By News Team
Last Updated: 23rd October 2020
There is something for everyone on Saturday, where Group 1 racing on the Flat at Doncaster is complimented by day two of the Showcase Meeting at Cheltenham.
Nick Luck has studied both cards and settled on seven selections.
Day Two – The Showcase – Cheltenham
ALLMANKIND is a confident, if unimaginative, choice to win the Cheltenham’s opener (2:05) at 7/4. A very smart juvenile last year, he would have won nine out of ten Triumph Hurdles, but came up short having tried vainly to match strides with the freakish Goshen. What I liked, though, was that he kept going when he would have been forgiven for capitulating. Earlier form gives him the beating of Botox Has and Nordano, though the latter improved significantly thereafter and can give him most to think about.
SOUTHFIELD STONE (2:40) has looked a bit of a work in progress the last couple of years even though some of his form has been excellent, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Paul Nicholls squeezed a few more drops out of him to be amongst the better novice chasers. He certainly seems much more effective on top of the ground, has had a wind operation, and, at 7/4, can make the most of his chasing experience against Pileon, whose stable hasn’t really got rolling yet, and Not That Fuisse, who is a tricky customer.
GOODBYE DANCER is a seriously risky proposition in the Pertemps Qualifier (3:15), but he is down to roughly the same mark from which he was successful at this track last season. He would probably have won a better race here next time but for falling at the last, after which his form fell apart. He has had a little break since his two inauspicious runs in the summer, but definitely showed a glimmer in the first of them to suggest he wasn’t a lost cause just yet. A strong pace on good ground should suit and 18/1 is a big price.
COBRA DE MAI has a similar profile in the feature race (3.50), but delve a bit deeper into his form figures and you’ll see he actually ran pretty well on a number of occasions last season (notably at Doncaster and here at the Festival) despite never having his ground. The last time he ran at Cheltenham on a decent surface, he bolted up off a higher mark than todays. He should at least be fitter for his recent spin round Fontwell, and he looks a sporting alternative to the obvious at 11/1.
Vertem Trophy Raceday
HELMONT has been asked a stiff question against some more seasoned juveniles in the Listed race (1:45) at Doncaster, but he did exceptionally well to win on his debut at Haydock considering he was slowly away and endured trouble in running. The second and third (who already had a well-earned rating in the 90’s) have both won well since and he looks well worth a try in this grade at 11/2.
CAME FROM THE DARK (2:20) can continue the unbelievable run of the Ed Walker stable in a race that the trainer has done well in before at 4/1. The son of Dark Angel is high enough in the weights now but will appreciate a return to five furlongs after a disappointing run at York. Prior to that, he looked as though he was still getting better and he won’t mind a bit of cut in the ground.
MEGALLAN can redeem himself when it matters most – in the Vertem Futurity (2:55). He has frankly been infuriating since his sparkling debut, but he would have got pretty close to One Ruler at Newmarket but for a shocking trip through the race. Frankie Dettori was very considerate when he knew the race was gone, and the notable time of that race suggests that – at four times the price of the winner – he is worth a bet at 17/2.