Horses To Follow » Calgary Bay

Calgary Bay

Noted here before when he finished second to I’msingingtheblues on his chasing debut at Doncaster, Calgary Bay is worth another mention now after beating Kicks For Free and Tartak in the Dipper Chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. This was only his second ever chase and his first attempt at two and a half miles, and he travelled with the choke out for most of the first mile and a half. He will be even better when he learns to settle better. His jumping was so superior to his rivals’ that AP McCoy had to take him back on the landing side of most of his obstacles, which wasn’t ideal. On top of that, he made a fairly bad mistake at the fence at the top of the hill. However, in spite of that, he ranged up on the outside of Kicks For Free on the run down the hill, took Tartak’s measure around the home turn and stayed on well up the hill to repel Kicks For Free renewed effort. Looking at this run, you have to think that the two-mile trip of the Arkle would be more up his street than the three miles of the Sun Alliance, and that is the way that trainer Henrietta Knight seems to be leaning. My Way De Solzen won this race two years ago on the road to Arkle glory.

Looking even further ahead, if you dare, it might be worthwhile asking your friendly bookmaker about a price for Calgary Bay for the 2010 Gold Cup. He has every chance of staying the Gold Cup distance (there is plenty of stamina on his dam’s side), he will just be seven years old next year, and you know that he will be wrapped in cotton wool and trained for the race if he is good enough. Remember that the trainer’s Best Mate was on track for the Arkle the year before he won the first of his three Gold Cups (also at the age of seven). Kicking King and War Of Attrition also ran in the Arkle the year before their respective Gold Cup triumphs. Kauto Star and Denman will both be 10 next year, and will probably be on the wane, and the staying novice chasers don’t look like a vintage bunch this year just at the moment. I have been quoted 40/1 about Calgary Bay for the 2010 Gold Cup, but you might be able to get 50/1 or 66/1. Even 40/1 is worth taking.

1st January, 2009