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Wednesday 16 December 2015

Top Graduation Chase at Newbury

As we move towards Christmas, the horseracing scene gets a bit quiet during the week, but we have a cracking pair of meetings at Newbury and Ludlow today.

Newbury is the better of the two, and at 2:25pm we have an intriguing "Graduation" chase over 2m7f with 4 terrific young chasers of which none can be discounted. We all know about Sausalito Sunrise who won LTO at Cheltenham over a trip of nearly 3m4f in a race that could prove to one of the more influential races of the season. The worry for me is that this race is over a much shorter trip (and Sausalito Sunrise looks to need longer than 3m1f to show his best) and that he has only 3 rivals will leave him nowhere to hide. "Sunrise" has been brought slowly into his races this season, appearing on the shoulders of the leaders with about half-a-mile to run - he wont be able to do that in this race. Kayserberg is difficult to assess as he's not completed 2 of his 3 chase races, and won the other - but he only had 2 others to beat in that race. However, the other pair are top-notch: O'Faolains Boy and Arpege D'Alene. The latter is a half-brother of Hennessy Gold Cup winner Triolo D'Alene, and this 5yo could well be a star of the future.  He shaped very well in his chasing debut last month and the 11lb he recives from Sausalito Sunrise puts him in the frame. As for O'Faolains Boy, if he can recapture his novice chase form, then he'd win this race with ease. He could be a 160+ chaser if back to his best, and he's still only an 8yo.  Yes, this is a very intriguing race, and I would not be wanting to take less than 7/4 about Sausalito Sunrise.

Earlier on the card at 12:40pm there is a competitve 2m7f Class 3 handicap chase in which I have a couple of alert list runners: Delgany Demon and Whats Left.  The soft ground will suit Delgany Demon (both his wins as a hurdler were on soft/heavy ground) so todays ground will suit him better than that he ran on at Ascot LTO when he was 2nd. However, both these horses met at Exeter 43-days ago (race was won by Saroque) and Whats Left was thereabouts until before 3-out when he started to weaken and eventually pulled-up. He possibly found the strong pace set by the winner was too much, but he meets Delgany Demon on 8lb better terms from that race and he can go well in this as there is unlikely to be a similar pace set. The half-sister of Whats Left (Candy Girl) was a 134+ chaser in Ireland who won on soft ground, and he should be as good as her.

Of the 3 market leaders in the race - Wuff, Local Show and Blameitonmyroots - the Paul Nicholls trained Wuff has the best credentials, as the ground will suit him; but I wouldn't think he was a 7/2 chance. Local Show is thrown in the deep end here on his chase debut and seasonal debut; and Blameitonmyroots could find things happening a bit too quick for him in this.

I really cannot understand why WHATS LEFT is 20/1 with some bookies (BetVictor, Stan James and Coral) and at 5th odds a place 1,2,3 he has to be worth an eachway wager.  The betting market for this race looks very odd and I'd have Wuff the race-fav at 4/1 with Delgany Demon at 5/1.  I can see Local Show and Blameitonmyroots drifting in the betting; and I'd have Whats Left as the 3rd fav at about 7/1 based on his win at Exeter on 8th October over 3-mile.

Newbury 12:40pm WHATS LEFT; £5 eachway @ 20/1 (BetVictor, Stan James and Coral; 5th odds a place 1,2,3)

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