3pm Warwick Classic Chase
(2019: 0/5,1p, -5)
Cogry – 1 point win – 8/1 (gen) UP 9/2. He hasn’t run his race there, never looking overly happy.
Un Temps Pour Tout – 1 point win – 16/1 (bet365/WH) 14/1 (gen) * UP – again a rather laboured effort in the end, he’s clearly a shadow of his former self at the moment, that was the risk but I was happy to roll the dice
I’ve clearly got Impulsive Star wrong but price judgements around 6s/7s are always tough in races like this- the CP back on have helped and credit to him, he’s jumped well and it wasn’t in doubt that he’d be well handicapped if putting it all together and stamina looked fine from Chelt effort. A race that’s gone to an unexposed one – 7s for one in a race like this who hasn’t won a chase yet, always feels a bit short to my eyes. Another i’ve got wrong in this sorry run of form.
*as of 15.45 on Friday
Cogry… an old favourite here who I missed out on LTO but I thought of those under 10/1 in this, he was the overpriced one at 8s. He’s in great form, will race prominently, is best on good ground and came a decent second in this last year- that was on much softer ground than ideal for him, but he thumped the rest comprehensively. Cogry has 9lb less in actual weight on his back than in this last year, which will help over this distance. He has some very solid handicap chase form to his name, some of the best in this line up on what they’ve done to date, and I don’t think his career high mark will beat him. I always think jumping ability, stamina and guts are more important than a few pounds here and there in a race like this. Clearly something else may prove themselves to be very well handicapped in conditions but I’m not sure what. Sam is 3/6,5p on him in handicap chases, and considering J Bargary is 0/9, all those runs under him can be marked up I think. Sam could well have made the difference, esp in the Scottish National where he came a gallant second- you swop jockeys there and he probably wins that. Clearly then, on that evidence, stamina isn’t a problem for him and wont be an excuse. They want to run him in the Grand National and I think they may want another win to ensure he gets in. The CP stay on – they were removed two starts back and he got into a fierce pace battle on the front end – which I think is what done for him. This horse will run his race and he just tries. I think they will want another win to ensure he gets into The Grand National and we shall see if he’s up to it. I clearly think he is. With any luck he can get into a rhythm on the front end -there’s a fair bit of pace on paper but on this ground he could take it up after a few fences. He doesn’t have to lead but should sit handy if he can’t – a no excuses position. If he jumps as well as he usually does under Sam, I can’t see him out the places personally, and think he’ll be the one they have to pass as they turn for home. It could be that he’s a tad too exposed for this test, but he’s a young 10 year old in my mind and is clearly in good form. Or was when last seen.
Un Temps Pour Tout – I just couldn’t leave him at 16s in this. Clearly he may have just gone at the game but given the blinkers return I can only think he’s here to run his race. It could be this is a prep for the National, or part of that plan, and a win wouldn’t help his cause in terms of weight carried in that. However, if here to run his race and tuned up fully for it, he will outrun these odds. He just has class. He’s just shy of G1 quality but has run some crackers at the highest level, especially over timber. Not many horses can win a Festival handicap chase off 11-12 and certainly not the Ultima. He’s always shaped like he’s well worth a go over marathon trips and connections have long thought he could be a National horse. They really need to aim for that this year, so we shall see. But 16s was just too big. I think he may relish these conditions and Tom will be able to sit off the pace, possibly keeping him wide. When he’s on his game he does race prominently enough and touch wood is a very sound jumper. The weight won’t stop him I don’t think – this race has been run twice on good/good to soft in recent years, and one of those was won by a horse carrying 11-12. He’s 2/7,4p chasing and a 1st run in a marathon chase, so there’s hope that, even at his age, he may improve for it, thus making his mark irrelevant to a point. He’s also best with gaps between his runs, so I see the 60+ days as a positive. LTO he returned after 600+ days off, and I thought he ran well at Aintree. That was over 2m4f over hurdles and he was held up and never really sighted- he did keep going, having looked outpaced, and he didn’t have his blinkers on. He ran better than the finishing result suggested to me, and was at least running through the line, rather than cutting out and going backwards. Pipe is on record as saying this one needs plenty of work to get fit. I’d like to see him nibbled at but of all those 10/1+ he’s the one I wanted to be with. I just hope, for both of them, that this is proper good/good to soft – and not that tacky ground – that’s pure guesswork as to whether a horse will handle it. I think he’s overpriced here and will hope that class wins out.
Of the rest…
Well in recent weeks I’ve looked at unbacked winners and been annoyed I wasn’t on. At the prices here there’s no unbacked winner that will leave me too annoyed. I’m happy to take them all on.
Step Back – well 6s/7s wasn’t overpriced in my view. He’s clearly had problems given his age/number of runs, and he’s had another break here. The yard can ready them, albeit not too often and they can need it after 60+ days, but this may well have been the plan. I think they are aiming him at The Grand National also, and if that’s the case they really don’t want to be winning this as his mark of 149 should be more than enough. Having watched a few of his runs back, he does also like to dart out to his right at times. That was noticeable LTO- it wasn’t severe, but it was enough for one at this price, around a track like Warwick on good ground where they will go a pace. He won superbly at Sandown on much softer ground and clearly a repeat of that will put him bang there. He does have to prove that he’s well enough handicapped but as touched on, his stamina may count for plenty. He’s yet to prove he can’t win from this mark. He will be up there forcing the pace I suspect. Not a shock winner and he’s still unexposed, but a couple of niggles at his price.
Duel At Dawn – I didn’t think he was overpriced either. He was off injured for a while with a dodgy knee and he’s a big unit of a horse- I do wonder if this ground may find him out now given those problems. I think he is short enough on what he’s done over fences and this size field/the pace on this ground, could find him out. I’d have wanted to see more for one at this price, and his run LTO was only ‘ok’, nothing more than that. He looks too short to my eyes, but he’s another unexposed one, and he shapes like a stayer.
Ibis Du Rheu – i’m not 100% certain that this one shapes like a stayer and I don’t like the level of his form, in the context that he’s 7/1. Again I don’t think he’s overpriced here on what he’s achieved, especially over fences, and this is a whole different test for him. I thought that he might hit a fence around here, may get outpaced at some stage on this ground, even over this trip, wouldn’t stay and wouldn’t be good enough! I mean it’s probably unwise to say that about a Nicholls horse in a race like this (he’s 2/6 in the race) and he’s no doubt now hack up to leave me red faced, but in this game it can be best to have a strong opinion. His owner thinks he’s a through stayer, so we shall see! If he does improve for the trip then he could have a fair bit in hand. He’s had his problems and isn’t the soundest I don’t think. I was happy to leave him, Id want 9s/10s+.
Impulsive Star – he’s not overpriced either given his lack of chase experience. His jumping was poor enough LTO, when under little pressure, and I can just leave him at 7s. He ran well to a point in the NH chase at the Festival, but that race is a funny one, but he did shape like a stayer, so I doubt stamina will be the problem. Class and jumping could well be. He has a bit to prove for me, given he’s a single figure price.
Calett Mad – same again with this one really. I don’t think he’ll be good enough and he had a hard race LTO. It’s not impossible Sam would have had the choice given Jacob has decided to ride at Kempton for his retained owners, but then again young James did ride their winner in that decent Ascot handicap chase. This one had a hard race LTO and I don’t think a repeat of that form will be good enough to win this. He’s a bit of a monkey under pressure also, and i’m not convinced as to his application. He’s decent enough, but his price wasn’t big enough for me.
Caroles Destrier – he’s not getting any younger but stays and arrives here in form. I thought he’d need a fair bit of luck here, both how the race sets up and needing to close at pace in the latter stages. The race could fall apart for him but I don’t think he’s as good as he was, he had a hard enough race LTO and that wasn’t as deep as this. It somewhat fell apart a bit. 8s/9s didn’t feel massive, 12/s/14s+ would have been more appealing. It’s not impossible a few here fall in a hole, through not staying, or not being fit enough, or not liking conditions, or hitting a fence- and he should just keep going, so you never know.
Sizing Codelco -i can leave at 11/12 /1. That just wasn’t big enough for this 10 year old given the 245 day break and i’m guessing as to fitness – it’s tough to win a race like this after such a break. He has stamina to prove, but could improve for it. He hasn’t been the soundest of jumpers in the past and could get further back than ideal. I can live with him beating me at his price, i’m not in good enough form to roll the dice on one after such a break in this sort of race!
Milansbar- I don’t think he’s the horse he was when winning this last year, doesn’t get new headgear as with that win, nor Bryony Frost. More importantly I think this may just happen all too quickly for him and i’d be surprised if he could dictate this field, on good ground.
Crosspark- wasn’t good enough to win this last year, and doesn’t look like he stays. His form just isn’t good enough to my eyes, so I can leave him, even at 20s. I just couldn’t see him taking this. It would take quite a few to underperform and him to find the stamina from somewhere! He did go well for a long way in it last year, and the ground may help with that, but I was happy to leave.
Ultragold – doesn’t look like he stays 24-26f to my eyes, and I couldn’t see him staying this trip, against this oppo. He’s also not getting any younger and surely he’s going to be aimed at ‘his’ race over the Aintree fences again. Maybe he will just plod on but too many questions over this trip for me.
Chase The Spud- well he’s not getting any younger, looks regressive, and surely this will happen all too quickly on this ground. He’s not good enough to win this for me, in these conditions.
So, that’s the lot. I’m more than happy with my assessment of the rest. Obviously it’s likely i’ve got one of them very wrong, but I can more than live with all those at single odds winning, and with any luck i’ve landed on the right two.
Best of luck if following me in, you brave souls 🙂