Daryl Carter Tips

Daryl Carter's Tips: 18/1 Torn And Frayed can cause Gold Cup surprise

Daryl Carter.
Daryl Carter has a whopping seven selections.

Daryl Carter was back in the winner's enclosure on Friday and has five selections for Saturday's racing at Cheltenham and Doncaster...

  • Five Saturday selections

  • Class horses are underestimated throughout

  • Back Nicky's Bob to be well up to the Cheltenham task


13:15 Cheltenham - Back Funambule Sivola @ BSP 1.5pt

Funambule Sivola - currently 9/25.50 on the Betfair Sportsbook - looks like a fair price even if he is likely to be bigger on the Betfair Exchange as the Sportsbook looks to respect his chances, so it's probably wise to hold off for his BSP. He jumped out to the left at Ascot last time, but it was a small step back in the right direction from his debut, and he is of interest in these much calmer waters.

Backing him requires a leap of faith, but he is returning to a left-handed track for the first time since running in the Grade 1 Champion Chase here (where he fell early) and winning the Grade 2 Game Spirit at Newbury. In that race, he gave six pounds to a horse now rated 156.

His rating of 150 is within reach, but he usually needs a couple of races to hit top form, having dropped six pounds in his most recent two starts.

He scored the third time out in the 2021/2022 and 2021/2022 seasons and may have scored last year on his third start if it were not in the Grade 1 Clarence House chase - he scored the fourth time that year.

The horse's RPRs (an abbreviation for Racing Post Ratings) are increasing, but his rating is decreasing. He appears to be a good value in his weakest race to date, especially since the ground is drying, which is to his advantage.

On his best day, he is a 160 horse, and he is worth chancing over In Excelsis Deo. After the last fence at Cheltenham on his seasonal return, the latter made up his ground but couldn't progress between the second and final flights. This suggests he probably wants 2 1/2 miles and will be vulnerable if the race turns tactical.

There's also no guarantee In Excelsis Deo will back up that run like last year, but ultimately, he is priced correctly. Calico will prove to be a tough nut to crack, but he is hardly thrown in off 143 on the balance of the evidence. So, the selection gets the vote at 9/25.50 or bigger.

13:15 Cheltenham - Back Funambule Sivola @ BSP

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13:25 Doncaster - Back Anyharminasking @ BSP 1pt

An excellent opportunity for Anyharminasking who takes an ease in grade, having run a blinder at Newbury last time when running second to a well-handicapped rival who took the race by the scruff of the neck.

The representative of Jonjo O'Neill made quick progress from the back of the field, passing all other horses comfortably. However, they could not catch up with the well-positioned winner. There is a better performance in store for him, given his current rating in the 130s. Today's race is the perfect opportunity to put that theory to the test.

He tackles far calmer waters than his previous three starts this season, and at least he has these beat on the clock. He is certainly worthy of his rating of 137, and running to that figure here should ensure he is at least mixing it at the business end.

Most of these arrive with something to prove. Ginger Flame is in good heart but doesn't look well handicapped in this scenario, while Serious Operator has been poor the last twice and needs a revival. Romeo Brown has it in him to run a good race, but this is not his venue, with two below-par efforts at this track.

Any 9/43.25 or bigger is acceptable.

13:25 Doncaster - Back Anyharminasking @ 11/43.75

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13:50 Cheltenham - Back Torn And Frayed @ 18/119.00 0.5pt e/w

The upcoming December Gold Cup promises to be an exciting event, especially with Thunder Rock, the favourite in the ante-post market for a while. However, although he has won some races, they were in small-field events, and his jumping skills are sometimes questionable.

His connections even considered returning him to hurdles before his recent victory at Carlisle, where he won by using his impressive turn of foot to beat the subsequent runner-up of the Newbury Gold Cup. However, it's worth noting that Carlisle's fences are some of the easiest in the country, and the runner-up, Mahler Mission, prefers a stamina test rather than a speed one.

Still, his best form is probably his second to Datsalrightgino at Ayr when outbattled at the finish. Datsalrightgino won the Newbury Gold Cup over 3m and not 2 1/2, so taking those two pieces of above form and his third to Gerri Colombe (3 miler) as rock solid is probably not wise. I couldn't back him in the hustle and bustle of a big field at his current price, but that doesn't mean I don't respect his chances.

Monmiral is the choice of Harry Cobden, but it's challenging to find a piece of form that suggests he is much better than a rating of 145 returning from 245 days off the track. He must have been working well for Cobden to ditch the yard's other runner after his recent wind operation.

It's worth remembering that Monmiral's last victory came in a Grade 1 Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree. The runner-up and ill-fated Adagio traded at 1.211/5 and looked for all the winner until making a severe blunder at the last. I couldn't have him at all.

So Scottish is fascinating. He was my idea of the winner of the Cheltenham Plate when the long-term ante-post favourite, but a drifter on the day once the rain arrived and although having box position and jumping very soundly throughout in a race that saw the winner 4.8 secs slower than Envoi Allen, he found little for pressure.

He may have had breathing issues because he found little for pressure - that might explain today's tongue-tie. Still, his handicapping claims now fall on one horse in Boothill, who could have easily been below par the day he fought off So Scottish, but Boothill's current rating of 158 looks inflated and, in my mind, is more like 152, so on weights and measures terms on that run - So Scottish still has a bit to find off 141.

However, the shrewd nature of connections has the market rightly running scared, and he is only a six-year-old, so he could have plenty of improvement - we just need to see it.

Il Ridoto - ditched by Cobden - has a good record on the second time after a break, and he arrives from one of the best run handicaps of the season. That may be the form to follow, and he is closely matched with So Scottish on their run in the Festival Plate, having galloped side by side throughout. He is better off at the weights with Fugitif for their 1-2 finish here in January, and prominent tactics could see him in a better light under Bryony Frost. He holds the likes of Frero Banbou from years gone by, and there could be more to come from him. He must make any shortlist despite the abandonment of his stable jockey.

Fakir D'oudaires - 8/19.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook - is very interesting because he is much better than these. Now, it's not as straightforward as that, but he has the class to be right in the thick of things, and perhaps his entry here is not just to "keep the weights down" - he is too good for that.

He makes his handicap debut and has only found Notebook and Galopin Des Champs too good on seasonal return, winning his four other starts. He has gone off favourite for his last two Grade 1 assignments and a Grade 2 in which he gave six pounds and a six-length beating to French Dynamite, so he is hardly on the decline. His left-handed record reads 211222221241 in his entire career spanning four years over 2m4f or shorter, and his Cheltenham form reads exceptionally well.

On his last visit here at Cheltenham, he found only Allaho too good while he was second in an Arkle, fourth in a Supreme Novice as a four-year-old and a Grade 2 winner.

He is two pounds lower than Frodon when he carried a big weight to victory, and it's hardly as if many of these are thrown off their respective ratings.

There are not many in here you could argue would mix it with the company he has, and he has been underestimated in the market - notably when the likes of Protektorat opened at a much shorter price for his handicap race, having pulled up last time out.

Fugitif will run his usual race. I am disappointed the cheek-pieces come off as I can't get out of my head that he ducked behind Amarillo Sky last November and didn't fancy a battle with Il Ridoto. Still, he is a solid each-way betting proposition.

I wouldn't say I like the rest outside of Torn And Frayed - 18/119.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook - who arrives from the above-mentioned Stage Star race, which clocked a good number, and he was on the tail of the leading group on the turn-in for home when faltering for fitness.

He is handicapped to have a say in on the form of his two runs on this new course last season, including bolting up in a handicap off 131. He is out of the weight by a few pounds, but that shouldn't matter here or there.

Sam Twiston-Davies is back in the saddle, taking over from Tom Bellamy, which suggests his latest outing, which came after 658 days off the track, was a prep run for this.

There's little doubt he will need to be at his best, but drying ground and a featherweight at a venue he clearly likes are big positives. If there is one ahead of the handicapper, it could be him, and if there's not, I expect the class to prevail.

Back him each way four places at 18/119.00 or bigger. I was very tempted to add Fakir D'oudairies to this list also.

13:50 Cheltenham - Back Torn And Frayed @ 18/119.00

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15:00 Cheltenham - Back Shanagh Bob @ BSP 2pt (NAP)

The market will underestimate Shanagh Bob, and he will drift - as the yard's Doddiethegreat did on Friday - so I advise backing at BSP.

The £200,000 purchase Shanagh Bob is a rare runner for Nicky Henderson in this race, and I was reminded of Mossley, who won this in 2011 before finishing second to Bob Worth in the Albert Bartlett.

That horse made an inauspicious start at Huntingdon and this one at Plumpton, but he couldn't have been more impressive. The time was good, and the track didn't suit the big galloping type, but he ran out a very comfortable winner by seven lengths over a 113-rated Mare (should be 120), who is a good yardstick. That run alone, accompanied by the time figure (quicker final circuit than the 2m race), suggests he can run close to 130.

However, there's further evidence in the Point to Point run when an easy winner over Gorgeous Tom, who wasn't disgraced behind Slade Steel at Naas on racecourse debut when fourth of 22 and then ran a screamer in an excellent time figure behind Caldwell Potter recording an RPR of 129 finishing second of 25. The fourth bolted up in his point-to-point next time by eight lengths, and the runner-up from that race chased home Will Do (128) at Sligo in a Maiden Hurdle. The fifth finished second in a Point to Point next time, and the sixth is rated 120 in Ireland, having won three of his eight hurdle starts.

There's enough substance to think that Shanagh Bob can run to at least 130, and the move up to 3m and a more galloping track will surely only see him better his Plumpton performance.

He makes plenty of appeal and will be underestimated by the market, so back him at BSP.

15:00 Cheltenham - Back Shanagh Bob @ BSP

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15:35 Cheltenham - Back Nurse Susan @ 5/16.00 1pt

This is a tricky race, but if there's a well-handicapped horse in this race, then it's surely Nurse Susan - 5/16.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook - who has a very handy-looking hurdle rating of 125.

She made her seasonal return over fences, having been off the track for 613 days, and went through the race with zest only to fall short on fitness, approaching the fourth last at Exeter having been well supported in the market into 3/14.00 favourite. She is entitled to come on a good deal for that, as many of the Skelton runners have, and the move back to hurdles looks a big positive, while, from a handicapping perspective, she has strong claims.

She made a seamless start to life over hurdles, winning on debut with ease with no experience behind her from either the flat or the point-to-point scene over Hidor De Bersy by seven lengths before effortlessly beating the 120-rated Zabeel Champion.

The Skelton runner went off a 13/82.63 favourite for the Lingfield Winter Millions on heavy ground only to find the subsequent Mares Novice Hurdle winner Love Envoi (151) two lengths too good off level weights.

She couldn't match the pace of the Harry Fry horse over 2m but stuck to the task well and pulled well clear, giving three pounds to the 125-rated Mayhem Mya.

A very good fourth followed in the Mares Novice Hurdle, this time beaten four lengths by Love Envoi, but she lacked the pace to challenge at the death.

The angle with her is the move up in distance today, which should suit the daughter of Doctor Dino, and the ground is right up her street. She is surely better than a rating of 125, and today is her first opportunity to prove it on handicap debut.

The dangers are headed by favourite Bonttay and the bigger-priced Zestful, who could surprise a few.

Back her at 11/43.75 or bigger.

15:35 Cheltenham - Back Nurse Susan @ 5/16.00

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Read Cheltenham Festival Focus Week 6 Here.

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DARYL'S P/L

Since Jan 1st 2023 - Updated Monthly - Next update December 31st

Advised Stakes = +120.37pts ROI 10.18%

BSP = +114.0pts ROI +9.64%

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