Badger Ales Trophy preview: Give Me A Copper looks pure gold at WincantonPublished on: November 8, 2019Author: David Metcalf
The feature race on a cracking card at Wincanton on Saturday is the Badger Ales Trophy (15:35), a Listed 3m 1f handicap chase that has been won an incredible nine times by trainer Paul Nicholls.
He saddles Give Me A Copper and Present Man, who has won the last two runnings of the race, but preference is for the former.
This nine-year-old has always been held in high regard and is a lightly-raced sort who has won three of his eight starts under Rules.
After jinking and unseating his rider at the second on chasing debut at Kelso, the son of Presenting jumped well when easily beating Three Ways by 3 1/4 lengths in a match around Kempton off an official rating of 146.
Give Me A Copper then ran well on handicap debut at Sandown when a keeping on 12 1/4 length fourth of 16 to Classical Ben off a mark of 145, after which he was fancied by many for the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
He was sent off a well-backed 9/1 shot for that Grade 3 contest, but was never able to get competitive and, after weakening between the final two obstacles, came to grief at the last.
Good record fresh
Give Me A Copper was then far from disgraced on the final start of his campaign when a 29-length fourth of 15 to Talkischeap in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown, where he got outpaced at the 16th before plugging on again to be nearest at the finish.
He now returns to action having been dropped another pound, so a revised rating of 142 looks exploitable on the pick of his form.
Give Me A Copper has also gone well fresh in the past, so fitness is unlikely to be an issue, and undoubtedly has the ability to win a valuable prize of this nature. So, at 7/1 with Betfair, he makes plenty of appeal.
Present Man, who is also making his seasonal reappearance, is bidding to become the first horse to complete a hat-trick in the historic handicap chase.
He has to race off 4lb higher than when landing the spoils 12 months ago and this is arguably a better renewal of the Badger Ales Trophy.
That makes it look a tough task for the nine-year-old mount of Bryony Frost, who can be backed at a best-priced 13/2 with William Hill this year.
The Young Master primed for bold bid
The Young Master finished in front of Give Me A Copper when a fine second in the aforementioned bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown, so – off what looks a fair mark – looks sure to go well.
This Neil Mulholland trained 10-year-old won the race impressively by seven lengths back in 2014, only to be disqualified after what the BHA described as a computer systems failure meant he was declared despite being ineligible.
He had had just two prior starts over fences when the race conditions stipulated a minimum of three were required.
Despite his advancing years, The Young Master looked as good as ever last season, winning twice and posting some cracking efforts in defeat.
After taking advantage of a drop in the weights to make a winning reappearance at Chepstow, he readily defied a 5lb rise to follow-up at Cheltenham off 135 when beating Station Master by eight lengths.
The Young Master was then sent off a well-backed 15/2 shot for the valuable Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury, but ran an absolute stinker and got pulled-up before the 15th fence.
That effort was too bad to be true and he showed it to be all wrong when a rallying 7 1/4 lengths third of 23 to Any Second Now in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival off 142.
The Young Master then kept on well when beaten 10 lengths by Talkischeap in the bet365 Gold Cup off the same rating, and a 2lb rise for that looks more than fair.
He comes into the race after a recent spin on the level, so that should have blown away the cobwebs and put him spot on for this assignment. At 8/1 with Boylesports for the Badger Ales Trophy, The Young Master looks a solid each-way contender.
Just a Sting has each-way shout in Badger Ales Trophy
In a race where a case can be made for most of the 14 runners, Just a Sting is another that appeals each-way at 15/2 with Coral.
Trained by Harry Fry, this seven-year-old is a lightly-raced sort who has won two of his five starts over fences.
In the first of those at Uttoxeter 13 months ago, the son of Scorpion jumped well and stayed on strongly to account for Station Master by two lengths off a rating of 125.
Just A Sting then defied a 6lb rise in the weights in game fashion when beating Gunfleet by a head at Exeter.
He got put up another 6lb for that, but ran really well in his hat-trick bid of a revised rating of 137 when a 3 1/2 lengths second to Adrien Du Pont over 3m at Kempton.
After racing wide, Just A Sting was held-up in the last pair until making stealthy headway to take up the running four from home.
At that point he looked set for victory but he then began to idle a bit and, after being headed approaching the last, stuck to the task gamely to go down by 3 1/2 lengths.
Just A Sting then ran well when 10th of 23 to Any Second Now in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival off a mark of 137, before disappointing when pulled-up in the bet365 Gold Cup.
However, he has a good record fresh and having been dropped a couple of pounds to 134 now looks nicely treated in this on the pick of his form.
Just A Sting also has his ideal underfoot conditions and hails from a yard that boasts a 20 per cent strike rate with its runners at the track in the last 12 months.