What a cracking run from Caid du Berlais and ride by Sam Twiston-Davies to win the Paddy Power Gold Cup last weekend. That’s a hat-trick of big Saturday winners for this blog and today we seek a fourth. Big Easy & Vieux Lion Rouge are the two against the field this weekend.
Big Easy looked to have it all to do last weekend at Cheltenham coming down the hill as Tom Scudamore took a pull on Katkeau so well that horse was travelling. However, those that watched Big Easy outstaying De Rigueur in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket over 2m2f knew full well that this stayer would keep push Katkeau all the way to the line and that is exactly what happened.
Katkeau did manage to win but was ridden quite hard coming off a long layoff and has a 5lb penalty to carry today. Technically, that penalty leaves Big Easy more favourable at the weights and coming second last weekend may prove a blessing with regards to winning today’s more valuable prize!
The reason I am so focussed on the form of Katkeau’s win last weekend is that Katkeau looked all over the winner of the 2012 version of today’s Fixed Brush hurdle before getting the third last all wrong landing flat on all fours and losing all chance of winning. Katkeau is the horse to beat today but Big Easy is a relentless galloper who will love the long straight finish at Haydock and is dour enough to back up after last weekend’s effort. Philip Hobbs stable is in the best form ever and I believe Big Easy is the better bet of the pair today and better still a bigger price!
David Pipe has won three of the past four renewals of this race and as mentioned above looked unlucky not to have bagged the 2012 version too! He targets this race with Katkeau the mount of stable jockey Tom Scudamore but also Vieux Lion Rouge under Conor Farrell and the latter is our second bet today.
Vieux Lion Rouge steps up in trip today and that should bring out the required improvement to go close today having ran well to finish third at Chepstow recently on his seasonal debut. His run back in April at Cheltenham behind last Sunday’s Greatwood Hurdle winner Garde La Victoire reads very well especially as the winner was in receipt of 4lbs that day even if managing to win by 6 lengths. The softer the ground the better so if more rain falls at Haydock all the better for this French Bred.
Selection A – 1 Point *EW Big Easy Haydock 14:25 9/1 Betvictor, William Hill, Stanjames & Coral
Selection B –1 Point *EW Vieux Lion Rouge Haydock 14:25 12/1 generally
Best of luck,