Racing: Punters' Guide - Whitbread honours can go to Baronet
Steve Smith Eccles, former top jump jockey, analyses today's Whitbread Gold Cup
Saturday 24 April 1999
Senor El Betrutti: Yet to recapture his best form, but will relish the drying ground. My only doubt is whether he will stay the trip.
Boss Doyle: Disappointing last time but a live each-way contender if back to his best.
Baronet: Lightly raced this season, he goes into this a relatively fresh horse. He is prone to the occasional hiccup but will be hard to beat if he puts in a clear round.
Court Melody: This old character loves Sandown and could run well if he puts his best foot forward.
Strath Royal: At the ripe old age of 13, I reckon we have seen the best of this fellow.
Nahthen Lad: It would be a fairytale if Jenny Pitman's last Whitbread runner took the glory, but not even Richard Dunwoody can be expected to make that happen.
Callisoe Bay: Pulled up on this track in February but could run a big race.
Jathib: May find this extended trip beyond him.
Mahler: Has done nothing to suggest he has a chance.
Colonel In Chief: Has shown no form in two runs this season and has been known to burst blood vessels.
Fine Thyne: Pulled up twice in four outings and well beaten in the other two.
The Outback Way: An unknown quantity over this trip, he could be out of his depth.
Bobbyjo: The Grand National winner runs off a featherweight but may find this contrasting track a struggle.
Betty's Boy: A convincing Cheltenham Festival winner who has been given time to get over the race and is one for the short-list.
The Last Fling: Not the best of jumpers and one I would not like to be riding.
Eulogy: Well beaten by Betty's Boy at Cheltenham and hard to see him turning the tables.
Major Bell: Each-way prospects if he gets his act together over these stiff fences.
Cariboo Gold: Hard to consider.
Conclusion: Betty's Boy has been given time to get over his Cheltenham triumph and can run another big race. However, I prefer last year's Scottish Grand National winner, BARONET. Do not write off the Irish challenger, Boss Doyle.
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