This 3 Mile handicap chase is the focus of my attention tomorrow and I will be having a 1 point bet on Rydalis at 9/2 with BetVictor.
On paper this looks to be a competitive race, however I believe Rydalis is a couple of points too big. This will also be the second time that I have backed her this season, hopefully she gets her head in front this time.
I was actually on the horse that beat her first time out (Gas Line Boy), and until tiring dramatically at the final fence it looked like she had the race won. She went straight into the notebook and next time out I backed her again, assured that she was race fit this time. There was a slight doubt about the extra 2 furlongs, and unfortunately she emptied out right near the line, this time beaten by the progressive and fast finishing Jayandbee.
Rydalis is an assured jumper who travels well. 24 furlongs should be perfect on this ground and with a couple of Venetia’s horses starting to run well again in the last couple of days hopefully she can win. She will certainly give you a good run for your money.
The dangers are obvious. King Massini is the 5/2 favourite and probably rightly so. A game winner at Cheltenham last time out this step back up in trip will cause no problems. There are two major questions for me – namely the rise in the handicap and the number of runs he has had in a very short space of time. If handling both then he will go very close, but there is not much room for error at 5/2.
I can’t quite work out whether Cootehill is a true stayer or not. Yet to win at 3 miles or further he ran well last time out but again not quite getting home over 26f. Maybe he just doesn’t see his races out quite as often as he should. Although undoubtedly his time will come again (and the T-D clan could not be in better form!) he was also over 3 lengths behind Rydalis 2 runs ago and I see no immediate reason why that form should be reversed.
The rest for me have questions to answer which are significant enough for me not to back them. In races over 3m+ you want proven jumpers and I am always wary of backing young improving horses who fell on their last run, or who made multiple errors. Both Hatters River and Big News fall into this category. Undoubtedly unexposed they could go close, but I would prefer to risk money on a horse I am confident will complete. You do not know how falling will mentally affect these young horses either. The rest have major question marks to answer and i will be surprised if any of them win.