This long distance novice chase invariably features the top staying novices but plenty of potential ‘stars’ have been beaten here although Florida Pearl and Looks Like Trouble are two recent winners who have gone on to prove themselves top class.
Age – 7 and 8 year olds dominate, providing 8 of the last 9 winners. Florida Pearl (at 6) is the only horse outside this age group to win.
The Market – A couple of big priced winners (Hussard Collonges @ 33/1 and Looks Like Trouble @ 16/1) but generally won by a fancied contender. Favourite backers would be out of pocket however as only one favourite has gone in in the last 9 runnings.
Trainers – The Irish have saddled a host of fancied contenders who have failed to prevail (Barrow Drive, Colonel Braxton, Nick Dundee, Alexander Banquet, Harbour Pilot and Native Upmanship all failed in recent years) and their overall record is not great with only Florida Pearl winning for them. The Irish hotpots often go off at a false price so it is best to focus on the home contingent.
Rely on 7 and 8 year olds trained in the UK who start at <10/1 but discard the favourite.
Several qualifiers this year. Lord Sam, Royal Emperor and Calling Brave (if <10/1) are the ones to be on against Our Vic who will have to defy a poor record for favourites and 6 year olds and seems too short at 7/4, good horse though he is.