December 10, 2016 at 01:17 #1276337
Interesting little race. What do the trends say?
2015 Pearls Legend 8 10-7 N de Boinville 15/2 (J L Spearing) 133
2014 Sew On Target 9 11-0 Brendan Powell 13/2 (C L Tizzard) 135
2013 Eastlake 7 11-0 A P McCoy 5/1Fav (Jonjo O’Neill) 140
2012 Shooters Wood 8 10-0 R Walsh 11/4JFav (Paul Nicholls) 133
2011 Astracad 5 10-12 Sam Twiston-Davies 11/4Fav (Nigel Twiston-Davies) 138
2010 Woolcombe Folly 7 11-7 R Mahon 4/1Fav (Paul Nicholls) 154
2009 French Opera 6 11-10 B J Geraghty 7/2 (Nicky Henderson) 147
No winner older than 9. Only 2 winners carried more than 11-0, and those are also the highest rated horses to have won.
Interestingly, of the winners who won off 139 or less, in all their subsequent handicap starts off a higher mark, not one of them won. From Astracad (139+), Shooters Wood 134+), Pearls Legend (134+) and Sew On Target (136+), they’ve recorded a combined 0-7-31. 4 of the places came courtesy of Astracad from 14 starts. Eastlake only managed to win off 142 2 1/2 years later.
So if this race goes to something rated in the 130s (or less), it seems likely that they’ve won a weak contest from being in-form, and it acts as a drawback to the remainder of their careers. It shows the horse’s winning ceiling.
Of the last 7 winners, 6 of them had recorded a top 3 finish at Cheltenham over 2m in the handicap Un Beau Roman won at the Open Meeting. 2 of them won (Shooters Wood + French Opera) in November. The other winner won the 2m handicap chase at Ascot Sir De Grugy won, in which Vaniteux and Cold March ran (Woolcombe Folly).
So, first of all let’s remove those aged 10 or older. This isn’t their kind of race. Savello, Eastlake, Parsnip Pete, Sew On Target and Defaoithesdream are gone. Savello’s on a hunt for a good mark for the Grand Annual, as is Eastlake. Parsnip Pete is better in the later months, Sew On Target’s actually rated 136, 1 more than when he won this 2 years ago so he’s also out of it based on my theory outlined above. Defaoithesdream isn’t quite good enough I suspect.
I spent a bit of time watching Baltimore Rock earlier. He’s a good jumper but he finds nothing off the bridle. The ground could be a bit quick for him too.
Keel Haul ran in this last year off 131 (now 130) and finished 4th. He won the Open Meeting November 2m handicap off 126 in 2014 and subsequently got beaten by 21L, 61L, 51L + 24L before dropping back to 126. Finished 2nd at Aintree for his prep. I don’t think he’s quite good enough + he prepped at Aintree, which is a bit odd. Now rated 130, they could have been playing games with his mark a bit + with a year’s progression under his belt, might be able just to win off 130. But I think others have better chances and he’s much worse off with Cold March vs last year.
Un Beau Roman might just have perfect conditions here. He prepped in the usual way for this race and he comes here rated 133 – 4 of the last 7 winners were rated 133-138. They all came via the Cheltenham 2m handicap. So this guy is going down a tried and tested path. The ground seems key to him. 5 career wins – 4/5 on good ground. He won a handicap off 132 at Kempton 11 months ago on soft over 2m 2f. Used to be in Willie Mullins yard. Certainly looks like they’ve been playing games with his handicap mark. Has strong claims.
The class horse in the field is Vaniteux. But he’s a bit dodgy. He’s yet to win outside of novice company + he’s only won twice when favourite (from eight occasions). Woolcombe Folly won this rated 154 but he came here whilst progressing. Vaniteux is pretty much at the limit of what he’s going to achieve and I think he’ll struggle to confirm form with Cold March. He’s got to be opposed. BUT he has very strong Cheltenham form – 22228U. The U was in the Arkle when he likely would have finished 2nd to Douvan (and ahead of Fox Norton).
Owen Na View ran in this last year off 126 and ran very badly. Much worse off with Cold March vs last year. Now rated 129. BUT he had excuses – he hates soft ground. But he comes here after a very busy summer and he needs a career best. Comes here on an upward curve + has his preferred ground, but unlikely to be good enough. Trained by Fergal O’Brien, who’s in hot form at the moment.
Cold March also ran in this last year off 150 – now rated 145. He ran last year after 2 prep runs + may have been tired. He was off the bridle a long way out but finished strongly. Comes into the race off the back of only 1 prep this year. If you look at Cold March’s first 2 starts off a break of 60+ days, you’ll find all 4 career wins and 4 of his 6 places. He qualifies under a good Venetia Williams system and even gets his preferred ground. I think it’s telling that he still held an entry for the Queen Mother until the late stages of the season. Ran badly time before at Cheltenham over 2m 4f but he was close to the pace that day. He’s 1lb better off with Vaniteux (beaten 1 1/2L by Vaniteux at Ascot), so given how much Venetia Williams’ string improve for their first run, I can’t see Cold March not beating Vaniteux in these conditions. Off 4lb better terms with Keel Haul compared to last year’s running (Keel Haul beat Cold March 1 1/2L last year), and 5lb better off with Owen Na View (Owen Na View beat him by a neck). So I’d expect Cold March to beat Keel Haul and Owen Na View comfortably, and I’d expect him to beat Vaniteux. If you wish to poke holes in his form, all his wins have been RH, but he’s only run LH twice, both times at Cheltenham (P6) but had excuses both runs. If he runs badly in this, I think it’s fair to conclude that he either doesn’t like Cheltenham or going LH. Has strong claims.
Bit tricky to size up Sizing Platinum’s chances. He’s come here with a very odd prep for this race. He’s yet to win outside maiden/novice/beginner company. On a line through Owen Na View…SP beat ONV 19L at Cheltenham giving him 8lbs. In this race last year, ONV was beaten 22 1/2L with Workbench, giving ONV 15lb, 20L up the road. It’s a bit tricky and it involves a lot of collateral form building, which can often be dodgy. 4/1 or 9/2 doesn’t really appeal to me when 2 others have much stronger profiles.
1. Un Beau Roman
2. Cold March
4. Sizing PlatinumDecember 10, 2016 at 10:57 #1276411
- Total Posts 4557
That’s some piece of analysis Zarkava, hats off to the work that was put into that
I was interested in Baltimore Rock, but had the ground concerns you
highlighted. I think the rain has come just in time to sway me back round to him, I’ve
taken the 8/1 and hope the ground takes the sting out of the others so he doesn’t have
to come off the bridle. Good luck with your 4.December 10, 2016 at 11:25 #1276423
Very thorough Analysis
A cracking read.December 10, 2016 at 11:27 #1276425
- Total Posts 905
Assuming the going will be G to S (G places) I’ve taken a chance of Un Beau Roman backing up last time having had a proper break in the summer this year. Vaniteux is the main danger, always makes an error and his mark accounts for that but a catastrophic blunder is always a real possibility.December 10, 2016 at 11:38 #1276432
- Total Posts 319
I’m not sure if Un Beau Roman has it in him to win off this sort of mark and he’s never won consecutive races. I think it might get softer quite early on today so I’m opting for KEEL HAUL, who comes here after a good second at Aintree. A well beaten 4th in this race last year off 1lb higher, and trainer not exactly in form, but i’m going to over look those two things as i think he might excel in this kind of race off a low weight.December 10, 2016 at 11:47 #1276439
Venture to CognacModerator
- Total Posts 13736
Hope you get the winner after that work ZarkDecember 10, 2016 at 12:37 #1276472
I’ve done CFCs and CTCs with Cold March, UBR and Vaniteux, so fingers crossed for that!December 10, 2016 at 12:42 #1276473
dont miss out SPDecember 10, 2016 at 13:07 #1276488
Ignore that comment ZARK got names mixed up.December 10, 2016 at 13:29 #1276501
F***ing Eastlake. He’s bollocked everything right up. 6-folds, CFCs, EW singles. Arghhhh!!!!!
Actually if you ignore Eastlake, I picked the 1-2-3-4……………..unbelievable.December 10, 2016 at 13:31 #1276502
Cold March…his run was identical to last year. Has the ground gotten too soft for him? Does he not go LH? Does he not like Cheltenham? The way he stormed up the hill last year + this year indicates he doesn’t mind Cheltenham. He came off the bridle practically every time he was asked to go LH, so that could be the problem.December 10, 2016 at 13:34 #1276504
- Total Posts 24428
Hope TAPK backed Eastlake @ 33/1, one he usually follows over the cliff.
Actually, he’ll probably be on in a minute claiming 70 “on the machine”. 😆
value is everythingDecember 10, 2016 at 13:37 #1276507
- This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Gingertipster.
- Total Posts 24428
Unlucky Zark’! 🙁value is everythingDecember 10, 2016 at 13:51 #1276511
Cold March…his run was identical to last year. Has the ground gotten too soft for him? Does he not go LH? Does he not like Cheltenham? The way he stormed up the hill last year + this year indicates he doesn’t mind Cheltenham. He came off the bridle practically every time he was asked to go LH, so that could be the problem.
You will be quids in when he’s placed to win in a run or 2December 10, 2016 at 13:52 #1276513
- Total Posts 4557
Bad luck Zark, your analysis was as near to perfect as you can get, without
Eastlake spoiling the party. After his run last time I wouldn’t have expected
Eastlake to be the one to burst the bubble, bad luck mate.
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