Monthly Archives: March 2016
A week today at half past one a roar will rise from Cheltenham’s grandstands and another Festival will begin. As the sound rolls down the track to the galloping horses, it’s possible that there will be just one among them who will be unbeaten – Moon Racer. Three others with a rack of 1s against their name – Winter Escape, Yorkhill and Long Dog – could miss this race for other engagements, leaving Moon Racer the only runner about whom we can say ‘we don’t know how good he is.’
That’s if Moon Racer makes it to post. His last run was a year ago when he won the Champion Bumper comfortably. Training troubles have kept him off the track since, but David Pipe, his trainer, says he will declare him at the five-day stage and see how it goes. You can’t get more touch and go than that with racehorses.
But the triple winner is valuable property. His connections won’t let him run in this hottest of novice hurdles unless he is capable of winning. He hasn’t jumped a hurdle in public, but they must be happy with how he’s schooled or he’d already have been counted out.
Min is the short-priced favourite. Altior looks the key challenger from England, at least according to the betting. But Moon Racer is, I believe, the best value in the race if you bet now, because you can have 20/1 (Betfred), with a guarantee of your cash back if Moon Racer doesn’t run.
When lining up last year for the Bumper, Moon Racer hadn’t run for five months. He was backed into favourite. I believe there will be money for him again if he lines up on Tuesday.
If you want one for an each-way double at around the same price as Moon Racer, try Kilcooley in the Ryanair World Hurdle. He is another who’s had a troubled season which has kept him at home since the end of October. But he seems likely to line up against Thistlecrack on Thursday.
So, take on the two short ones with two long ones.
He runs at Newbury tomorrow in the 3.25. I’ve backed him at 33/1 Betfair Sportsbook. He has two entries at Cheltenham: the Brown Advisory and the Grand Annual, and he has 10st 4lbs in each. Now, that might not guarantee him a run, as there is a safety limit in each race on the number of runners – I believe both these races are 24. If he wins tomorrow he’ll get a 5lb penalty for doing so and that will ensure him a run at Cheltenham
At the end of last year he moved from W Mullins to a small trainer, Paul Henderson, who won with him on his second run for the yard – a Kempton Chase, which was where I first noticed him as he travelled like a real good horse off a fast pace before winning comfortably.
On his next run, he was again travelling well when he made a real bad error five out and that finished him (heavy ground didn’t help). That was a Grade 3 Handicap. His next run was in the G2 Game Spirit, where on form he looked outclassed, but I backed him anyway. He again travelled well until the principals kicked on and he was allowed to come home in his own time, never asked for any real effort.
Anyway, he travels like a good horse. I’m not saying by any means that he’s high class, but he will win a decent race. Might be tomorrow, so if you’ve followed me with him so far, you might not want to desert him now.
Just in case…you ought to have a bet on him for both his Cheltenham races with Bet 365 who offer NRNB: he’s is 66/1 for the Brown Advisory and 33/1 for the Grand Annual.