Connections of the former Festival champions Sizing Europe and Long Run will be sizing up the Long Run to Cheltenham 2014 today
Gold Cup winner Long Run will make his seasonal reappearance in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby this afternoon where he will meet two progressive types in the form of Unioniste and Benefficient. Unioniste showed plenty of ability last year when slamming his rivals at Cheltenham just before Christmas and Benefficient beat the highly thought of Dynaste in the Jewson at the Festival. However, if tactics fall in Long Run’s favour and his stamina can tell than he will start off 2013/14 with a win.
Sizing Europe the former Champion Chaser at the Cheltenham Festival will look to follow up on his recent Gowran Park victory by taking the JNWine Champion Chase at Down Royal. His main danger this afternoon may come from last year’s race winner Kauto Stone who has been aimed at the prize. Mouse Morris will also fancy the changes of his talented First Lieutenant.
A good supporting card at Wetherby and Down Royal in addition too Ascot providers punters with a few pointers for the season ahead. The United House Gold Cup (Ascot 3.20) is a particularly good and competitive renewal where Wyck Hill may bounce back to form.
Crockford’s Dead Cert – Sizing Europe (Down Royal 2.30)
Henry De Bromhead’s Champion looks to have retained his ability when beating Baily Green at Gowran Park. With the run under his belt he will strip fitter than many of his rivals this afternoon. Last year he only found the mighty Sprinter Sacre too good. There is no Sprinter Sacre in this field.
Crockford’s Whisper – Court Minstrel e/w (Ascot 2.45)
The talk from the tracks this week is that connections expect a big run from this horse. He showed plenty of ability last year and whispers are that there are big races ahead for him.
Archer’s Selection – Surcingle (Newmarket 1.45)
Archer would have not missed that this horse is held in high regard by connections. In what looks otherwise a muddling affair this filly would have been Archer’s selection.
Crockford’s Gambles around the courses:
Ascot – Up To Something (1.35), Fairy Rath e/w (2.10), Court Minstrel e/w (2.45), Wyck Hill e/w and Roberto Goldback e/w (3.20)
Wetherby – Franciscan (1.15), Une Artiste (1.50), Fair Trade (2.25), Tidal Bay (3.00), Long Run (3.35) and Ardlui (4.05)
Down Royal – Folidubh e/w (1.55), Sizing Europe (2.30) and Texas Jack e/w (3.05)
Newmarket – Surcingle (1.45), Dance and Dance e/w (2.20), Daddy Long Legs (3.30) and Jonnie Skull e/w (4.00)
Ayr – Sivola De Sivola (2.35) and Prosecco (3.45)
(Featured Photograph – Sizing Europe at Cheltenham by Stuart Rice)