Shaneboy Alley missed out on a second Category One competition victory at Sunderland recently but Liz McNair’s charge may not be denied when taking the stage at Monmore for his continued assault on the Ladbrokes Gold Cup.
The impressive three-year-old has enjoyed a productive year so far. A victory in the Arc at Swindon was followed-up by a quarter-final place in the Derby and that latest appearance in a showpiece final in the north-east.
Unfortunately for the Shaneboy Dorie whelp he was never allowed to run his race from out wide in the Classic final at Sunderland.
But his class is self-evident and a rapid 27.87sec Gold Cup heats victory marked a swift return to form.
And few onlookers will be quick to write off the chances of the 7/2 joint-favourite for the competition crown.
The sponsors have priced up the three semi-finals early with Alley a clear 10/11 fancy to sail through to the decider.
Charlie Lister’s Lemon Pluto will be a threat through the middle given his own burst of early acceleration.
However, the odds-on favourite will be more than happy to oblige by cutting across his rivals at the first bend before leaving the rest of the field trailing.
Victory is likely to set-up a showdown with Barrie Draper’s Eden Star, one of the most respected four-bend competitors in training.
Consistency is his hallmark having gone unbeaten in four previous outings over course and distance.
Sussex Cup hero Loughteen Blanco is available at 6/1 for back-to-back event triumphs and can be snapped up at 7/4 to claim a hotly-contested semi-final.
Seamus Cahill’s prolific performer is another who enjoys a trip around Monmore with his last three outings at the track delivering for followers.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing
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