There have only been 11 renewals of the Greatwood Gold Cup (15:25 Newbury Sat 28th Feb) but one trainer has firmly stamped his authority on it. Step forward Saturday big-race king Paul Nicholls who has won 6 of the last 9.
Weights carried by the winner vary greatly with 11-04 being the heaviest carried and 10-1 being the lightest carried.
8-year-olds are the most prodigious winning age group with 6 winners, with two 6-year-olds, two 7-year-olds and one 11-year-old also lifting the prize.
Sound Investment 5/1
The top-weight is trained by Paul Nicholls but will have to carry 8lb more to victory than any previous winner if he’s to be triumphant here. All his 5 wins have been on right-handed tracks but too, though he has finished 2nd and 3rd on his two runs at Newbury. 7lb higher in the handicap than his last winning mark. A 7-year-old.
Royal Regatta 7/1
Fully 14lb higher than for his course win, but won again at Doncaster last-time. Also weighted 3lb over the top-weight carried to victory in the race. He’s probably still improving as a 7-year-old, but needs to have done to take this for Phillip Hobbs.
Seventh Sky 10/1
Consistent performer this season but has had plenty of runs, and also 4lb higher than when winning a poorer contest than this. Barry Geraghty an interesting jockey booking and is an 8-year-old.
Placed in both his races at Newbury, and 3lb lower than the second of those runs. Might also improve on his second start for David Pipe – and first-time cheek-pieces suggest he’s expected to.
Benny’s Mist 8/1
Won at Newbury over 3-miles off a much lower mark, but interesting that his other two wins were over this 2½ mile trip. Still 5lb higher than for his last win, but not without hope for Venetia Williams.
4lb higher than for last win but interesting stepped back up to the trip he won two novice chases over. However, last 5 runs have been over 2-miles and perhaps his stamina is a doubt. Jockey booking suggests he’s the Hobbs’ second string.
Headley’s Bridge 20/1
Won his only course start and only 3lb higher than for his last start. Might have a preference for heavy ground though.
Midnight Belle 10/1
Won his last two races but they have been much lower class affairs. An 8-year-old but may be outclassed.
Simply Wings 22/1
Feasibly weighted on old form but the 11-year-old may just want a bit of an easier time of it nowadays.
Westward Point 10/1
Twice led all the way to win over this sort of trip and, despite having 14 months off, is an 8-year-old who could have improved in the interim having had only two runs over fences. His trainer has had 4 winners from 14 runners in the last two weeks and could have been sneakily saved for this on his seasonal debut.
Saint Raph 13/2
His last win came off a 12lb lower mark but could have any amount of improvement in his and has a lovely low-weight.
Lots of potential improvers and it’s hard to ignore Paul Nicholls’ record in the race – but I am. The two best handicapped horses in my opinion are Eastern Meteor and Westward Point – and both looked to have been aimed at the race. At 10/1 the pair it’s impossible to back them both each-way and get our money back if one places – so the staking plan is 4 points win on both of them, and a 1 point reverse forecast.
Eastern Meteor 4 points win @ 10/1 (Hills)
Westward Point 4 points win @ 10/1 (Paddy Power)
1 point reverse-forecast: Eastern Meteor and Westward Point