Royal Macnab 13/2 (bet365/BV) – 1 point win
On paper an open looking race but having gone through the field and looked at the odds I think this is the best bet. Firstly he is a prominent racer, often leading, and with no other out and out front runners in the field (not based on their previous 4 runs anyway) I expect he will get a fairly easy time on the front end. On the whole he jumps well and I think he will appreciate the return to better ground. He is young, unexposed over fences, and i expect a good run after what i think was a much needed few weeks off the track.
This is only his 6th chase start and having watched his previous few races his form all makes sense. He made his chasing debut needing the run after more than 100 days of the track (25/1). He then came to Musselburgh and ran over 3m on good ground and tanked into contention turning for home. The gas then ran out (official reason from connections). He didnt stay but as they turned for home he looked like the winner. He then went to Wetherby and galloped his rivals into the ground but finished very tired. The ground was very tiring and his jumping, track position and fitness saw him home. He came out 6 days later and I am not sure if he was over that run. It was on heavy at Ayr and having travelled well into the home straight he soon got very tired. A combination of the ground and his last run was enough for him i think. With that said, having had a little rest I see no reason why he wont run a big race here. 13/2 was more than fair and I expect we will have a live one turning for home. It could be that he beat a poor field at Wetherby and in a weak finisher but given the opposition, and his odds, I was happy to back him.
The opposition, on the whole, are a moderate bunch. Clearly the ex hunter chaser, having been backed lto, is expected to run well. Classinaglass may well prove too good for these but i want to see more under rules. Given his best form in hunter chases was over 3m+ i wonder whether this will happen too quickly. Either way, i wouldnt want to take 9/4. Brunello won a chase last time out in C5 company but is a bit of a character, as career stats of 2/38 would demonstrate. He is in form and if he follows up his last run he should go well, but again he isnt one i could trust.
The rest really do have far too many questions and if any win i wont be annoyed that I am not on. The Ice Factor has yet to win a chase under rules and isnt in great form. Kai Broon is 1/17 in chases and has yet to win over this far. Betterbequick id 1/6 in chases and while he is unexposed his last four runs have been poor. He could be given an EW squeak but was well held when last appearing here. Edeavor is 1/18 over fences and is a much better hurdler. He has also yet to win over this far. Red Tanbar is a 12yo whose last win was in 2012 and he has been in awful form. I couldnt back him in his current form. De Chissler is unexposed over fences as this is only his second run. He fell on his first chase start and having had 20 runs over hurdles I suspect he need to learn to lift his legs higher! He is entitled to run ok but is the type of profile I dont really like backing over fences.
All in all we have a chaser who should lead and has form to match the best of these over fences. Hopefully he shows it on the track tomorrow.
Elsewhere Urban Code reappears again in the 3.20 and I considered making him a bet. He will get a lead or be up there and should run a decent race. However, I have yet to see evidence that he will stay this far. He has been best over 2m and was possibly going to finish behind Hounourable Gent who fell last time when taking up the lead. There were enough doubts for me to leave alone but a big run wouldnt be a total shock. Maybe with age he will stay further but I want to see more evidence on the track. He is only 2 from 20 odd as well and despite the trainers excellent form I will keep a watching brief. I hope I dont regret it.