The right task for Withernsea
October 30th, 2015 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News
One of the reasons there will always be bookmakers involves punters’ willingness to absorb setbacks and kick on again. There is so much racing that the talk is about the Breeders’ Cup, with defeats for Jack Hobbs and Foundation over the past couple of weeks already forgotten. I did not bet in either of the races, but I thought the setbacks were shrugged off a little too readily by the John Gosden team and more should have been made of the ride Frankie Dettori gave Foundation in the Racing Post Trophy.
Accepting the situation when short of racing room is often understandable but I would just point out that the red-hot favourite had only six rivals and, in a steadily-run affair, the problem was apparent by half-way. The first and second switched left, found room and fought out the finish. Foundation was never put into the race at any stage and by the time Dettori moved him left it was a purely cosmetic manoeuvre with the outcome virtually decided. The former champion has enjoyed a wonderful season and I am very much on his side following his spirited recovery from various setbacks. However, if commentators are going to rate his effort in the Arc a world-class one, they should have the courage to comment on a performance like last week’s. Anyone who backed Foundation for real money must have watched in horror as nothing changed, virtually from start to finish.
There are very valuable races much earlier in the NH season these days and Gold Cup winner Many Clouds will be in action in the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. I saw one of Oliver Sherwood’s hurdlers carry a big weight to victory at Fontwell after a long absence recently and I take heart from that but Many Clouds is penalised here and it looks a stiff task. Cue Card has an army of supporters and they will be out in force but he does not truly stay three miles despite a single victory at the trip when everything went well and he jumped superbly. I would not be a backer in this race and the olbg.com Mares’ Hurdle looks tricky as well, though I believe Ma Filleule will be well forward and may not be far away, even over an inadequate trip.
There is excellent prize-money at Ascot, as well, and John Ferguson’s classy Nabucco, with Gosden on the Flat, will do most things very easily in the William Hill Handicap Hurdle. He has a turn of foot to demolish most of these but there are some tough, consistent sorts lining up against him and I suspect he will start at an unrealistic price.
I prefer the punting prospects At Newmarket, where Richard Fahey’s WITHERNSEA looks the one to beat in the mile handicap at 2.35. I saw him finish just behind the leaders after being short of room at Goodwood, since when he has finished a very good third in Ireland. Fahey has had the most fantastic year and, although Withernsea might have been even better suited by seven furlongs, he will do for me here.
Of all the upgraded handicappers in the Listed Ben Marshall Stakes at 3.45, I thought David Elsworth’s MASTER THE WORLD might come out best. He often contests multi-runner handicaps and this is a smaller field than usual but the Rowley Mile suits him and Elsworth continues in good form.