WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides a preview and two each-way selections for the sponsored card at Fontwell Park on Wednesday 20th October
|Windsor Avenue||10/1||Ante Post
Caspian Caviar Gold Cup – 1.50
Date of Tips: 08/12/2020
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (13:05 08/12/2020) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
Timing is everything – I’m sure I’ve uttered these words before on these pages, and it can be applied to almost every aspect of modern life. But if ever there was one golden rule to ante-post betting, then this pithy statement would be it.
I was itchy-fingered yesterday to have a bet and type out recommendations for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham at 1.30 on Saturday, but no sooner was I about to pull the metaphorical trigger, than the news sifted through that the Peterborough Chase, which was due to be run at Huntingdon’s abandoned Sunday fixture last weekend, will now be rescheduled for Friday afternoon at Cheltenham.
As one of my potential bets for the big Saturday handicap was in the initial entries for that race, I deemed it prudent to hold fire. As I write this now, on Tuesday lunchtime, the entries for the Peterborough Chase have just closed. Crucially for some, it will be run over a furlong shorter than the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup on Saturday, and the entries include four horses towards the head of the betting in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup – Al Dancer, Clondaw Castle, Master Tommytucker and Mister Fisher.
The first named there would have been one of the picks for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, but it’s best to wait now and see which race Al Dancer runs in at the weekend. As for the main pick in Saturday’s Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at 1.50, that would fall on the shoulders of a northern raider, which is a fashionable angle at the moment, with the likes of Aye Right, Yorkhill and Lake View Lad all laying it down to the big southern battalions over the last few weekends.
Windsor Avenue is very much the apple of Brian Ellison’s eye, and he has set his sights on jump racing’s HQ for the big race on Saturday, so at 10/1 each-way with Bet365 now, we should take note. Ellison would not waste his bullets when shooting at the big Cheltenham meetings, and while it’s usually with a crack handicap hurdler like Bothy, Nietszche and Cormier – who have all won or taken home a chunk of prize money from Greatwood Hurdles, a Coral Cup and a County Hurdle – he has a go at the valuable Caspian Caviar Gold Cup this time.
As a novice hurdler, Windsor Avenue was only just beaten by Al Dancer and Rouge Vif in above average events, but it was as a chaser that Windsor Avenue was always going to come into his own. He duly did so when winning his first two starts, notably toying with the 151-rated Ballymoy in a Carlisle novice chase. The handicapper took umbrage, and rightly so, hauling him up from 138 to 153 in one fell swoop.
A couple of disappointing efforts have subsequently lopped 5lbs off his mark to 148, and since a wind operation in the summer has given us a reason for the below par runs, that is sure to underplay the level of ability that Windsor Avenue has.
The notion that he is nicely treated was further backed up by his seasonal reappearance second in the Colin Parker Memorial Chase, when he chased home Imperial Aura (current Ryanair Chase favourite), and had the 150+ rated trio of Sam Brown, Black Op and Brewinupastorm all beaten off in behind. The handicapper has left Windsor Avenue on 148, and we should take the hint that Brian Ellison is willing to have a go at this valuable race with his star chaser now, off the back off that lovely run at Carlisle.
Yes, Windsor Avenue hasn’t encountered Cheltenham yet, but he has fairly scooted up the Carlisle hill on four occasions to win twice and be close behind Al Dancer and Imperial Aura on the other two occasions. Plus, being trained by Ellison, who doesn’t waste a drop of diesel on his Cheltenham raids, he looks sure to run well at 10/1 with Bet365.