The h’cap chase at Folkestone was dominated by long-priced runners who showed much-improved performances. The race was won by the 10yo Only vintage, who provided trainer Paul Henderson with his 2nd chase winner at the track from just 4 runners in the past 5 seasons. I was on the previous winner, Lidjo de Rouge, when it won over C&D, so it seems that Henderson likes sending chasers here – take note!
The blog selection MIDNIGHT HAZE was almost certainly undone by the drop in trip and a return to 3-mile (or further) should see him back in the winner’s enclosure. I was also taken with the run of CHANCE DU ROY in 3rd as this was only his 4th chase run and his rating of OR130 looks lenient.
There is a cracking day’s racing for a Wednesday, with jump meetings at Bangor and Newbury in the UK and a very attractive meeting at Fairyhouse in Ireland.
There is a host of decent jockeys riding at Bongor (instead of Newbury) including AP McCoy, Graham Lee, Jason Maguire, and Tom Scudamore, as well as Robert Thornton (on the comeback trail from long-term injury).
PISTOL BASC met a good one LTO, and he looks to have more potential to improve than some of these. The trip and going are in his favour and altho’ he is creeping up the handicap, his jumping is assured and he does possess a turn of foot at the business end.
I expect GISLAND is the reason why Jason Maguire is at Bangor and he should prove hard to beat in the 3m6f h’cap chase at 1:15 – a race the McCain family have won in 2 of the previous 3 years.
The novice hurdle at 1:50 is definitely a race to watch and make note of, with some interesting novice hurdlers competing. And in the 3-mile h’cap hurdle, Galaxy Rock always runs much better with McCoy in the saddle as the horse needs hard driving, but I don’t think he truly stays this trip so, if he’s to win, then there will have to be some McCoy magic.
There are some big fields for the races at Newbury, and I’ll be honest and report that big fields put me off. There is only one race for me to consider and that’s the Peterborough (moved from Huntingdon to here). This 2m5f trip will be tricky for some of these including the fav Twist Magic, who has never looked a “stayer”. Last years winner Deep Purple looks like he has a good opportunity to follow-up here, but I am taken by MASTER MEDIC. This horse was last seen totally outclassed in the King George nearly 12 months ago, but the 9yo has very few miles on the clock and has a touch of class at 2-mile with proven ability to stay this sort of trip. At 10/1, he could be the one to cause an upset.
At Fairyhouse, the Hatton’s Grace hurdle (Grade 1) looks a mouth-watering race. Hurricane Fly needs to win this, and win well, to put his doubters to bed. How can he be 7/1 for the Champion Hurdle and 3/1 for this? One of those markets is badly wrong, and I’d say it was the Champion Hurdle market – the horse should be more like 25/1 for that. For me, SUMMIT MEETING was not beaten far by Peddlers Cross in the Neptune last March and he’d had a much interrupted preparation for that race. You cannot argue with the form of that race, and this trip and going will be right up his street. He’s had a comeback “blow-out” to ripen him up and at 20’s he’s the eachway value.
It’s hard to see TRANQUIL SEA being beaten on soft going over the 20f trip of the Grade 1 John Durkan chase, but if any can do it then it will be J’y Vole.
Finally, MIKHAEL D’HAGUENET makes a seasonal debut after long-term injury problems. He is thrown-in the deep end in this, but if he is good enough we’ll learn it today.
Antepost opportunities for the Cheltenham Festival (part two)
I’ll see how the results go today and come back with part two tomorrow, but POQUELIN is at the fore of the Ryanair market at the very generous odds of 6/1. Be honest with yourself, is there anything likely to be in the race that can beat him at Cheltenham over 2m5f on the likely Good-to-Soft going?
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Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Peterborough Chase at Newbury
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