ROBERT COOPER OFF THE BOX

TV celebrity with fan­cies for week­end

The Racing Paper - - Front Page - ROBERT COOPER At the Races pre­sen­ter and com­men­ta­tor

The only cer­tainty this week­end is Storm Callum – not a horse I’m sorry to say – so shut all the win­dows oth­er­wise your neigh­bours could be sal­vaging stray pages of this pub­li­ca­tion from their gar­dens.

The brunt of the storm may have struck al­ready, although I’m pre­pared for some buf­fet­ing at Chep­stow this af­ter­noon. The wa­ter­proof trousers are due for their first out­ing of the au­tumn; although there’s a fair chance I wore them yes­ter­day at New­ton Ab­bot for their fi­nal fix­ture of 2018. When in doubt go wa­ter­tight!

We can now as­sume Sum­mer Jump­ing sea­son is over, and there are many, my­self in­cluded, who reckon the two-day Chep­stow fix­ture her­alds the start of the win­ter game.

Rain has been in short sup­ply and even if it pours for the next week, I doubt we’ll see many of the stars in ac­tion for a while. How­ever, last week­end at Ut­tox­eter Neil King’s LIL ROCKERFELLER made a win­ning chas­ing de­but. He’s been a fab­u­lous horse to own – and fol­low – and the signs look en­cour­ag­ing for a fruit­ful novice chas­ing cam­paign.

I was crest­fallen on the day he was de­nied vic­tory by just

¾ length in the 2016 Stay­ers’ Hur­dle at Chel­tenham. He jumped com­pe­tently on Sun­day over a trip prob­a­bly on the sharp side. Step­ping up to three miles will play to his strengths. I’m also mak­ing a note of the horse he beat, Nicky Henderson’s WENYER READY FRED­DIE who looked like caus­ing a mi­nor up­set un­til LIL ROCKERFELLER put the race to bed at the fi­nal fence.

I have never been tempted to own a race­horse un­til a cou­ple of months ago when I suc­cumbed to what I con­sid­ered only mild armtwist­ing to buy a minute share – prob­a­bly an ear or toe­nail – of a four-year-old grey geld­ing called ROYAL SUN­DAY. He was due to be en­tered by his trainer Alex Hales for a novice hur­dle at Hunt­ing­don on Tues­day but he’ll wait for the ground to ease be­fore I can get too an­i­mated. Pre­vi­ously with Alan King, he’s run just twice for Alex win­ning at Here­ford be­fore fall­ing three out at Towces­ter when in with a shout. I’ll give you the nod when he’s ready to roll.

One facet of own­er­ship is, de­spite my minis­cule share, I go round telling any­one who will lis­ten about ‘my horse’.

By to­tal con­trast, I’ve been stag­gered by the prices paid at Tat­ter­salls Oc­to­ber Year­ling Sales this week. On Tues­day Cool­more’s MV Mag­nier forked out 3,400,000 guineas for a Galileo- sired brother to Beres­ford Stakes win­ner Ja­pan, and just 24 hours later David Red­vers on be­half of Qatar Rac­ing paid 3,500,000 guineas for a brother to TOO DARN HOT, favourite to win to­day’s Group One De­whurst Stakes at New­mar­ket.

I could buy hun­dreds of ROYAL SUN­DAYS for that kind of money.

TOO DARN HOT is un­beaten in three starts and has looked im­pres­sive on each oc­ca­sion but I reckon his price is too darn skinny for my lik­ing, and Ai­den O’Brien’s AN­THONY VAN DYKE

[3.00 NEW­MAR­KET] looks a vi­able al­ter­na­tive at far more tempt­ing odds.

O’Brien has won four of the last five re­newals and this Galileo colt has won three of his five starts. He was sec­ond to a smart Godol­phin colt QUARTO in the Na­tional Stakes at the Cur­ragh last month and was due to run at Longchamp last Sun­day, but runs here in­stead.

He looks the pick of the O’Brien trio in a riv­et­ing race. TOO DARN HOT will be tough to beat and the joker in the pack could be an­other un­beaten colt, Sir Michael Stoute’s SAN­GAR­IUS. AN­THONY VAN DYKE gets my vote.

Of the 34 run­ners in the 2¼ mile Ce­sare­witch, Wil­lie Mullins sad­dles seven, headed by the favourite STRA­TUM who is on the come­back trail af­ter fail­ing to land a mon­u­men­tal gam­ble in the Ebor Hand­i­cap at York.

It cer­tainly went pear-shaped as jockey Robert Win­ston was boxed in with no means of ex­tri­ca­tion; in fact he was al­most jet­ti­soned from the sad­dle when bumped while at­tempt­ing a vain bid for free­dom. There’ll be a few with burnt fin­gers who re­turn to the fur­nace to­day, but I won’t be one of them.

In such a mas­sive field, I’m look­ing for a lively long shot, and I’ll take a punt on Jane Chap­ple Hyam’s re­cent Yar­mouth win­ner UBER COOL [3.40 NEW­MAR­KET] who ar­rives in the form of his life – he’s won three of his last four starts.

With handy five pound claimer Ray Daw­son on board he has a fine chance of fin­ish­ing in the first half dozen – check the book­ies each way terms as there are bound to be some tempt­ing of­fers. An­other out­sider I fancy to run well is Tony Martin’s GOLDEN SPEAR – he fin­ished a cricket pitch be­hind STARS OVER THE SEA in the trial over C&D but should be closer to­day.

NOR­WAY [1.50 NEW­MAR­KET] can get the O’Brien camp off to a flyer in the opener. A 6½ length win­ner of a maiden at Naas ear­liHales, er this month, the brother to Derby win­ner RULE THE WORLD looks a colt with a bright fu­ture. Look closely how John Gos­den’s WALD­STERN runs in the same race as the horse that beat him at Hay­dock, KADAR [2.25 NEW­MAR­KET] must have a great chance in the Group Three Au­tumn Stakes. He could be yet an­other star for trainer Karl Burke. That Hay­dock vic­tory was his one and only race and he looks cer­tain to im­prove.

Char­lie Hills’ MOTAGALLY [2.40 YORK] looks a de­cent each way bet in the Group Three Rock­ing­ham Stakes.

He showed bags of speed from a tardy start to win at Wolver­hamp­ton last month and as long as Storm Callum doesn’t play havoc with the Knavesmire go­ing, he could go well at de­cent odds.

“I’m look­ing for a lively long shot, and I’ll take a punt on Jane Chap­ple Hyam’s re­cent Yar­mouth win­ner UBER COOL who ar­rives in the form of his life – he’s won three of his last four starts”

Value: Uber Cool is worth back­ing each way each way in the Ce­sare­witch

Punt: Jane Chap­ple-Hyam

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