Vicente may be each-way value
November 26th, 2016 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News
I was pleased and relieved when Venetia Williams took Tenor Nivernais out of a valuable handicap chase at Newbury on Friday. It was a cold, dry day in the south and the ground would have been nowhere near as soft as he wants it. He was placed in two very warm handicaps at Cheltenham at around this time last term and I hope the rain arrives before the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup there next month. I feel sure that is the race for him.
Although it is Hennessy day, Saturday will be quiet in this corner, mainly because I was prepared to have a decent each-way bet on Boite in the handicap hurdle earlier in the afternoon but he was taken out overnight. He retains plenty of ability and is the sort to do best first time up so I recommend keeping an eye out for him.
In the big race itself, I wrote earlier in the week that Native River was the one to beat and Blaklion is possibly the main danger if we forgive an uncharacteristically modest effort at Wetherby last time. The pair have met before, Native River avenging an earlier defeat at Wetherby. He also ran very well first time this season and, of course, there is no stopping the Tizzard stable at present.
The other one to interest me is Paul Nicholls’ smooth Scottish National winner Vicente, who has been raised only 5lb and, hailing from this particular yard, is certain to be as fit as a flea for his reappearance. People read plenty into riding arrangements and many will assume that Nick Scholfield wanted to be on Saphir Du Rheu, who will start at a shorter price. Saphir Du Rheu started favourite last year but was a little disappointing and things did not improve afterwards. With Sean Bowen riding for his father, Nicholls has turned to Harry Skelton and this could turn out to be one of the great chance rides. With Smad Place seemingly handicapped out of it and the Henderson runners having plenty to prove, this does not look the strongest of Hennessys to me.
Those with ante-post vouchers on Native River and Blaklion may see some value in adding a little win and place on Vicente as well.
Gordon Elliott’s filly Apple’s Jade, surprisingly beaten in a four-runner field last time, looks the answer to the “Fighting Fifth” at Newcastle.