Bet of the day: Drumacoo to deliver against big name rivals at Ascot
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | February 20, 2016
Coral’s bet of the day
- Drumacoo has delivered over race distance
- Question marks over all major rivals
- Only horse in field with 100 per cent chase record
Follow-up victory for Drumacoo on the cards
Drumacoo looks a worthy favourite to seal a second success over the bigger obstacles and humble his better known rivals in the 2m 7f novices’ chase (13:50) at Ascot on Saturday.
Now trained by Ben Pauling (two winners and a second place this week from six runners), this Irish bay gelding made a real impression on his chasing debut when slaughtering Harry Fry’s Fletchers Flyer by a massive 38 lengths at Huntingdon back in January.
The field that day also contained the Dan Skelton trained Value At Risk, who finished fifth of 19 behind Martello Tower in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival.
De Boinville’s preferred mount
Defending a perfect record over larger fences, it is interesting Drumacoo has Nico de Boinville on board again, as he has previously ridden race rival Vyta Du Roc.
Nicky Henderson’s grey was sent off an odds-on favourite last time out at Doncaster, having edged Jonjo O’Neill gelding The Saint James on chasing debut, but succumbed to Bouvreuil by one-and-a-half lengths.
Vyta Du Roc is best known for blundering on the big stage at Cheltenham when in contention to challenge for the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle last season.
He had to be content with fourth of 10 behind Windsor Park, Parlour Games and Willie Mullins’ 2016 Champion Hurdle hope Nichols Canyon.
Going suits selection not rivals
Onenightinvienna from Philip Hobbs’ yard ensures this Ascot encounter is a competitive looking affair but, like his fellow seven-year-old Vyta Du Roc, he prefers heavy ground with the going set to be soft.
That instead suits Drumacoo, who has won so impressively over the trip. Onenightinvienna only has a 33 per cent strike rate since sent chasing, and that when defeating the aforementioned Fletchers Flyer at Exeter back in November.
Le Mercurey, a course winner for Paul Nicholls over 2f shorter than this race, could turn out to be Drumacoo’s biggest rival, but he was pulled up when finding the pace of the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster too hot to handle.
What also counts against Le Mercurey is Sam Twiston-Davies carries top weight, giving 7lb to Drumacoo, who thus looks well worth a wager to land the spoils for in-form jockey De Boinville (six wins or places from 11 rides in the last seven days).