Moving on and a long distance handicap chase to get stuck into…
Loughalder 11/2 1 point win… I backed him at 7/1 10 minutes ago (18.00) as that was a silly price. There is just about enough left in it for now and he may be bigger come the morning when there is more liquidity.
This horse bolted up in this race last year and then bolted up again over the same Course and Distance a few weeks later. He won the latter of those two races off 108 and then shot up to 122. 4 runs later and he is back down to 114. Given how he has won here previously that mark is well within range. He is a prominent racer who can lead or track the pace. He likes the track, likes the ground and has proven stamina. I would be slightly concerned about his recent form but it looks fine if you have the view that this has been the season’s target so far. I would hope that he is spot on for this. Of course there is a chance he isn’t, but given the number of questions over the opposition, i thought 7s was worth the bet. 11/2 is still just about fine. I wouldnt be shocked if he went off favourite.
Carli King has yet to prove his class but does stay. He won a weak c4 marathon chase and is 0/5 left handed. Having won off 109 he is now on 122.
Ballypatrick is interesting as he was a decent third in last year’s Eider chase. However he is 1/15 in chases and comes here off a 96 day break. He isnt in the greatest of form and although bits and pieces of placed form would give him a very sound chance he isnt one I want to trust. He will stay though.
Safran De Cotte is another who falls into the disappointing category. He can be a sloppy jumper and has yet to prove he really stays this far. He is 0/4 at the track and has yet to win outside of Novice company. I would want a bit bigger than the 3s available given doubts over his current form and ability to win.
Quilinton is an admirable old sod who has been running ok. He stayed well last time at Bangor and a repeat performance would see him be competitive here. However he is 11 now and doesnt win very often, being only 3/27 in chases. This step back up in class could catch him out and his best form is on better ground. I am happy to leave him but hope he puts in a good show. Its always nice to see the old boys run well.
Union Jack D’ycy is just too inconsistent at the moment and does hit the odd fence very hard. He has his stamina to prove and is 0/9 in class 3 to date. His only recent win was in a poor quality slog at Towcester. Not today, although he does have course form and the stable is starting to come back to life after a quiet few weeks.
Orange Nassau is 0/8 on soft or heavy and looks to prefer it firmer. The official going is notoriously questionable but it is apparently soft! He also has his stamina to prove and has yet to prove his class. He is 0/5 with a rating above 121 so far.
So all in all a solid bet I think. If he has been aimed at this (which would explain the poor runs this season) he has a very very good chance of seeing these all off. A couple of them have the ability to storm this is running their best races but the majority have plenty of questions to answer and I am content with the selection.