This week’s chase eye-catchers…
Big Difference (7YO/B Pauling)
Ben Pauling’s 111 rated chaser was in the process of running a big race at Ludlow when losing his under-carriage after the first fence down the straight. How he recovered i’ve no idea as he lost all chance and his effort can only be marked up. It could be the sort of in-race error that’s missed when priced up next time, possibly! This was over 3m and he was out-paced on the turn for home but had jumped well. I think he would have been a ‘staying on’ 2nd (and may well have gone much closer) as he was still staying on into 4th despite losing all winning chance with his post fence sprawl. The effort would suggest he is well handicapped. Two of the three in front were rated 117 and he recorded an RPR of 121. This was only the 7th rules run of his life and he also placed in a couple of points. It could be he’s best on decent ground (by Presenting) but that’s an unknown.
He has a lightly raced profile for his age so i’m not sure if he’s had problems – hopefully he can stay sound and they can have a good run with him. He raced prominently here and has won over hurdles. While there is no ‘hot form’ to speak of as yet i’d have thought he has chases in him – possibly on a more galloping/stiffer track, possibly 26f.
Head To The Stars (9YO/H Daly)
This horse is now 0/8 over fences but ran a cracker in The Classic Chase, one of three decent chase runs this season. He ran much better than I expected – kept wide, I assume to get a clear sight of his fences, he jumped the best i’ve seen him and moved up into 3rd/4th down the back, as they headed for home. Captain Chaos ensured they went a proper pace in this and I was surprised he had the ability to tank along and close as he did – he then faded on the turn for home, either the trip beating him, or indeed the pace he’d been going. Off 127 you’d have to think he has a staying handicap chase in him, but maybe not a hot Grade 3 like the Classic Chase. He has some solid hurdle form and a mark of 127 looks workable.
I do think he may be a bit of a monkey/tricky to win with, and they obviously keep holding him up. Maybe he’s a keen sort and/or has to run through horses to get his competitive juices flowing, but he clearly has loads of ability. He’s a couple of decent hurdle runs to his name in March 2018 and it looks as though testing ground is important to him.
Dare I say it but he’s probably one for EW betting, and you wouldn’t want a short price. But this effort was much better than his eventual finishing position suggested.
Coole Hall (8YO/Rose Dobbin)
This lightly raced/unexposed chaser finished an honourable 2nd to Two For Gold a couple of starts back in December. After that horse won at Warwick on Saturday the form is looking decent, as is his mark of 135. He’s run once since, beaten by a 1/2 shot where he was never really travelling . That race may have come too soon after his previous effort and/or he resented the 1st time visor. But, he still plugged on. He may well want a decent stamina test but he appears to have bumped into a couple. The fact they reached for the visor would set an alarm bell ringing also – they must think he could be more focussed etc.
However, he’s only had 10 runs in his life and 4 chases (won x3 novice hurdles). Hopefully they can keep him sound, as he must have chases in him this season on the evidence so far.
That’s all for this week,