2.Jumps Profiles 20/21
3.Monthly Trainers (Jumps)
#1 – On The Slopes – 1.5 points win – 5/1 (gen) UP (5th), -1.5 solid until after the last, ran as if needing it. Good spin. Winner in a different league.
#2 – Beat The Judge – 1/2 point win – 13/2 (bet365/WH) 6/1 (UniB) 3rd, decent effort, struggled to lay up, maybe back up in trip, still got chases in him.
that’s all from me today, 8am, write up incoming…
2.Jumps Profiles 20/21
(All ‘any odds’) (5/35,15p, -5.2)
3.00 Chelt – Dragueneau (11/1 or shorter SP best) ♦ ♦ 18/1 UP
3.Monthly Trainers (Jumps)
(3/32, 7p, -16.2)
3.00 Chelt – Our Power (8/1<) H1 8/1 UP
4.10 Chelt – Lessankan (20/1<) 40/1 ‘DNQ’ (on 8am odds)
Cheltenham Showcase Day 1
Age 4-8, 1+ course win (as per post above, listed below… those 11/1< SP do best, and 0 runs this season)
3.00 – Golan Fortune
3.35 – Northern Beau
5.15 – Benny’s Bridge / Magic Dancer
I’ve numbered the pointers in the post above for PN / FOB, for reference…
- Ask For Glory (PN, 4)
- Global Flame (FOB, 1, 4)
- Soldier of Love (PN 3,4)
- Ask Dillon (FOB, 1)
- Imperial Elysian (FOB, 1?, 3,4)
- Lungano Palace (FOB, 1?, 3)
- Fix Sun (NH)
- Hijack (NH)
- Captain Tom Cat (DrN) H3
- Dolos (PN, 2,4)
- Katpoli (Dr N)
- Art Approval (FOB, 1?, 3,4)
- Pipesmoker (NH)
- Getaway Trump (PN, 2,3,4)
- Fusil Raffles (NH)
- Wild Max (1,2,3)
- Bennys Bridge (FOB, 1,2,3)
- Nanabelle (NH)
My shortlist: Rouge Vif WON 4/1>5/1, On The Slopes 5th , Beat The Judge 3rd
On The Slopes
He has the best handicapping form in this I think and that Chelt race three starts back is possibly the strongest handicap chase form of last season/2020 to date. He swooped to the lead that day on The New Course, soft ground, and looked like the winner. But he just didn’t get home over the distance. Given his conquerors that day, Simply The Betts and Imperial Aura would go on to win Festival handicaps, it wasn’t a bad effort. The front three were miles clear. He’d win his next two starts at Kempton fairly comfortably, and they’ve produced a few winners also. In theory there should be more to come this year. This 16f could be ideal and i’d expect Wedge to be prominent and he may well try and lead, knowing he’s a ‘staying’ 16f horse. There’s a niggle that he may want further this year but I think a stiff 16-18f may be up his street. His last two RPRs have been career bests and his TS figures are solid. Obviously there’s a fitness question – Gordon’s chasers are 2/6,3p on their seasonal returns in recent weeks and this one ran well on his return last year at Uttoxeter, giving out late over 2m4f in soft. His trainer is also his work rider which is interesting – it may say something about how highly he’s thought off – but Chris G wouldn’t be the lightest, and that may help with his fitness. We shall see. I thought 5s was a tad overpriced and of the ‘handicappers’ in this, he’s the best by a street. But he’s got to run his race. I didn’t want to miss out if he did as I think he’s the one to beat from this mark/weight.
Beat The Judge
He’s fit, in form, progressive and ran well at the Festival in the County, so has experience of this hill, if not the fences. That is the question – a niggle over some of his jumping but he’s entitled to be improving and when he’s right, he’s decent. This will be a test for him but if jumping, I thought he had the ‘summer form’ horses beat, some of their form tying in. More on those shortly. His fitness may count for plenty, he travels with enthusiasm and stays a bit further. He will be in there pitching if taking to this chase track I think. I’ve decided I don’t really want more than 2 points on any race I play in and i’m also going to do an about turn on the use of 1/2 points as the season progresses, esp EW I think when price/places etc allows. We shall see, but the ‘big race journey’ needs to be a little less bumpy at times, maybe sacrificing that for less profit long term, but a healthier punting head.
The main danger…?
Rouge Vif – yes yes, we all know i’ve picked the wrong one of the top 2! I will be disappointed if one of these three doesn’t take this, but we shall see. I wasn’t sure 4s was overpriced as such given twice he has failed to get up this hill – it’s possible that was because of soft ground, and he’s had another summer at grass to mature. Trainer/owner won this last year with one in the high 150s and he will be fit. But will he get up the hill? I also wondered whether 16f, good, on this Old Course (tighter/less galloping than New Course) may happen a bit too quickly for him. I’m not sure. Or his class means he can easily lob along and hold a position. I thought his form was solid, but not spectacular. To date anyway. I thought giving 13lb to On The Slopes would be tough, if they run their races. But maybe his class will win out. In the end just a couple of niggles that both put me off at his price, and made me take him on.
Of the rest…
I didn’t like anything else (at the prices) and if they take it, so be it. In some sort of order of preference…
Ballywood hasn’t won since March 19 but only 6 runs since I suppose and plenty of those on deep enough ground – 6s is fair but not overly generous for me. He gets his ground and in fairness didn’t have it last winter, and this may have been the plan – although I can’t see him finishing ahead of Beat The Judge on that Fontwell run, for all that he no doubt needed it. But he does have chase experience here, ran ‘ok’ in The Grand Annual and maybe that will allow him to turn the tables. I think he shapes as if crying out for 2m4f but if they go hard he should be staying on up the hill. I thought some may have more toe but I could be wrong. Interesting and no forlorn hope, but not interesting enough for me at 6s, only 1 point bigger than On The Slopes, who’s form to date is on a different level. He’s definitely fit though although can be more patiently ridden. I won’t be putting you off him, and would prefer him to Scardura.
Scardura is unexposed but does need to step up – but he is fit and in form, and that may count for plenty. This will be a new test for him. He did finish ahead of Beat The Judge at Stratford, but only just, BTL outpaced a bit that day, another 100 yards and he goes past him. His course/festival form, even though over hurdles, swung the balance also for me. I didn’t want to wade in at 5s for all that he has an unexposed profile.
Hatcher is on a career high mark, can pull, first run here, his level of form only so so. And he can be held up cold. Not for me, but a LTO winner.
Dolos – surely they’ll be trying to get his mark down a bit – hard to place, he’s classy, but just a very good handicapper who needs it to fall right. He’s won the same handicap at Sandown the last two seasons, in Feb, off 149 and 157 – I wonder if that’s the plan again, a couple of quiet runs (hopefully needing it today), drop 3-5lb, and rock up there again. This is his 16th chase and I would like to think one of the others is better handicapped than him for all that Nicholls continues in flying form.
The others have even more questions. Katpoli can need the run and can clout a fence or two, and even at his best would struggle against some of these. Doitforthevillage is 11 now and has always needed the run previously, for all he likes it around here. Surely not. Norther Beau likes it around here and may run her race, but her form doesn’t match some in here. On a career high mark now, to overcome, and her win here last Dec is now 0/21, 6p, and wasn’t the deepest – nowhere as deep as this. Questions, but may nab a place. Movie Legend is 10, exposed, and as yet hasn’t shown the form to suggest he could take this, if those near the top of the market run up to form.
Azzuri looks in the grip of the handicapper, highest winning mark 132 – That’s not saying he can’t win from 138 of course but most trainers, esp with an 8YO/19 chases, may try to get them back to around that mark i’d have thought, before having them spot on. I wonder if they’ve targeted that Ayr handicap in April that he hacked up in 2019, and are working backwards. Although there was talk of him being aimed at The Topham last April, before it was called off. So, maybe they’ll try that again – I can see that suiting given his bold jumping/front running style when at his best. He hasn’t done too much in three runs this season to date though.
This must be too hot for Western Miller, and he looks a bit out of sorts.
Northern Beau can go forward, but may not be as quick as some in here. Western Miller can be up there. I suspect Rouge Vif and On The Slopes will want to be very handy, and I wouldn’t be shocked if they’re 1-2 in some order within the first 4/5 f. They should be in a ‘no excuses’ position anyway. Beat The Judge – hopefully doesn’t have him too far back, just behind the pace setters in mid pack I suspect.
GL with any fancies,