Clear, concise, comprehensive horseracing analysis and insight from Paul Jones, former author of the Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide, concentrating on jump racing in addition to the best of the Flat and leading Sports events.
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Coneygree and More Of That

December 18th

I have covered the first day of Ascot’s December Meeting in Race Previews. The weekend preview should be uploaded to view from late afternoon onwards and in Tuesday’s blog I will outline the schedule of what will be uploaded when over the Christmas and New Year period.

Disappointing news two days ago that Coneygree is very likely to miss the Gold Cup with a separate setback but thankfully it’s not career threatening. I will cover the implications of this more in Cheltenham Ante-Post on Monday but his omission would change the whole rhythm and tempo of the race that I discussed in Week 1 of that service and will therefore bring more contenders into the mix. If you are a subscriber, I am sure you can see where I am already going with this! This news also only underlined what a great move it was by connections to grasp the opportunity whilst it existed with a big horse who had not proven easy to keep right having missed the previous season through injury. You never know what is around the corner.

I never really saw More Of That as a Gold Cup runner this season but there are big comparisons that can be drawn with him and Coneygree in the above respect. Running a novice in a championship race would be an unusual J P McManus thing to do, I can’t ever recall an instance, but if any more big names drop out of the running, it may make him think twice whilst this absurdly-powerful, heavy-topped, unbeaten-in-four at Cheltenham, soon-to-be-eight-year-old is fit and healthy. Don't get me wrong, I think it's around a one chance in four or five that he'll run, but I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t receive an initial entry.

The William Hill PDC World Darts Championships started last night. Mike Henderson has covered the outright market and first round earlier this week in Sport (his first advice went in) in his bid for a fifth profitable tournament in six and the way this will work is that he will also cover the Second Round as one once we know the full draw and then supply daily content from the start of the Third Round onwards right up to and including the Final on January 3rd.

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