January 5, 2015 at 19:32 #27318
Always a proper slog this one, but was won very impressively last year by Shotgun Paddy, ahead of Carruthers, and both look set to take their chances once again.
Shotgun Paddy followed up his win here with an excellent second in The National Hunt Chase at the Festival, and he looked to be going places, but things haven’t really went to plan so far this term. Although a hot staying hurdle at Newbury wouldn’t really be ideal for him, it was still a rather laboured effort from him on his seasonal re-appearance at Newbury. In his defense, he was up against the likes of Medinas, Cole Harden, and More Of That, but still, I’d liked to have seen more from him, he looked very sluggish, and was beaten a fair way out. He then attempted to lump top weight in The Welsh National, but his race more or less finished at the second, where a jolting blunder all but put him out of the race, and he was pulled up with less than a circuit gone. Difficult to weigh up then, but he deserves a change of luck after Chepstow, and based on his exploits last season, then he might be worth another chance, it would certainly be dangerous to write him off. Carruthers has been performing in The Cross Country sphere this season, but it hasn’t really worked out for him, and he hasn’t taken to it at all. As a result of this though, his mark has plummeted, and if the exploits round Cheltenham haven’t soured him, then coming here a stone lower, then this might be the right time to catch him, before age finally catches up with him. I was hoping to see him get an entry for this, though I was also hoping for more than 10’s. Regardless of the price though, a very interesting contender.
Current market leader is Return Spring, from the Philip Hobbs yard. I always liked him as a hurdler, though he started off the season in a hurdle race at Cheltenham, and did not perform at all. As low as 6’s, you could argue that he’s not done enough to justify his position at the head of the market, and the pick of his form looks to be in defeat to Kings Palace at Cheltenham in a small field Novice Chase. He also took care of Highland Retreat in a similar race at Exeter, and that horse went on to win next time, though on balance 6’s still looks skinny. Struggling to weigh him up either way, though he does look to have had a similar prep to that of Shotgun Paddy last year. I’ll very reluctantly take my chances though and leave him, certainly at that price.
Fresh from her victory in The Welsh National, Venetia Williams has Rigadin De Beauchene, and Ballyoliver entered. Ballyoliver won in some style at Carlisle in November, but he seemed to lose interest next time at Cheltenham, and I think it was more his attitude that beat him, rather than the rise in the weights. On the whole, he’s always been fairly consistent, and should he take his chance, then he might appeal from an each way point of view. I’ve said this many a time on here, but poor Rigadin was absolutely hammered for his win at Haydock last season, very harshly in my opinion, and no surprise to see him struggle since. Of all her staying chasers, he’s probably my favourite, and though getting dropped 3lbs might not be enough here, I think it might be enough to see him get a bit more competitive. Still way higher though than when he landed this in 2013, and it would be some effort to land it.
Another previous winner, the 2011 victor, West End Rocker, also features in the list of entries. Now 13, he’s rarely seen these days, though his run in last seasons Midlands National, showed he’s no back number, and he returned to winning ways at Lingfield last month. Big fan of him, and though in the veteran stages, I don’t think he’s out of it. Clearly his kind of race this, and I wouldn’t worry about the 4lb rise at all. Four years on, and Incentivise, third that day, also reappears. I bet him here when he won last time, and he immediately went into the notebook for this. Another who could have been called “moody” in the past, he really seems to have got his act together, and is beginning to show a fair level of consistency. It doesn’t look the classiest renewal, and could be an ideal opportunity for him, and I’m swaying towards both these 2 old boys to go close at the moment.
Other who took in The Welsh National, were Hawkes Point, Mart Lane, and Dark Glacier. Hawkes was a major disappointment, looking in trouble a long way out, and this was off the back of a pleasing enough seasonal debut at the track. Not one to totally trust then, and he hasn’t really looked the same horse since last seasons Welsh National, though a 6lb drop in the weights should make life easier. I was at Carlisle when Dark Glacier won in October, and he dug deep that day, just what’s needed for a race like this. There’s the suspicion that this trip might just stretch him though. A 50-1 shot at Chepstow, he was making a mockery of those odds, before appearing to hit a brick wall on the home straight. I’d be wary of any Peter Bowen runner though, and he’s one of the few at decent odds here, with 33’s available at Hills. Mart Lane is the outsider of the field at 40’s, and based on recent runs, looks up against it.
The trip will prove no issues for Adrenalin Flight, who won over 4 miles in The Devon Marathon last time. He did, though, seem to benefit from being dropped 8lbs for that run, and he’s back to the mark he was struggling off before, so I’ll be leaving him, as impressive as he was at Exeter. Benbane Head had a disaster that day, taking the wrong course. He made proper amends though at Cheltenham a week later, winning impressively. He’s went up 8lbs for that run, but if in the same form, he should still be a danger to all. Has run well close to this trip before, and his entry in The Devon Marathon suggests connections are confident he can handle it.
Cadeau George looks up against, based on his trouncing by Return Spring earlier in the season, and though he won impressively at Ffos Las next time, he got a huge hike in the weights, and was found wanting off his new mark at Cheltenham last week, in the race won by Mon Parrain. Also taking in that Cheltenham race was Theatrical Star. He was still to run his race when unseating, and this was off the back of disposing of Global Power at Fontwell. Connections have landed this before, and he’s shaped as if the trip will suit. Looks as if he deserves his place near the head of the market, though has his work cut out to confirm placings with Global Power, who’s had a decent enough season, and meets him on much better terms for a neck beating. As well as that runners up spot to Theatrical star, Global Power also filled the same spot in that Carlisle race won by Ballyoliver. The trip will hold no fears for him, and he looks a live one for finally getting his head in front, from a yard who’ve already landed a big prize this season. 12’s looks decent each way value at this stage.
Peckhamecho has been mainly running over hurdles of late, and finished well clear of Shotgun Paddy in the Newbury race. I’d be interested in him for this, if not for flopping badly over hurdles last time, as there didn’t seem to be many excuses. I’d also like to have seen him over fences more as well. He did win nicely at Aintree though, and had subsequent Cheltenham winner, Rolling Maul well behind him. Another I’ll leave alone for the timebeing, but just something about him, makes me think he’s got another decent prize in him this season.
Sixty Something trounced a weak enough field at Doncaster last time, and he looks on a winnable mark, remaining unchanged after that win. He’s ran enough decent races, albeit not in the best company, to suggest he can get competitive in this, however, there’s always the worry that his jumping will get in the way.
Tales Of Milan had Welsh National winner Emperors Choice behind him when he won at Sandown last month over this trip, and that’s enough to take him seriously. That was 2 on the spin for him though, and it’s possible the subsequent rise in the weights was his undoing last time at Kempton. Risky as a result of that rise, but dangerous to totally write off.
Not the hottest line up I’ve seen for it, and the Bookies don’t seem to be giving much away either.
Definitely no bet for me at the moment, and I’ll wait till the day.
The old boys, Carruthers, West End Rocker, and Incentivise all look as if they could have one last hurrah in them, and all 3 are tempting. Of the “younger” brigade, I’d favour Global Power, just ahead Rigadin De Beauchene, and Theatrical Star.
Gun to my head, and forced to have a bet, it would be Dark Glacier, but only to take advantage of the 33’s……..and more than happy to leave alone for now.
GLJanuary 6, 2015 at 16:05 #500567
- Total Posts 4752
Nice write up Bob
GLOBAL POWER 12/1 For me was 2nd last time will love ground any news on weather at weekend.Wants this trip as well.January 6, 2015 at 18:00 #500576
- Total Posts 7688
I was going to back Global Power last time when he didn’t get into the race, so I’ve got to stick with him. He’s my ‘cliff’ horse this year.January 6, 2015 at 20:06 #500589
Nice write up Bob
GLOBAL POWER 12/1 For me was 2nd last time will love ground any news on weather at weekend.Wants this trip as well.
If he makes it he’ll be be my bet, along with one of the veterans…….I’m going for a mix of youth and experience Definitely waiting till the final decs though.
Not heard anything about the forecast yet.
Good luck!January 6, 2015 at 20:08 #500590
I was going to back Global Power last time when he didn’t get into the race, so I’ve got to stick with him. He’s my ‘cliff’ horse this year.
You gotta bet the cliff horse moe……good luck!January 6, 2015 at 21:38 #500596
- Total Posts 1016
has done me a number of favours in the past, including his first chase win a couple runs ago. I really like the horse and see him as a possible National sort in a season or two time, but i might have to oppose him this time. Seems a little thrown in to me at the weights and i can see more value further down the handicap…
But not that far.
is at a mark that simply screams winner to me. Has won off a higher mark enough times for me to convince me he’ll run his race. Hoping for a little notch in his mark so he can make the cut for the National…?January 6, 2015 at 22:16 #500600
- Total Posts 19968
I was kind of hoping that Hey Big Spender would run here as he won the race 2 years ago and seems to run well enough around Warwick.Don't Eat The Pie and Don't Buy The S*nJanuary 9, 2015 at 11:59 #500863
Nathan, Hey Big Spender’s been given an entry in The Skybet Chase.January 9, 2015 at 20:02 #500910
- Total Posts 19968
He’s never run at Doncaster before has he?
I think the course will suit him.Don't Eat The Pie and Don't Buy The S*nJanuary 9, 2015 at 20:20 #500911
I had to check Nathan, but you’re right, he hasn’t. Don’t see any reason why it won’t suit him, but I’d be more worried with his new mark.January 11, 2015 at 08:44 #501100
- Total Posts 215
It was mentioned on the coverage yesterday that this race was only about 10/11 years old.
I’d assumed this was the current incarnation of the long distance Warwick chase won (I think!) by the likes of Moorcroft Boy and ANC Express in the 90s?
Was that the old Brook Bond Oxo National?January 11, 2015 at 10:41 #501110
It is the same race OA, not sure why they changed it……..remember Bonum Omen winning it in 83?
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