Colin Tizzard could have won the Eurovision Song Contest and the Boat Race this year because he has won just about everything else as a race horse trainer. In Theatre Guide he has the joint top weight for the bet365 Gold Cup and the horse can give the trainer yet another big race win on the last day of the season.
The National Hunt season ends on what was formerly know as Whitbread Day and the next one begins the following day. Nicky Henderson probably doesn’t need Altior to win the Celebration Chase to be the leading trainer for the fourth time while Richard Johnson had clinched his second top jockey title by about Christmas barring injuries.
The highlight of the finale of the National Hunt season is still known as the Whitbread by people of a certain age. Despite the name change the race is still run over three miles five furlongs and two laps of Sandown and there are 24 fences to be jumped.
Four horses have won the race twice and Just A Par and The Young Master are former winners running on Saturday. On form and ratings there is little to choose between the last two winners of the race but beating the other top weight Southfield Theatre looks a big ask. Present Man has place prospects at a working man’s price.
Just A Par carries 13 pounds more than when winning the race in 2015 off 10-3. The Young Master has the same weight of the eleven stone one pound that he carried to success last year when Just A Par was a short head second off the same weight.
Clearly the two horses are closely matched when running twice around Sandown. Bookmakers have them both around the 7/1 mark behind the ante post favourite Doing Fine, representing Neil Mulholland who also trains The Young Master.
Doing Fine owes his position at the head of the betting market to a six length win over three miles four furlongs in a handicap chase at Cheltenham last week. However, the horse is well behind other contenders bigger in the betting on ratings and looks a vulnerable favourite in what is always a competitive race.
Theatre Guide is more than twice the price of Just A Par and The Young Master and the one to back, despite carrying the weight and with just one win in six races this season. That race was a handicap chase over three miles two furlongs at Cheltenham last December.
Southfield Theatre finished last of the horses that completed the race, more than 40 lengths adrift. Theatre Guide is weighted to beat that horse again and Just A Par and The Young Master are behind Southfield Theatre on weights and collateral form.
Theatre Guide ran below his best at Cheltenham in March in one of the hottest staying handicaps of the season. The track at Sandown is more suited to the horse’s attributes and running style so Tizzard can end a season of highs on another high.
TIP: Theatre Guide to win the bet365 Gold Cup 3.35 Sandown at 20/1 with Betfred.