Sportsman Racing: Roque Threat To Long Run Double

In this regular Monday segment, racing expert Scott Armstrong rounds up all the action of note from this weekend’s racing for SBC Blog readers.

The flat season wound up with the International Breeders Cup proving very difficult to fathom with the Breeders Cup Mile won by the rag Court Vision at 66-1. Worry not as the jumping sphere takes over now and I’m like a kid at Christmas with the big guns starting to emerge from hibernation.

On Saturday Quito De La Roque laid down a threat to Long Run’s Gold Cup double aspirations with a gutsy one-and-a-quarter length triumph over Sizing Europe in the Down Royal Champion Chase.

Bostons Angel and Quito De La Roque – two of the most successful staying novice chasers in Ireland met in the Grade 1 Fort Leney Novices’ Chase at Leopardstown last December with honours going to Bostons Angel. The form of the whole season however suggests Quito De La Roque is the superior horse. Having thrashed Bostons Angel over hurdles in 2009/10 Quito De La Roque made a jumping error at the second last in the Fort Leney but unperturbed he stayed on strongly to lose by only three-quarters of a length. If Quito De La Roque had run in the RSA Chase last season I think he may have won it and it should pay to follow this strong stayer over the coming months. The Gold Cup where Quite De La Roque has been cut to 20-1 looks to be tilting at windmills in terms of troubling Long Run but if connections set their sights lower he can put up a bold show at the Festival. Continue reading