Let’s jump straight to it… as always at this time of year a focus on chasers that may cross my radar in handicaps in the coming weeks >>>
Cloudy Glen (7YO/V Williams)
It’s unlikely that a 2nd place in a decent Sandown handicap chase will go under the radar NTO but he did run an extraordinary race here, thankfully beaten after the last by our Deise Aba (who looks worth keeping onside also). I wonder if Trevor Hemmings played the forecast?! This horse is a bit of a thinker having run out on his previous start. He looked tricky at the start and was slow away, having to come from the back. Whether that was by design i’m not sure. At around halfway he somewhat took off, Charlie rushing him up and allowing him his head, having been pulling a fair bit. He only gave out after the last but plugged on, the rest well beaten. 3m is still a question, and certainly up a muddy hill, but i’d side towards him staying it – certainly if jumping off and dictating. It could be they drop him in trip and try aggressive tactics, provided he behaves. This was only his 6th chase start and his RPR 139 was a career high, which is always a positive for one open to progress. One to watch I think , especially as he was beaten by the right horse here, who was also unexposed.
There’s three races in focus this week that are starting to look ‘hot’ and form worth following >>>
Not one to get over-exited about given he’s a mid 90s rated handicapper aged 10, running in Class 5s. However, LTO he finished a 3L 2nd to High Counsel who since bolted up twice since. The 4th that day, who was well beaten, has since won his next two also. So, for the grade, it’s looking solid form. He’s only 1/17,6p in his career, now 0/9 over fences and is clearly hard to win with, but 3m and soft/heavy are his conditions and he’s now a few lbs below his winning hurdles mark. On this evidence connections would be hopeful of finding a weak race for him and they won’t bump into a High Counsel every time.
One from Team Skelton who ran a solid race in 4th (beaten 3L) on the 26th Dec at Market Rasen. It was a C3 Novice Hncp, so full of unexposed types and was having only his 2nd chase start. The three in front of him all won on their next start, so it’s looking ‘hot form’. Two of those were winning from marks in the low 120s. His overall profile may suggest he wants shorter than this 2m5f however it could be he’s waiting for good ground – his handicap hurdle win came on a sound surface and he could be thrown in when getting his ground. One to watch closely especially if getting Good to Soft or better NTO. He’s clearly got handicap chases in him.
The Olly Murphy team are now in read hot form and maybe that will rub off this one, who was a decent 2nd in the Tommy Whittle which now looks solid form – Lord Du Mesnil won that and would follow up. Vintage Clouds was way back in 3rd but hacked up on his next start in The Peter Marsh at Haydock. Solid enough form and he’s only had 7 chases (1/7) so some hope that he can add another win to his tally before long. Soft/Heavy appears to be key to him and his mark looks fine. Maybe an aggressive ride over a shorter trip/class 3 will do the trick, as has been the case previously at Uttoxeter in Dec 18 when last winning.
That’s all for this week.
Did anything catch your eye? (doesn’t have to just be chasers!)