With the flat racing season finally over and done with, attention is turned towarts the National Hunt campaign, ready to provide plenty of the entertainment throughout the Autumn and Winter months. While some argue that flat racing may not be as exciting as jumps, since coronavirus restirctions have been eased and fans have been allowed back to spectate on racecourses throughout the country, the action seems to be amped up a notch.
Whether it is due to races being held behing closed doors for so long and spectators finally allowed back brings that extra factor but this year’s flat racing calendar was certainly a memorable one, with plenty of upsets on the horse racing tips on Betdaq and if the start of the National Hunt season is anything to go by, then racing fans will be spoilt for choice when it comes to the big events. The November Meeting at Cheltenham was the first big event of the campagin with plenty of talking points, so read on as we go through what happened.
Drama in the Novices’ Chase
This year’s Novices’ Chase certainly lived up to expectations. Grand National winner Rachael Blackmore was back in action and took top prize in controversial fashion after Harry Skelton and My Drogo fell at the penalutimate hurdle whilst Blackmore remained aboard Gin On Lime, who looked to also lose balance but was abruplty stood up and finished the race after momentarily going down as well. It certainly looked strange, and you had to be there to see it, and it wil be interesting to see the condition the horse is in after full analysis and see how it effects Henry De Bromhead moving forward.
Balko Des Flos is back
After a great season last year, which culminated with a closely ran second place finish in the Grand National, Balko Des Flos came back with a fifth-place finish in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase — a respectable performance for the De Bromhead-trained horse, while the 49-year-old understandably had plenty on his plate with the rest of his stable. Balko Des Flos put in a solid shift despite being out of action for so long, with just the one appearance at Galway back in October his sole warm up since his turnout at Aintree. Certainly a horse to keep your eye on this season, we think the veteran can certainly cause some upsets.
Ryan Mania takes Gold Cup
Once again, the tale of a big fall was decisive in proving the outcome of this year’s Gold Cup. It was Midnight Shadow who took the top spot after a big fall from Coole Cody, who had dominated the majority of proceedings up until that point. While the Evan Williams-trained horsehad performed so valiantly, his team will certainly be disappointed they lost momentum at a crucial period where as Ryan Mania was overwhelmed with his own performance.
Mania, who prematurely retired a few years ago due to weight concerns, made his comeback in 2019 and earnt his first big win at Cheltenham after a long trip down south: “This is great. I travelled six hours to be here today and it’s well worth the journey,” he said: “I’m sure it is emotional for most jockeys but it is especially emotional for me to have retired and come back and do all this for my family. To come down and ride these big winners is amazing,” he added.