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Kauto Star Novices Chase 2018

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  • #1390211
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    I believe La Bague Au Roi will be the best chasing mare since Dawn Run. She should win the Kauto Star Novices Chase (15/2 available) before going on to victory at the Cheltenham Festival, for which she is 12/1 to win any race.

    Those of a nervous disposition should note that she’s been beaten at each of the past two Cheltenham Festivals and her trainer Warren Greatrex has said he might avoid the 2019 Festival with La Bague Au Roi.  If she wins today Greatrex would need his blood replaced by iced water not to go to the festival with the best horse he’s had and might ever have.

    Also, those Festival defeats were over hurdles. She was a good hurdler, but to my eye chasing has transformed her. She moves with great purpose and enthusiasm now and looks much more athletic. She seems to have muscled up since last season and is a big mare anyway, although she’ll look small today against Santini and Topofthegame.

    La Bague Au Roi is unbeaten in four races going right handed in the UK. Her one trip ‘abroad’ was to Punchestown last season when she was well beaten by Faugheen on her first run after wind surgery.

    The Worlds End impressed me enough to back him for the RSA after his Cheltenham victory (I believe La Bague Au Roi will go for the JLT, though have backed her for any race just in case). He too seems a different animal over fences. Sometimes the bigger obstacles transform a horse.

    I was hoping The Worlds End wouldn’t turn up here to test my loyalty to the mare, but I found no hesitation in choosing.  Like all top notch mares and fillies, arguably they should be racing against geldings at level weights. But the outdated WFA scale gives them 7lbs, and I’d back her today even without that advantage.

    Bags Groove, The Worlds End and La Bague Au Roi have put in excellent jumping performances. Santini was safe at Newbury, and Topofthegame mostly all right on his fencing debut when he appeared to be spooked by the tape going up and lost many lengths.

    Big horses can act perfectly well round Kempton, but I like to see them doing it before backing them. Santini and Topofthegame might just find the sharpish track here and the pace pushing them into errors. Bags Groove and La Bague Au Roi are more lightly made, as is The Worlds End. The jumping should be a joy to watch.

    Pound for pound, this might well turn out the best quality field ever assembled for this race (used to be the Feltham Chase). We won’t know until a season or two has passed, but Santini, Bags Groove, The Worlds End and Topofthegame all look potentially high class. Whatever wins this ought to go right to the top. A fascinating race in prospect.

    Never argue with a fool. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience, then onlookers might not be able to tell the difference.

    Nathan HughesNathan Hughes
    • Total Posts 22069

    Hope she can do it for you Joe.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Santini again. He travels well or at least did LTO and his cruising speed is something to behold. I’ve enough on him in the RSA to leave it well alone for tomorrow.

    Member since March 2008
    • Total Posts 2050

    I just have a couple of qualms about the mare. The main one is that she seems to have been comfortably found out every time she’s found herself in a field of this quality. I’m also well aware that she put in one of her less impressive victories on her only start at Kempton (admittedly over hurdles) when just edging out Jer’s Girl who has since been hammered out of sight in every race. For sure she’s been impressive on her two starts over fences so far but I’m not convinced about the state of the form.

    Of course, Bags Groove has his own questions to answer but how could we not be impressed with what he’s done so far this year. He won over hurdles at this course and his jumping is always going to have others under pressure. I think he’ll enjoy the tests of Kempton a bit more than Santini who seems more of a grinder to me. The trip is a question mark but he’s been finishing his races out well and to the eye, the form looks fairly solid albeit not many have run since finishing behind him in his races. I took 11/2 from Paddy a couple of days ago and am happy to sit with that with a saver on the favourite.

    • Total Posts 2543

    Santini will win this easily

    Ground is probably a bit firm for him, but that was class lto out and the form was majorly franked

    Bags groove will finish 2nd!

    Good luck people.

    • Total Posts 4810

    BAGS GROOVE for me at 5/1 !!

    I think his jumping from the front will find this lot out. And I think The Worlds End is the danger if his jumping holds up. Santini is good but I think his inexperience over fences will find him out here.
    £34 forecast as a saver will do me!! :good: :good:

    • Total Posts 1087

    If she finishes in the top 3 tomorrow I’ll be surprised.
    She’s proven already to be below grade 1 class, even in mares only company. Dawn Run would not have come 6th in a mares hurdle

    • Total Posts 434

    Bags Groove for me. Already backed him for the RSA Chase. He jumps for fun and he put aside some very decent horses easily. This is a real test though, a lot of the British protenders for Cheltenhame here. Very interesting race.

    • Total Posts 5770

    Wexfordman, I didn’t take to her over hurdles. Different mare over fences.

    Never argue with a fool. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience, then onlookers might not be able to tell the difference.

    • Total Posts 466

    I’m going to bet Bags Groove here, but I won’t be too upset as win or lose, this looks like being a race to sit back and really enjoy. It’s a very strong field.

    • Total Posts 6972

    I like the look of Topofthegame at 9/2. I fancied him for the Lanzarote last year,
    where he took his time to get going but finished really well. He looked like he needed further than the
    2m 5f and ran out a handsome winner next time at Sandown over 2 m 7 1/2f. He ran a cracking race in the
    Coral Cup at the Festival, where he kept on stoutly to go down by a neck to Blue Berry. Again I’d say
    that 2m 5f is short of his optimum distance. After a break of 9 months, and considering he whipped round
    at the start and lost a lot of ground, I think his run at Exeter behind Defi Du Seuil was outstanding.
    2m 3f is too short for him, and he was closing on a horse that I was so disappointed with last year in
    DDS, but looks to be living up to his promise of 2 years back. He had a wind op before that run at Exeter,
    and considering the length of time he was off and that he was running over an insufficient distance, then
    I think he should be spot on here over 3m. I really fancy his chances :good:

    Cheltenham Novice Chase
    • Total Posts 303

    This has to be one of the best races over the festive period this year. I think it’s a really high quality card and will not only, of course, give significant insights into the RSA but also the 2020 Gold Cup.

    I can really see Santini, Tipofthegame and to a lesser extent the World’s End coming out of novice company and challenging at the head of the market for the 2020 Gold Cup as part of the changing of the guard between old and new. For 2020 I suspect Might Bite, Coneygree and Thistlecrack will be too old, which would leave the aforementioned runners competing against the more experienced horses. Waiting for them of course would be: Presenting Percy, Native River, Waiting Patiently and Politologue.

    • Total Posts 1087

    Let me be the first to say I was wrong 😂

    • Total Posts 434

    Well played Steeplechasing.

    • Total Posts 2652

    Well in Steeplechasing. Cracking shout.

    • Total Posts 3034

    Well done Joe, super jumping and a good brave mare. :good:

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