THE Betfair Tingle Creek is proving to be something of a tangle for bookmakers after cash flooded in this week for Racing Post Arkle winner Douvan.
Layers clearly did not expect Willie Mullins’ six-year-old, who is unbeaten in 10 starts, to show up for Sandown’s two-mile spectacle tomorrow (Saturday) when they opened him up at 5-1 on Monday, but less than 24 hours later he was odds-on across the board after the sponsors reported ‘heavy and sustained’ support for the dual Cheltenham Festival winner.
Mullins is notoriously hard to pin down when it comes to revealing plans for his horses and is yet to have a runner in Britain this jumps season, but if Douvan does turn up he could go off as short as 2-5 and may steer punters towards Sire de Grugy, who could roll back the years to pick up his third win in this historic race.
Trainer Gary Moore will be hoping the ground softens for Sire de Grugy and his other entry Ar Mad may opt for the Peterborough, but the horse I do like from his stable is Graasten in the 2.25, whilst La Vaticane will be a serious contender in the Betfred Grand Sefton Chase, having had a good look at the National fences in the Topham last year.
Jumping really is the name of the game this weekend with Sandown and Aintree’s iconic fences providing a proper challenge, and the Betfred Becher Chase is a race trainer Alan King has targeted for Ziga Boy to see if he could be a Grand National horse.
This race also looks to have been lined up for Donald McCain’s Knock House, who admitted he needed to get him up a few pounds in the handicap so he could get into the National. Whilst not the biggest of horses he’s a fluent jumper who goes well fresh. The Last Samurai, One for Arthur, Double Ross and Alvarado are likely to be on the premises, the latter having finished fourth twice in the National and is clearly suited to the track.
Wolverhampton’s all-weather card tomorrow night (Saturday) offers some decent punting opportunities with Consulting (5.45) and the Richard Hannon gelding Mustarrid (6.45) the pick of the meeting, whilst local connections expect Magic City to push Consulting all the way and run into a place at worst. The field for the 7.15 contains several lightly raced potential improvers and I will be on Jason Ward’s Monte Cinq.
Sheffield’s Danny Willett, who won his first Major back in April when he won the coveted Masters title, made a winning debut as an owner when Appy Days bolted up by nine lengths at Lingfield on Wednesday.
Willett has joined fellow golfer Lee Westwood and manager Chubby Chandler in ownership of the Ian Williams-trained mare and she is one for the notebook.
• Carrigill’s nap this weekend goes in the Becher Chase (see below) and if outside the top four punters will receive their money back as a free bet.
AUGUR’S BEST BETS: Monte Cinq Saturday Wolverhampton 7.15 and Graasten Saturday Sandown 2.25
CARRIGILL’S NAP: Alvarado Saturday Aintree 1.35 (check)