Harry Cobden: Thursday Thoughts and Gold Cup Pick

Blogs | 16th March 2022

After a frustrating Wednesday that saw Harry’s best rides sidelined by the rain he heads back to Prestbury Park in search of a first win of the week.

My Day Three Rides

2:50 Saint Calvados 

His last run was bit disappointing, but it was discovered after the race that he’d burst a blood vessel. So it’s obvious he wasn’t 100%.

In light of that Paul (Nicholls) has decided to train him a little differently at home and he seems to think he’s got the horse back in a good groove.  

Looking at the opposition I imagine we’ll aim to settle him away from the early pace. Allaho will no doubt look to set a decent gallop – as he did last year when winning.

It’d be a bold shout to say I fancy him strongly to win this race given the level of opposition we’re up against. But he’s placed in the race before at big odds and is still only a nine-year-old.

With the new training regime having sweetened him up, I’m confident he’ll outrun his odds.

4:10 Simply The Betts

He’s a lovely old horse – he’s very genuine and usually runs to a high level.

You can put a line through his last run as the yard were under a bit of a cloud at the time. The run before that he put up a great performance to finish second in a similarly competitive handicap at Cheltenham.

The major negative though is that he’ll have to shoulder top weight. He’s a big, strong horse though so I’m hoping the extra few pounds won’t damage his chances too much.

His form figures over course and distance are 112; there are plenty of reasons to believe he can produce another good run.

Simply The Betts
Simply The Betts wins The Brown Advisory at Cheltenham

The Stayers Hurdle

I don’t have a ride in the race this year, but I know who I’ll be rooting for and that’s Paisley Park.

His win in the Cleeve Hurdle was truly amazing and it just shows you can never write off an old champion. If he were to win tomorrow the reception he’d get would raise the roof. 

Friday Fancy

The Gold Cup

I’m due to ride at Doncaster on Friday, so can’t be there at Cheltenham to watch the Gold Cup live.

It’s always a super competitive race – as it should be being the top prize in our sport – and the Irish seem to have a very strong hand.

If I had the pick of the field, I’d choose A Plus Tard. He looked absolutely electric when winning the Betfair Chase at Haydock and I just think he’s the class horse in the race. 

It’d be a fantastic story if Rachael Blackmore can become the first woman to rider a Gold Cup winner too.