Horse Racing: Challenge Cup Preview & Betting Tips

Richard FaheyThe Totescoop6 Challenge Cup is a competitive as ever, but conventional wisdom dictates that a middle to high draw is an advantage and Ayr Gold Cup runners have provided four of the last six winners (3.45pm Saturday, Ascot).

Working down the racecard, Heaven’s Guest, Rene Mathis, Tanzeel, Majestic Moon, Buckstay and Professor all ran at Ayr, but of that sextet just Heaven’s Guest, Tanzeel and Majestic Moon are drawn in double figures.

Heaven’s Guest (12/1) is twice a course and distance winner, including in this race two years ago, and is just 4lb higher in the weights than when edging out Balti Boys in the Gigaset International Stakes in July.

The Dark Angel gelding could finish only eleventh of 25 beaten 4¼ lengths behind Don’t Touch in the Ayr Gold Cup, but hasn’t won over six furlongs since his three-year-old days and could be a different prospect back over an extra furlong. He had previously run creditably in defeat in pattern and listed company and looks far from impossibly handicapped.

By contrast, Tanzeel (16/1) has been campaigned almost exclusively at six furlongs and finished 7 lengths behind Heaven’s Guest in the City of York Stakes on his sole attempt at 7f  in August. All three of his career wins have come on good or faster ground, so it is possible that he was unsuited by the good to soft going on that occasion, but he still has questions to answer after finishing well beaten in the Ayr Gold Cup on good going.

Majestic Moon (16/1) also finished well adrift in the Ayr Gold Cup and is no better off for the 3½ lengths he finished behind Buckstay at Newmarket in August, so could be up against it, despite winning over course and distance off a 5lb lower mark two starts ago. John Gallagher’s five-year-old seems versatile with regard to underfoot conditions, but may be a little too high in the weights now to be seriously considered for win purposes.

  • Trainer Richard Fahey (pictured) makes life difficult for punters by running four, but our betting tips advice is to back HEAVEN’S GUEST each-way at best odds of 12/1 with Bet365, Boylesports, BetVictor, Coral, William Hill, Betfair or Paddy Power. Apprentice Sammy Jo Bell has a 12-60 (20%) strike rate on older horses for the yard this season, for a level stakes profit of 29.28 points and can record another major success.