January 19, 2018 at 01:01 #1337984
The quality of horse winning this has improved over the years, and 3 of the last 4 winners have went on to run in The Gold Cup, and both On His Own & Djakadam went on to fill the runners up spot at Cheltenham (On His Own should obviously have been awarded the race), while the win from Champagne West last year, was arguably the best of the NH Season. Hard act to follow then for this lost, but not surprisingly, there are a few likely candidates in there.
As mentioned, that win from Champagne West last year was something else. He blew apart a decent field off of top weight, booking his place at Cheltenham, where he came up short. He’s not been the same horse since, and maybe it really knocked the stuffing out of him. Could be that he’s been laid out for a repeat here, but backers will be taking some gamble, as he really hasn’t done much at all since here. He’ll only be coming 5lbs higher, and although risky, I just can’t draw a line through him. 16’s looks fair.
My idea of a big player here is Ucello Conti, who chased home Champagne West last year. Real soft spot for this horse, since the 2016 National, and his run last time, behind Anibale Fly in The Paddy Power, was rock solid. I thought I might steal a price here for him, but his credentials haven’t went unnoticed, and he’s best priced 7’s. He hasn’t won for Gordon Elliot yet, but he’s rarely ran a bad race, and with everything in his favour here, he has to be shortlist material. In the same ownership, is Polidam, who I’m already tempted to describe as Enigmatic. Can’t get my head round him at all. No excuses last time, and his stable debut for Willie Mullins was desperate, yet visually, his win at Navan was excellent. Throw into the mix a Champion Chase & Ryanair entry, and it’s clear that they still think a great deal of him. I think The Ryanair myself, but with him having a Dublin Chase entry as well, he’s very much a “wait and see job”. I just have a feeling that if he traps here, he could run a very big race, but I’m hardly splitting the atom with that shout…..he’s as short as 4’s.
WPM also has Pleasant Company and Isleofhopendreams entered. Pleasant Company is a horse who always gets a favourable write up from me. They really have worked wonders with him to get down to 146, and even though Aintree is surely on the agenda, I can’t get the idea out of my head, that this could be the target. Fourth last year, I see no reason why he can’t figure again. Always a risky Ante-Post propostion, he gets pulled more often than not, but I know this boy well, and I wouldn’t put anyone off him if he was there on the day. 14’s is a great price. Isleofhopendreams is a lot harder to make a case for. Seen mainly over hurdles in recent times, where he’s hardly impressed, and even though he won his last race over fences in convincing style, this would have to be something of a very long term plot, and if that’s the case, he’ll be winning without my cash, as he did next to nothing last time out.
Not surprisingly, Gigginstown are suitably represented, with…….
A Genie In A Bottle
Alpha Des Obeaux
Fire In His Eyes
Thunder and Roses
all in the mix.
I’d be particularly interested in Sutton Manor and Monbeg Notorious. Sutton Manor is a horse who I followed last season over timber, and but for more luck in running, on more than one occasion, he just might be a bit more high profile. He’s done little wrong over fences so far, and he’s coming along nicely. I didn’t actually expect to see him entered in something like this as soon, but he’s a nice prospect, and a race like this is clearly within his grasp. Monbeg Notorious is by no means the finished article, and there’s plenty to work on, not least his jumping, but he’s one I did expect to see in a race of this nature. Could maybe do with settling better too, but as I said, he’s still a work in progress, but could easily surprise here. The likes of Alpha Des Obeaux and A Genie In A Bottle, should take this in their stride, and neither should be far away. ADO has looked a different animal this year, and though he’s on a high enough mark, he deserves to be, he’s had a decent season. Found only the handicap blot, Total Recall, too good for him in The Munster National, while he was a comfortable winner of The Clonmel Oils Chase. Certainly below par at Aintree, but he was hardly disgraced in The Christmas Chase, and he should be pressing for the places here. Genie was a shade disappointing in The Hennessy, but conditions should be bang on for him here, and 10’s is a great price.
Not surprisingly, a few of those Giggs runners, represent Gordon Elliot, and even less surprising, is that he has others in the mix as well. Near the head of the market as usual is Out Sam, but until he proves me wrong, I’ll continue to overlook him. Even before his switch to Elliot, he was always well tipped up, and also well bet on these shores, but quite simply he’s never really delivered. He will one day, but it won’t be with my cash on him, and I’ll take it on the chin when he eventually proves me wrong. I’ve went on about Flaxen Flare a few times this year, but his run in The Paddy Power was, on the face of it, very average, but I maintain that there is a plan with him. Whether it’s hear remains to be seen, and I have an idea of The Martin Pipe race at The Festival for him. He’s a previous Festival winner, and he looked to have plenty of life about him in the spring, and he looks the type who once they let him go, he really will go. I’ll have a saver at the very least on him, but if I’m being honest, I think his target, whatever it is, will be in the spring. Elliot also has Space Cadet & Poormans Hill in there, both not without a chance, but I can see them both running well, but just out of the frame.
Of the rest, well if none of the big guns are going to win it, then I just have a hunch that the rejuvenated Sumos Novios could run a big race here. After looking to have a big future a few seasons back, it didn’t quite happen for him, but he’s had a new lease of life, and I can see him continuing that here. A nice low key build up, trainer has won the race, will love the conditions, good value for the rise in the weights, and a safe conveyance who won’t be phased by the big field. He ticks plenty of boxes, and 16’s looks decent. Another who keeps coming back to me is Vieux Morvan, and it’s hard to crab his run in The Paddy Power. It wouldn’t take much progression to land this, but although an obviously risky approach, I just want to see him a second time, as that run at Leapordstown could be as good as he is. It could equally be a springboard for success here, and I was in two minds with him, but I’ll very reluctantly pass him by, for now, as I only want one Ante-Post here.
Of the rest…..
Bonny Kate was uncharacteristically poor in The Paddy Power, while Call The Taxie didn’t look like he as going to be a factor before he fell. No bigger fan of Mall Dini than me, had many a chat about him on here, but this surely isn’t the day for him, while Fine Theatre looks held by Sumos Novios, and his run over hurdles at Clonmel, hasn’t worked out since. Dromnea is a very likeable type, and has the ability for sure, but there’s just the suspicion that the trip might stretch him. Should run his race though. The rest might struggle to get in, but I’ll certainly have a look if they sneak in.
Just a very hard race to call, and I think that if Polidam runs, he’ll go off very short, considering his entries, he must be showing plenty, and will take some beating. I said that for The Paddy Power though, and he did get a beating, so I’ll take a chance elsewhere.
Ucello Conti & Pleasant Company, both look safe as houses. Ucello should be bang there, but is he something of a bridesmaid horse? He might just be. I’ll be delighted for him if he wins, but at the prices I’ll sit him out. If Pleasant Company gets declared, I’ll make him a decent bet, and I’ll try and nick a price. I’ll maintain that Flaxen Flare will win a good pot this year, but I can hardly shout him from the rooftops for this, and he’s hard to recommend after Leapordstown, but I’ll have to cover him. Of the Giggs team, the pick could be Sutton Manor, but I’ll have a look at jockey bookings, as I still suspect that his main target is in the spring. That leaves me with Sumos Novios as my only Ante-Post selection, he just has so much going for him
Sumos Novios 16’s
GLJanuary 22, 2018 at 15:20 #1338621jackh1092Participant
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Thought Vieux Morvan started life off quite well for JOB at Christmas….not sure on whether hes a bet currently or not.
I love Sumos Novios as a horse as well…he deserves a big one for the sheer perserverence of the trainer with this fragile horse.
Sutton Manor at Down Royal was literally carried over the line by Codd. Some slog of race, and they got going very early. A good thing hes been given a small break.
A Genie in A Bottle would be quite interesting in what looks like a right old slog as well.
Not quite narrowed it down myself, but a couple of views there anyhow.
Hindsight is 20/20 so make the most of it!January 22, 2018 at 19:45 #1338651AutumnalParticipant
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Jack, I would love to bet the O’Brien horse after Leapordstown, but can he build on that?
VtC, I like Ucello Conti & Pleasant Company from your shortlist, and I will add Polidam, as I always seem to do.
Tickets are bought and I’m hoping the weather is kind. I will hopefully have a better idea of my bet then, because right now this is a toughieJanuary 22, 2018 at 23:06 #1338683KevMcParticipant
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Had a look through the race this afternoon and came down on two.
A Genie In Abottle
3 miles on soft/heavy ground is exactly what this horse is after and will get it here. Looks on a decent mark going back through his form getting within half a length to Anibale Fly twice and beating Mala Beach nicely FTO this season.
Only negative is Meade’s current form.
Call The Taxie
Looks very well handicapped based on his chase defeat of A Sizing Network who went on to win twice in a row subsequently & run behind Genie & Mala Beach only getting 4lbs. Hopefully Rach Blackmore rides, think she is top drawer in the saddle.
Only negative is the fall LTO but hopefully that is the horses wake up call and with a clear round can go close.January 23, 2018 at 02:26 #1338697
Big fan of Blackmore as well Kev, just hope Thursday isn’t her day……….but good luck anyway lolJanuary 23, 2018 at 02:30 #1338698
Yeah, would be great if Sumos could do it, but I do fear that Genie.
Wouldn’t put you off Ucello or Pleasant Company, and I may just join you. I still don’t know what to make of Polidam, though his entries at Cheltenham didn’t go unnoticed.January 23, 2018 at 08:57 #1338707thewexfordmanParticipant
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Isle of hope and dreams has only ever run once over fences but was very impressive on debut under Mikie Fogarty that day in Cork in November 2016. If he lines up here after having only one chase start then I’d be very confident that off his current mark Mullins believes he is a very well handicapped horse.January 23, 2018 at 09:05 #1338710BigGParticipant
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Nice write up as always Bobby
I’m hoping that UCELLO CONTI can go one better than last year,
he’s certainly heading in the right direction having been 3rd the year before
that. I’m sure that the aim is the National again, but this is a big prize and
even a win here would only have him 2 or 3 lbs more than he carried in it last
year. He’s surely got to land a big one, he’s too good a horse to go 11 races
for Elliot unrewarded. He’s not a huge price at 7/1, but he looked good in his
comeback race in the Paddy Power Chase. I think this is his year.
Good luck with Sumos Novios Bob, if I recall you landed a nice touch in this a couple
of years back with My Murphy at a decent price, 16s with SN would be a nice follow
upJanuary 23, 2018 at 09:10 #1338711LostSoldier3Blocked
- Total Posts 1894
A good renewal of the Testes Chase.
I’m a big big fan of Mall Dini and like how he has been confirmed for the National Hunt Chase. I’ve missed the price for him here but hope he runs well.January 23, 2018 at 12:38 #1338746Mike007Participant
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Which article mentioned the NH Chase for him?January 23, 2018 at 13:04 #1338754
That would change things for me Soldier, and happy to cover Mall Dini win 12’s. Thanks for the update.January 23, 2018 at 13:12 #1338758
Thanks Graham, and good luck with Conti, not totally ruled out a saver on him, and he was certainly my intitial fancy.
Yeah, My Murphy proper saved my bacon at big odds, as I had had a decent go on Boston Bob. Good race for me last year with Champagne West paying for my Gold Cup Book…………..but I will decline to mention any other Thyestes before that lolJanuary 23, 2018 at 13:22 #1338763stevecautionBlocked
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Monbeg Notorious looks reasonably weighted to me. 16/1 looked very fair.
No thanks to Ucello Conti at 7/1. He is still to win a chase in his career and for that reason he looks tight in the betting.
Champagne West was stunning in the race last season and was worth a half bet at the same 16/1 as the main selection.
Thanks for the good crack. Time for me to move on. Be lucky.January 23, 2018 at 13:33 #1338766KevMcParticipant
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As P Reynolds says, ground has to be an issue for Mall Dini.January 23, 2018 at 13:57 #1338769botchy1Participant
- Total Posts 3478
Thanks for that update Kev.
Been hit with a sledgehammer a few times before, but never twice in succession. FFS
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