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|Calipso Collonges||7/1||Ante Post
each-way (4 places)
Haydock Park 14.40 - Sat 18th Dec
Date of Tips: 14/12/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (09:21 14/12/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
The Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury just over two weeks ago was as competitive a looking renewal of the race beforehand, as I can recall. For all that it produced a stirring finish between Cloudy Glen and Fiddlerontheroof, the rest of the field were strung out all over Berkshire.
It was a grueller for sure, run at a solid tempo throughout, and quite a few horses, (Demachine, Potterman, Copperhead and Kitty’s Light,) who held early closing entries this weekend have had those options scrubbed out. Presumably still icing their aching limbs!
Enrilo is the only horse to run since, having got no further than halfway down the back straight second time around at Newbury, and he was subsequently pulled up at Cheltenham behind the brilliant Commodore.
Certainly, in the next few weeks, I think it could be wise to take the view that horses who ran in it could be still feeling the effects. One such horse is Remastered, who has been installed as a general 7/2 favourite for this Saturday’s Virgin Bet Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase at 2.40 at Haydock Park.
Firstly, thank goodness he is none the worse for wear after his spectacular tumble at the first in the home straight in the Ladbrokes Trophy, when he would surely have played a hand in the finish.
Remastered did have an entry in the valuable 3m handicap chase at Ascot, but was removed from that, and if he runs anywhere this weekend it will be in the Tommy Whittle, where he will more than likely get his favoured soft or heavy ground.
However, he would have to lug top weight around, and it would be quite the nod to his constitution and the skills of trainer David Pipe, for him to even be deemed fine to run in the race, let alone go and win it.
So, it is very much worth looking elsewhere in terms of an ‘early in the week’ ante-post bet, and there is one that has caught my eye.
Calipso Collonges has had the Virgin Bet Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase as his early season target for a good while, and he tuned up for it in impressive fashion 5 weeks ago at Kelso.
A wind operation in the summer has seen an instant improvement, as he was urged clear over an inadequate trip at the Borders venue, and with his stable continuing in brilliant form, he is a lovely 7/1 each-way bet with Sky Bet, who offer 4 places each-way. 8/1 is available with Paddy Power or Betfair Sportsbook, but that is only for 3 places at this stage, and so taking the extra safety net of 4 places is advisable.
You may get better place terms on the day, but I would be surprised if you could get 7/1 or better. Calipso Collonges was second in the race two season ago, behind the eye-poppingly well handicapped Lord Du Mesnil (started this season rated 26lbs higher,) and a good way clear of the third Vintage Clouds, who easily won the Peter Marsh on his next start, and his since won the Ultima at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.
The horses well beaten that day featured amongst them: a recent winner of the Cheltenham Foxhunters, a recent winner of the Eider Chase, one horse who went on to win two Veterans’ Chases out of his next 4 starts, and a Ladbrokes Trophy 4th. It was a very up-to-standard renewal.
Last season didn’t go fully according to plan for Calipso Collonges, in that he didn’t win, but he was 4th in a Becher Chase, 3rd in the Masters Handicap Chase at Sandown and a very creditable 4th in a very good handicap chase at the Aintree Grand National meeting. So not too shabby.
It was this last run that showed he can also perform very well with ground slightly livelier than soft or heavy. If it were to dry up significantly at Haydock Park this weekend, which is possible given the dry forecast, then it won’t inconvenience Calipso Collonges too much.
Three horses that will potentially have good races in them this season are Rath An Iuir, Fade Des Brosses and No Rematch, but for any of these three, surely winning the Tommy Whittle on their seasonal debut would be just too monumental a feat to side with them for this weekend.
If there was one that you could potentially back now also, the let it be Just Your Type, who was third to Royale Pagaille in the race last season, and ran much better on ground way too lively for him at Uttoxeter last time out. The trouble with backing him now is he would definitely need it to be deep come Saturday, and the drying forecast tempers enthusiasm a little.
So, stick to the one dart for Saturday’s Virgin Bet Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase at 2.40 at Haydock Park, and let that dart be the 7/1 each-way about Calipso Collonges with Sky Bet.