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Loads of these have seen higher days and certainly run in higher firm, however the one stand out for the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Handicap Chase is Charlie Longsdon’s five-year-old ALMAZHAR GARDE, who’s firmly on the improve.
He has taken his time get the hold of leaping a fence, however was massively economical at his obstacles at Kelso final outing when given an outstanding trip by 3lbs conditional Paul O’Brien. That win got here off a score of 127 so he wants lots extra off 135, however Gavin Sheehan takes over within the saddle and the step as much as this intermediate journey on good floor appears made to measure.
Of his rivals, prime weight Rocky’s Treasure just isn’t out of it. He has dropped 8lbs prior to now 9 months and an finish to finish gallop over this distance is definitely what he needs. A flat, galloping observe has all the time been his area and he could possibly be value a saver at double determine odds.
Some stats are extra related than others when making an attempt to dissect a giant race, however this mid season spotlight – technically the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase however nonetheless the Hennessy Gold Cup in my eyes – provides probably the most potent clue when delving by its historical past.
Because it was first run in 1957, solely 4 winners have been senior residents (10 and 11) whereas solely 9 nine-year-olds have received this characteristic occasion – 4 of these coming again to back-to-back-to-back within the mid-80’s.
And if you wish to push the purpose even additional and make it much more related, because the flip of the century eight second-season seven-year-olds have received this profitable prize. Okay so sufficient of the stats and onto this yr’s renewal. With the highest 4 horses rated between 158 and 162, this yr’s contest appears as much as scratch.
However outdoors the winner’s age as an indication submit to the potential champion this time round, maybe an important issue is the going with good floor assured.
That could be a large detrimental towards the sluggers that want a deep take a look at of stamina so the power to leap fluently at a excessive cruising velocity could possibly be of paramount significance. And the bizarre factor about this yr’s entry is that a big slice of the sector are greatest on genuinely good floor.
Such a floor fits the likes of Mister Malarkey, Material Cap, Ardlethen, Potterman, Danny Whizzbang, Le Bague Au Roi, Kildisart and Secret Investor.
We all know good floor is far more conducive to carrying a giant weight and that is without doubt one of the causes I believe that SECRET INVESTOR has main claims.
I beloved the best way he travelled by the race at Chepstow when he made subsequent Badger Beers’ runner-up Potterman appear like a petrol-starved automobile and though the final named is 4lbs higher off, these placings ought to be confirmed right here.
After all, Secret Investor must take one other step ahead off a career-high mark of 159, however floor is all the pieces to him and he is without doubt one of the few stayers within the line-up that has a flip of foot over this type of distance.
The ‘going’ issue additionally applies to stablemate Danny Whizzbang. He has twice formed like one of the best horse within the race within the Reynoldstown and Kauto Star Chase, solely to backside out within the closing phases on floor he discovered method too testing.
Nonetheless, breaking a blood vessel final outing is massively off-putting so my back-up wager at a much bigger worth is MISTER MALARKEY in a race Paddy is paying the first 5 home.
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Inconsistent he’s, however his expertise is simple – which we noticed to the max when he landed the Grade 3 Betway Handicap Chase at Kempton Park.
On that kind there’s little between himself and Kildisart, however the choice is twice the value and had a pleasant blow-out behind Regal Encore within the Sodexo at Ascot.
The important thing race to take a look at when assessing his likelihood is the 2019 renewal, when off precisely the identical mark he was a decent sixth of the 24 runners, overwhelmed a shade over 11 lengths.
He nonetheless didn’t look anyplace close to the completed product over fences that day, however since then, together with the large Kempton success, his fencing has been much more fluent and he stays a very well-handicapped animal off solely a 3lb greater mark for that win. However once more, I can not emphasise sufficient that floor, floor, floor is vital to him.
Of the opposite runners, I don’t suppose we have now seen one of the best of Black Op and though he doesn’t want genuinely mushy floor he would favor a minimum of some dig, whereas the identical comment applies to final yr’s runner-up The Conditional, however he comes right here with no run beneath his belt versus a few warm-up races final yr.
If Le Bague Au Roi got here again to her Grade One successful kind she would have stable claims with the bottom not a difficulty, whereas Ardlethen is an fascinating gentle weight from a yard on hearth and one which hasn’t had many probabilities on good floor over a distance in circumstances which might properly be his optimum. Each are value a re-evaluation right here.
If something the bottom at Newcastle for the Rehearsal Chase will probably be faster than at Newbury, which isn’t the norm for this time of yr.
I assumed that Henry Daly’s Whatmore might have been given a extra optimistic trip within the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot and I’m certain we have now but to see the easiest of him over a staying journey. My important downside with him is his leaping, which stays common to say the least and the fences on the Gosforth Park observe are to not be meddled with.
Definitly Crimson has all of it to do off a mark of 158 and can do properly to provide the burden away all spherical so I make this between Nicky Henderson’s Pym and THE BUTCHER SAID
So, within the perception that there’s lots extra enchancment to come back from him and since he’s the stronger stayer of the 2, the Olly Murphy cost will get the nod. Two drained jumps at Cheltenham on floor method too mushy for him noticed him end 20 lengths off the extremely promising The Huge Breakaway, however his runs on good floor strongly counsel he’s a lot better than that.
A gap mark of 139 doesn’t do him justice and as one of many least uncovered within the line-up, he can see off his extra extra skilled rivals on the best way to higher issues.
Pym was pulled up in each the Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot and the RSA Chases on the Cheltenham Competition, the place he floundered badly. Newcastle’s higher floor will swimsuit and it’s value remembering that on good-to-soft floor, he completely toyed with Imperial Aura at Cheltenham in December 2019 and has the high-cruising velocity to be efficient over a shorter journey than Saturday’s 3m.
If he had been mine I might be aiming him on the Ryanair Chase on the 2021 Cheltenham Competition.