After winning his chase debut, Delta Work beat the highly rated Le Richebourg over 2m4f at Fairyhouse on 02Dec; and this looked a top-class display. Delta Work then went to Leopardstown and stepped-up to a 3-mile trip for a Grade 1 novice chase on 29Dec. Personally, I wasn’t as impressed with this performance as I was with the Leopardstown run as although he won, he looked like being beaten on the run to the last by the year-older Mortal.
Unfortunately, Mortal was asked for a big jump at the final fence, when he may not have needed it, and met it wrong, nearly losing his rider as well as all chance in the race.
Both Mortal and Le Richebourg are trained by JP O’Brien and this young trainer has made rapid progress in his short career out of the saddle. While I cannot know for sure, I feel positive that were Mortal and Delta Work to meet again over 3-mile, that Mortal would finish in front.
Don't forget to take a look at my review of my post-Festival review of last season's Cheltenham Festival (see pages on the right) as this includes valuable insights into the trends of the likely winners.
Finally, last Saturdays selections didn't run anywhere near as well as expected; not a winner amongst them. Charbel ran just about to form and that puts Top Notch at 163 on my ratings; about 5lb behind Politologue. It would seem that Charbel does not stay a yard further than 2m4f at this level.
It looked like one visit to the well too many for Cogry as his run petered-out with over a mile to go. The winner certainly stays well and he should win other marathon races in the next 12 months, but for the big one at Aintree in April, Calett Mad looks worth keeping an eye on.