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Saturday, 24 October 2015
Be wary of novice chases
Unfortunately, the blog selection yesterday Vintage Vinnie showed he still has a bit to learn about jumping fences when making a serious error on the 2nd-circuit before coming down at the 3rd-last fence when under pressure. It's possible that he'd have won this had he not fallen, as he'd have been involved at the finish and was still going well. He remains on the alert list.
The opening event is a new race being a 2-mile Class 2 handicap chase (replacing a 2m4f Class 2 handicap chase won for the past 2 seasons by Johns Spirit). Of the 12 runners, 5 have had the benefit of a run this autumn or which Workbench put up the best performance when beating Purple 'n Gold. They meet again with Workbench on 8lb worse terms, so David Pipe (trainer of Purple 'n Gold) must think he has a chance of reversing the placings, but the win by Workbench was eye-catching.
Of the others, Next Sensation loves it round here but usually needs a run, and I prefer Eastlake - ridden by Barry Geraghty - who is 5lb better-off for their meeting at the Festival in March, as he has shown he's capable of winning on his seasonal debut. Turn Over Sivola was also in that race (running 5th) and the 8yo could hold the key to this tricky race. Trainer Alan King has his stable in good form, and he has only 2 runners today. Trainer Evan Williams has two entered, and while Going Concern looks a little out of his depth here, De Faoithesdream will almost certianly try and make-all setting a strong pace - which will be perfect for Turn Over Sivola who, at 9/1 looks fair eachway value.
From my alert list there are several runners at Cheltenham.
In the 3:20pm we have Fox Appeal, and in the 3:55pm there is Miss Serious, and then at 5:05pm is Saffron Wells.
Fox Appeal just does not like Cheltenham, so he's off my radar in the 3:20, despite him being 3rd fav. The race fav Audacious Plan needs to find some improvement on his seasonal debut, but he's 13/2 which shows how wide open this race is. Last years winner Roalco De Farges is 2nd-fav but the good ground wont suit him as he likes some give, and if he's going to win a race this season then this will be it - hence he's 2nd-fav. This looks a race that will go to one long in the market and of those in the 10/1 - 12/1 range, Theatrical Star should go well as he's very consistent, jumps and stays well, and should appreciate todays ground. The worry for me is that there are a lot in this race who want softish ground and they wont get it today, so the race is tricky to fathom.
There doesn't appear to be value in the next few races on the card, and the novice chase will all depend on the jumping ability of Parlour Games.
The handicap hurdle at 5:05pm looks another tough nut to crack, The reason Saffron Wells is on my alert list is that I want him to go novice chasing as I think he will be a decent handicap chaser.
Overall, the best opportunity looks to be in the opening race of the afternoon, as I've looked at the meeting at Kelso, and only the 3:05pm handicap chase catches my eye but the race-fav Gold Futures looks very strong in that race and offers no value.
There's already been money for TURN OVER SIVOLA as yesterday evening you could obtain 12/1, and now he's into 9/1. Given how competitve the race is, it will only be a small eachway wager, as we have a good Aintree card tomorrow to get stuck into.
Cheltenham 2:10 TURN OVER SIVOLA, £5 eachway @ 9/1 (available generally, quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)