The RSA chase result might hinge on the participation of current favourite Grands Crus, around 2/1 for the race just now. But there must be a reasonable chance he will miss the race for the Gold Cup. Even if he doesn’t, his freegoing style could see him emptying up the hill.
Bobs Worth is 2nd fav, at around 3/1. His official rating (a professional handicapper’s assessment of his ability) is 151. Cannington Brook (CB) who is rated 1lb inferior at 150 is a 50/1 chance (non-runner, money back with Coral) and that simply must be taken by anyone who places value at the heart of their betting strategy.
Last time out CB won a 20 furlong race by 35 lengths. Before that he was 5th in the Welsh Grand National, a fine run in stamina-sapping conditions, especially coming just ten days after CB’s victory in the Tommy Whittle ‘chase at Haydock. These last three runs have been in heavy ground and I guess the bookmakers have him down as a slowcoach handicapper.
But he has a decent piece of form on good ground when 3rd in a Grade 1 hurdle at Aintree 2 years ago. The Racing Post summarisers had this to say about that run:
This was a fine effort from Cannington Brook, who started out the season over fences. Easy winner of a weak maiden hurdle at Ludlow latest, he is highly regarded by his trainer and showed why here, leading up the chasing pack and travelling well into the straight, but just lacking a telling change of pace on the ground. He could go a long way returned to fences next term.
The form comments of the first seven of his chase runs are peppered with ‘mistake’, ‘blundered’, ‘not fluent’, but he has been error-free in his last three runs and seems to be improving with every race.
His trainer, Colin Tizzard has been in sizzling form of late and given that Grands Crus might not turn up, Bobs Worth is probably over-rated as a fencer (and certainly under-priced), the Irish star Bog Warrior is reportedly staying at home, and the fancied Invictus is out with an injury, Cannington Brook’s price looks a major rick by Coral (Ladbrokes go 25s).
CB holds entries in two handicaps as well, but his twin attributes of speed and stamina, allied to his improved jumping, give him a fine chance in the RSA in my opinion. Let’s hope he lines up there and lands the value bet of the festival.