backed both Grand Crus for the Paddy Power at 5/1 and Darlan at 6/1 for what used to be known as the Greatwood Hurdle,(now the Racing Post hurdle) but both horses have been hammered of late and they trade at 2/1 and 3/1 respectively, I suppose a 11/1 double is still tempting mind!
I love to see my horse travelling with zest and jumping fluently as they approach three out at Prestbury Park as you need a horse who really stays as the hill tests them to the limit and has changed many a result over the years. For that reason, for the Paddy Power Chase I always like to see a horse who has attempted three miles but is being dropped back to two 1/2m and I believe Calgary Bay at 33/1 ticks nearly every box. My only real concern is that the handicapper hasn’t taken any chances with him, but then again his Skybet Chase win at Doncaster was that of a Gold Cup pretender and a repeat of that around a course that he’s also won on could see him surprise.
I’m more than happy putting him up as an e/w selection - his new trainer has been getting his jumpers pretty straight first time out.
Selection ‑ Saturday 17th November
Paddy Power Chase, Cheltenham – CALGARY BAY e/w