THE Byrne Group Plate (4.00pm) is a fiendishly difficult handicap to unravel, but it’s always worth keeping an eye out for Venetia Williams’ runners in races like this.
She saddles the progressive chaser QUARTZ DE THAIX this afternoon and he must have a big chance at 15/2 with Sportingbet.
He has some excellent hurdles form in the book and put in an impressive display over fences last time at Newton Abbott.
He has to carry 11st2lb which is a slight concern as 14 of the last 16 winners carried less than 11st, but he doesn’t have a massive weight and has won at Cheltenham in the past.
Gordon Elliott runs Beautiful Sound in the race and he would be my idea of the biggest danger.
I wouldn’t put anyone off a small each-way bet on him at 12/1 with Victor Chandler, as he has a lovely racing weight and Jason Maguire takes the ride. Aigle D’Or deserves to be favourite with AP McCoy in the saddle, but I’m not sure how well handicapped he is.
The Kim Muir (4.40pm) is another treacherous handicap, but I always look for Jonjo O’Neill’s runners in long distance handicaps and CAN’T BUY TIME fits the bill in this race. He is a nine-year-old and that age bracket has won five of the last eight renewals and it also isn’t a disadvantage that he’s top weight as the last two winners have been at the top of the handicap.
David Pipe’s Junior aims to become a Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival winner, but he’s around 6/1 and I’d rather stick with Can’t Buy Time at 16/1 with William Hill.
Punters haven’t done well in the Pertemps Final recently with the last seven winners all returning double figure prices, including two 50/1 shots. Willie Mullins’ Sivota is very interesting off 10st7lb as six of the last seven winners have carried less than 11st. David Pipe also has a live chance in Chartreux who is unexposed.
However, the two I like are last year’s winner BUENA VISTA and the 2009 hero KAYF ARAMIS. They have both performed brilliantly in this race and I’m sure this has been the target all season.