WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides a preview and two each-way selections for the sponsored card at Fontwell Park on Wednesday 20th October
|Out Sam||8/1||Ante Post
Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase
Date of Tips: 09/12/2020
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (14:29 09/12/2020) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
Tiger Roll he isn’t, but in his own honourable way, Out Sam is proving to be a lesser but similarly worthy version – and that is meant in no way to slight his ability.
Two wins and a second from six starts around the idiosyncratic cross-country course at Cheltenham is a decent return for the mighty Tiger. But Out Sam, (while being one year older and will probably never have the chance to equal his illustrious stablemate’s record,) does boast two bronze medals from his only two starts here
While the action on the conventional track at Cheltenham this weekend moves to the new course, it momentarily reverts back to the centre section and the cross-country track at 3.00 on Friday, for the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase, and at 8/1 with Skybet who offer four places for each-way terms, Out Sam is a good bet to land in the gold medal spot this time around.
Gordon Elliott has predictably squeezed every ounce of potential prize-money making ability out of the now 11-year-old Out Sam. He has won a Cork Grand National, was mightily unlucky not to win an Ulster Grand National, filled fourth spot in a Thyestes, finished fifth in a Troytown and also matched that position in this year’s Cork Grand National.
That recent run signified that he was nearing fever pitch this season, and despite entries aplenty in the last few weeks and not being able to squeeze in as a reserve in this season’s Troytown and Porterstown Chases, it is notable that Elliott sends Out Sam across the Irish Sea for his next start.
Of course, a more ready pointer to his chance in the race at 3.00 on Friday are his two previous efforts over the course and distance. Out Sam was third in this race last year, when chasing home Easysland, who was rated 28lbs lower than he is now, and Amazing Comedy, who has since won twice at Lion D’Angeers with consummate ease.
While he was also third behind only Easysland and Tiger Roll in the cross-country race at the Cheltenham Festival this year, and as that was a level weights race as opposed to a handicap, it makes it all the more meritorious that he was the only one of the beaten horses who could seemingly raise a gallop on the run in.
Back in a handicap now, and already having beaten the re-opposing Neverushacon and Kingswell Theatre in this race last year, and also at the Festival, I see little reason to think that he won’t confirm that superiority. So, at 8/1 with SkyBet, while the aforementioned pair are vying for favouritism, Out Sam appeals as a very sound each-way bet. Other firms are offering slightly better odds, but I think the four places offer is worth securing.
What’s more, there is rain forecast (quite how much no-one seems to know) which will further enhance Out Sam’s claims. What it will also do is hinder the likes of Kingswell Theatre (who won a crawl from the front on a sound surface here in October,) Neverushacon (who it appears doesn’t quite last out this trip,) while Beau De Brizais and My Hometown act around here but would be massively inconvenienced by a testing surface.
The danger could potentially be a freshened-up Some Neck, who looked on better terms with himself last time out, having joined the upwardly mobile yard of John McConnell. Cheekpieces and the mind-engaging course could combine to produce a better run than his current odds of 20/1 suggest.