Saturday 8th December 2018
1.05 – Askari 7/1 2 pts win
1.35 – Ben Dundee 7/2 2 pts win
Last week we saw Sharjah upset stable star mate Faugheen in the Grade One Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown.
This week we have some interesting races coming from Gowran Park and Navan.
Saturday: Gowran Park
1.10 – Sizing Pottsie 3 Pts win @ 6/4 2.20 – Jett 2 Pts win @ 5/2
2.30 – Woods Well 1 Pt e/w @ 14/1
Ireland has produced many big star horses in recent seasons and for the 2018/19 season, I hope I can point you towards the next crop of potential superstars.
My Irish Trained Ten to Follow for 2018/19
Laurina (5yo b m)
Last season saw the Willie Mullins trained Laurina jump straight in to the spotlight when she coasted to victory in the ‘Trull House Stud Mare’s Novices Hurdle’ at the Cheltenham Festival. An almost effortless display propelled her right in to the public imagination, and in early comparisons to the likes of Annie Power.
This season’s return will be highly anticipated and a strong tilt towards the Champion Hurdle in March seems to be top of the list of priorities this season.
Le Richebourg (5yo b g)
The novice hurdle form in Ireland was very strong last season. Joseph O’Brien’s Le Richebourg was mixing it with the best of them early season, before running a disappointing race in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
This beautiful looking horse looks built for fences, and has already got off the mark in his beginner’s chase and in the Grade 3 Like A Butterfly Novice’s Chase. This is most certainly one to look out for over the intermediate trips this season, and could potentially be a Grade One winning chaser in the future.
Annamix (5yo gr g)
Reputations can be burnt or enhanced in racing. The Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci connection may have another superstar in its ranks with Annamix. After a setback last season and still not seen racing in public under Irish rules, this grey gelding has a big reputation and holds high expectations this season. He is currently favourite for the Supreme Novices hurdle at the festival. This is most certainly a horse people will latch on to, if he is to go on and make an impressive winning debut. One to wait for in excitement.
Ballyoisin (7yo b g)
Horses take a while to get going occasionally, and do not blossom until they reach a level of confidence and consistency. Enda Bolger is most famous for his cross country runners, but in the shape of Ballyoisin he may have a rapid improver in the two miles chase division. This lad loves to jump out and make the running and has proven how good he has become with some very good performances recently. This horse may well be one to take top ranks in Ireland this year challenging the seasoned campaigners. Big prices are being offered for the Champion Chase in March. There will be worst ways of investing ante post this year. This could be the dark horse of the season.
Mengli Khan (5yo bg)
Gordon Elliot’s grade one winner Mengli Khan showed a high level of promise last season over hurdles. Running a massive race in the Supreme at Cheltenham finishing third, he proved to be one of the most consistent performers of the entire season.
Novice chasing seems to be the call of order for this season. I am very excited to see what this horse can achieve over the larger obstacles. He looks to be built for fences, and improvement is highly likely. This horse could be one for the Arkle in March.
Great Field (7yo bg)
After missing almost a year of action, the Willie Mullins trained Great Field returned to action last March to win a good race against some fine horses in a competitive two mile race over fences.
Undefeated under rules apart from one effort when being pulled up as favourite for the County Hurdle a few seasons ago, fans of this horse will be waiting in anticipation for his return to action this season. He is held in very high regards and could be one to win some very useful races this season over fences at the shorter trips.
Presenting Percy (7yo bg)
This two time Cheltenham Festival winner is currently favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup with most bookmakers. After claiming the Pertemps Final in 2017, Presenting Percy went on to put in his best ever performance by demolishing his rivals in the RSA chase.
Pat Kelly’s stable star looks a natural over fences, and has jumped superbly so far in all of his starts and could be the winner of the Gold Cup this season. He travels, he stays and with plenty of big prizes on offer this season in Ireland, he could well be one to back now for March before he wins big races and crashes in price.
Delta Work (5yo br g)
The Pertemps final has thrown up some class winners in recent seasons and this horse Delta Work could be another to follow for a tilt towards the RSA Chase or JLT. He made a winning performance over fences at Down Royal in early November and has to be taken as a serious prospect for the season.
Tornado Flyer (5yo b g)
The Punchestown Champion bumper hero Tornado Flyer is top of the list of novice hurdlers to follow this season. He was well in the mix with the other Willie Mullin’s top bumper performers Blackbow, Carefully Selected and the Cheltenham winner Relegate.
All of the above mentioned horses could well take top honours in the novice hurdle ranks this season, but my pick of the bunch is Tornado Flyer.
Rebel Og (5yo br m)
This horse has ran once in Ireland in a bumper at Downpatrick in August. This was quite simply a brilliant performance. Willie Mullins has once again got a potential star on his hands, but one that may well go under the radar.
This is a horse who is hard to evaluate due to only ever running once under rules, but is one for the tracker.
Some great racing this weekend at Punchestown including the Grade Two Craddockstown Novices Chase and the Grade One Morgiana Hurdle.
Over in England, Cheltenham hosts its annual three day Open Meeting, with the feature race being the BetVictor Gold Cup on Saturday.
Weekend Ones To Watch and Horses to Follow for 2018/19
Some of the big guns of Irish racing will be unleashed this weekend at Naas on Saturday and Navan on Sunday.
Some more ante post focus in this week’s Irish Angle.
Saturday 10th November 2018 – Naas
12.00 Irish Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle – 2m
Rhinestone – Ante Post – SkyBet Supreme Novices Hurdle 33/1
12.30 Poplar Square Chase (Grade 3) – 2m
Footpad – Ante Post – Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase 7/2
Sunday 11th November 2018 – Navan
1.35 Lismullen Hurdle (Grade 2) – 2m4f
Apples Jade – Ante Post – OLBG Mares Hurdle 4/1
Dortmund Park – Ante Post – Sunbet Stayers Hurdle 25/1
2.40 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase – 2m1f
Jetz – Ante Post – Close Brothers Novices Handicap Chase 40/1
Selections for Naas Saturday 10th November 2018:
1.05 Espoir D’Allen 2 Pts win @ 7/2
2.15 Peacocks Secret 2 Pts win @ 4/1
Next week in Scotty’s Irish Angle will be my top 10 horses to follow in Ireland for the season.
Friday 2nd November – Down Royal
Ante Post Focus
SAMCRO 7/2 Ante Post – Unibet Champion Hurdle
1.45 WKD Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m
The mighty Samcro returns to action and will face three rivals in the WKD Hurdle. After an impressive season including a win in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival, owners Gigginstown have decided to aim towards the Champion Hurdle in March instead of embarking on a novice chase campaign. The main rival to the chestnut will be Sharjah, who ran out an impressive winner of the Galway Hurdle in August. The legions of Samcro fans will be hoping for a good start to the season.
Delta Work 18/1 Ante Post – RSA Chase
2.55 Porter & Co. Beginners Chase 2m3f 120y
Last season’s Pertemps Final winner Delta Work will make his chasing debut on Friday. This horse built his way up through the hurdling ranks last season through handicaps before finishing off with a narrow defeat to the smart Next Destination in the Punchestown Grade one three mile top novice contest. This horse looks set for a big season over fences and should be a live contender for the RSA Chase or JLT in March at the Cheltenham Festival.
Saturday 3rd November Down Royal
2.30 – Woodland Opera 1.5 Pts Each Way @ 20/1 (Betfair)
3.05 – Monalee 3 Pts win @ 6/4 (Bet365)
Irish eyes will fall upon Galway this weekend with some exciting racing and potential stars in the novice ranks being unleashed.
The prices of the horses of the weekend to follow may start on the short side for punters to get excited about, but are definitely ones to keep highlighted in notebooks for the upcoming season.
Ones to Watch this weekend:
Saturday 27th October 2018
1.35pm – Connolly’s Red Mills Irish EBF Auction Maiden Hurdle – (2m 70y)
Selection – Felix Desjy
One of lasts season’s top bumper performers will make his novice hurdling debut for Gordon Elliott on Saturday.
Some decent efforts last season including finishing sixth behind Relegate in the Cheltenham Festival champion bumper and fifth behind Tornado Flyer in the Punchestown equivalent in April, will have given Felix Desjy the big race experience that most Gigginstown horses have not had, come this stage of their careers.
I am predicting a big run from this horse on Saturday and fully expect a bold showing in graded company this year in the novice hurdle ranks in Ireland during the winter months, which could ultimately end up in a Supreme Novices or Ballymore Novices Hurdle tilt at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
2.40 – Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Chase – (2m 2f54y)
Selection – Forge Meadow
The six year old Forge Meadow has been mixing it with the big Irish mares for the past few seasons. Falling just short of top class over hurdles in graded company, including big race efforts against Cheltenham Festival winners Let’s Dance and Benie Des Dieux has possibly contributed to a tilt at a novice chasing campaign.
The Jessie Harrington trained mare seems to be a horse with the scope and size to be suited to jumping a fence. The larger obstacles can find improvement and a good opportunity here this weekend to build towards bigger and better challenges to come.
Sunday 28th October 2018
1.05 – W.B Gavin & Co Irish EBF Beginners Chase – (2m 6f111y)
Selection – Blow By Blow
Racing fans had to wait over a year and a half to see Blow By Blow finally return to action last season. The former Punchestown champion bumper hero at last got off the mark in graded company over hurdles at Thurles last February, before following up in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey’s Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Horses who win that race have traditionally gone on to bigger and better things over fences.
In a bid to follow in the footsteps of his Gigginstown counterparts Sir Des Champs (Jewson 2012) and Don Poli (RSA Chase 2015) who won the Martin Pipe the year before, Blow By Blow will make his chasing bow on Sunday, in the same race won by last season’s RSA Chase winner, Presenting Percy.
Blow By Blow made almost every single yard at Cheltenham in March to burn off his rivals. This indicates he can become a top stayer as a step up in trip should pose no problem. He could be a horse to keep an eye on for the 4 Mile National Hunt Chase at the festival in March.
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The four year old hurdle championship has been kind in recent years to one trainer, Nicky Henderson. He has saddled three recent winners in Zaynar, Soldatino and Peace and Co, and this year holds a couple of aces in the pack in the form of We Have A Dream and ante post favourite Apples Shakira.
The French bred mare Apples Shakira, full sister to multiple Grade One winner Apples Jade, made her UK debut at the Cheltenham Open meeting with a decisive 17 length victory over previous winner Gumball. Another victory followed in December and again on Trials Day in January. I was at Cheltenham for the race on trials day and thought the mare may have been in trouble turning for home as Look My Way seemed to be unrelenting in his front running effort, but the way Apples Shakira picked up and won going away by 8 lengths, was very impressive in my opinion.
Last year’s winner Defi Du Seuil, also owned by JP McManus followed almost the same route on his way to festival glory and it would not be a surprise to see this talented mare win this year. The slight concern would be the ground in March. All of her wins have come on soft and it is hard to predict how she will act on what is sure to be better ground. It may well play to her strengths and bring out improvement. A big plus will be the larger sized field, fast run race and the option to find cover to allow her to settle and travel well through her race.
Owners Isaac Suede and Simon Munir who sent out Soldatino in 2010, and Peace and Co in 2015 to festival glory in the triumph hurdle will be confident of another bold showing in this year’s race in the shape of the impressive We Have A Dream. The French import snapped up by the Suede and Munir racing manager and bloodstock agent Anthony Bromley, also made his UK debut in November at Warwick, beating Etamine Du Cochet by 10 lengths. Next up was a fine display in a Grade two win at Doncaster, which was then followed up by a gusty display to see off the very useful Sussex Ranger in the Grade One Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow.
A characteristic I like of any potential Cheltenham Festival horse is the ability to battle and be brave when winning a race earlier in the season. These types of animal make great festival tips. This happened in the last preparation race at Musselburgh in February. Beating Act of Valour by 4 and a half lengths would be satisfying, but that does not describe how at one point in the race We Have A Dream had to fight and dig in to get to the front, which he did and stayed on strongly to win going away. I am impressed by this horse and we have the evidence to believe he goes well on any ground.
The Irish juveniles this year look to be very smart. The key trial races include the Grade Three Bar One Racing Juvenile Hurdle and the Grade Two Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle. Both of these races were won by the Gavin Cromwell trained Espoir D’Allen. His form was there to be seen and was enough to send him off odds-on favourite for the Grade One Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Leopardstown Dublin Racing Festival. He could only manage a distant fourth place behind eventual winner Mr Adjudicator, who beat Farclas, a horse he had beat earlier in the season.
This was not the true running for me of Espoir D’Allen. He was very head strong and pulled his way to the front and did not settle in to the race, and by the time he came in to the home turn he had run his race. I would not give up hope on him yet. In 2016 we saw a similar thing happen to Ivanovich Gorbatov, who had the early season form before disappointing in his prep run for Cheltenham, before returning to winning ways in the Triumph Hurdle. Farclas is a horse improving with every run and could be another to keep on side.
The horse that interests me the most is the UK Based Redicean, trained by Alan King. The ex-flat horse has put in two awesome displays this season in his perfect records over hurdles. The first was at the Christmas festival at Kempton where he beat Haulani by 10 lengths. The second win was again at Kempton and again a 10 length victory was stamped with a classy performance. I love the way Redicean travels through his races and seems to have a very big engine. The only thing that works against him is his tendency to throw in the odd bad jump. This is something that can be worked upon in schooling and with more racing experience. I will take a chance that this lads jumping will stand the test in March, as I have no doubt that he has the potential to be a Triumph Hurdle Winner.
The value has been sucked out of Apples Shakira’s price 3/1, and she is worth taking on now at this stage. Those who are on at bigger prices ante post will be happy enough. We Have A Dream 8/1, is the one to serve it up to the mare and will be in the frame.
The each way value of the race is Espoir D’Allen at 16/1. He will be the second string horse for JP McManus and Mark Walsh looks set to ride, which will be a big plus. I feel with a good run race he will settle better than last time and could travel in to the race well and be in the shakeup.
My win bet is Redicean. I am taking a chance with his jumping and that it will stand the test at Cheltenham. I think this horse has untapped potential and lots of ability. At 10/1 he is a very big price and a smart bet in my opinion.
Redicean – 2.5 Pts win @ 10/1
Espoir D’Allen – 1 Pt e/w @ 16/1
On Saturday 14th April 2018, Aintree Racecourse will be hosting the grandest spectacle on turf, the Randox Health Grand National Steeplechase. The great race has seen many heroes win the race throughout its history. From Aldaniti and Bob Champion’s emotional comeback win in 1981, Red Rum’s hat trick in the 1970s to the late great Many Cloud’s popular win in 2015. Who will be etched in to the history books and gain racing immortality in 2018? For the latest information on the big race, analysis, previews, tickets and tips check out: https://www.grandnational.fans/
This year’s final line up of 40 horses could be the classiest ever with multiple graded winners and top rated seasoned handicappers amongst the 105 initial entries recently revealed. The biggest trials for the race include the Becher Chase, ruan in December over the Grand National course. That race was won by this year’s 10/1 ante post favourite, Blaklion, who finished an impressive 9 lengths winner over 2016 Grand National Runner up, The Last Samurai. Blaklion, a classy 9 year old, winner of the 2016 RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival has had his sights set on this race ever since finishing fourth in the Grand National in 2017 behind One For Arthur, who will miss his defence this year due to injury. The attributes Blaklion has including his sound jumping and ability to perform on any ground has many people calling for a Cheltenham Gold Cup bid. His trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has won this race twice before with Earth Summit in 1998 and 2002 with Bindaree, and Twiston-Davies has maintained the Grand National as his main target along with the popular grey horse Bristol De Mai and Splash Of Ginge.
Bristol De Mai, a 33/1 shot for the big race at Aintree has not been seen at best affect in the second half of recent seasons. Before Christmas, he put up a fine double by taking the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, beating Blaklion in to second, and then followed up with a 57 length demolition job at Haydock in the Betfair Chase against Tea For Two, Cue Card and Outlander, who is entered for the Grand National. The spring ground seems to work against Bristol De Mai, and evidentially he seems to be a horse to catch at the start of the season when the ground is heavy; conditions he will almost certainly not get at Aintree.
The third interesting entry for Nigel Twiston-Davies is Splash Of Ginge. A former winner of the Betfair Hurdle in his novice hurdle days, Ginge and his army picked up their biggest prize in November when he claimed the Bet Victor Gold Cup at Cheltenham. Although lacking the class of his aforementioned stablemates, Splash of Ginge will be in line for a £1 million bonus if he ever wins the Grand National. Surely a chance of a life time any connection of a race horse would be willing to go for?
Realistically speaking, Splash Of Ginge has struggled to stay even 3 miles in his racing career, so the 4 and a half mile stamina test at Aintree will surely prove a dream instead of a reality.
The most impressive performances this season for me in handicaps have come from the Willie Mullins 9 year old Total Recall. He started off his season with a 7 length victory from former World Hurdle runner up Alpha Des Obeaux in the Munster National at Limerick in October. That victory was top class and connections then sent him to Newbury for the Ladbrokes Trophy, (formerly the Hennessy Gold Cup). Total Recall put in his biggest performance to beat Whisper by a neck and claim the prestigious prize. His next appearance in February at the Dublin Racing Festival saw him thrown in off a mark of 125 over the smaller obstacles in preparation for his next run in the Bobbyjo Chase. A gritty and brave performance saw him take up the running a long way out and win going away in fine style by 3 lengths. What I love about Total Recall is his attitude and approach to racing. He seems to race with enthusiasm and clearly has a lot of natural ability. He has been talked up as a horse that could go well in either a Cheltenham Gold Cup or a Stayers Hurdle. With a stern test to come in the shape of top novice chaser Presenting Percy in the Bobbyjo, a bold performance will surely propel him towards the top of the Grand National market for which he can currently be backed at 16/1.
One of my favourite horses in training is the Gordon Elliot trained Cause Of Causes. A horse who finished second in last year’s Grand National. The 10 year old owned by JP McManus has plenty of miles under his bonnet. He claimed victory in the National Hunt Chase in 2015, the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir in 2016 and the Cross Country Chase in 2017 at the Cheltenham Festival in a combined racing distance of just under 11 and a half miles! Stamina is an obvious trait that any horse must possess to win the Grand National, and Cause Of Causes clearly has it in bundles. The horse is always very quiet in the winter months and thrives for better ground and a strongly run race. He is always an eye catcher for punters at the Spring festivals and with his assured jumping; he has a profile that must give him a serious chance again this year and at 33/1 is definite value.
A horse who fits a similar profile to Cause Of Causes is Tiger Roll. A onetime top juvenile and Triumph Hurdle winner, Tiger Roll has turned in to a staying chaser to keep on side. Another horse that is from the National Hunt Chase School of winners, he will first be aimed this year at the Cross Country Race at the Cheltenham Festival.
Last time sent around the course and distance in December for an outing he is sure to come on for the run and put in a bold display in March. Cause Of Causes took the same route last year and went on to win the Cross Country Race and finish second in the Grand National. 50/1 is a price hard to ignore and with the horse being in the hands of former Grand National winning trainer, Gordon Elliot, this is a horse to take seriously.
The old saying in racing is ‘they never come back the same ‘. This saying may be generally accurate, although in the case of Edwulf, this is a unique story that would capture anyone’s imagination as he’s a horse that did come back. In the home straight of the 2017 National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham, the Joseph O’Brien trained 9 year old collapsed and was on the verge of meeting his maker, before he was miraculously saved by the excellent staff at Cheltenham. Any horse would struggle to even regain full health and fitness, but in a remarkable training performance and with a lot of love and care, Edwulf returned to the track at Christmas and then again in February to cause a major shock to some by winning at huge odds to claim the Irish Gold Cup. Horses that progress from the National Hunt Chase have a good record in the Grand National and with the class Edwulf possesses he can be ridden in this race with confidence knowing that he will get the trip and stay on past many horses through the famous Aintree elbow. I like the way this horse travels, and at 50/1 he offers definite each way value, and what a fairy tale ending to his year this would be with a bold showing in the world’s greatest race.
I am a big fan of Total Recall and think he is the horse still open to progress. I would be confident he will stay the trip and with the experience of running in big handicaps as either a hold up horse or from the front, he has proved he can jump his way to victory again come April.
3 pts win – Total Recall 16/1 generally
1 pt each-way – Tiger Roll 50/1 generally
The RSA Steeplechase is the championship race for staying novice chasers at the Cheltenham Festival.
Some great horses down the years have won the RSA Chase before returning to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup the following year. This happened in 2007-08 with the mighty Denman, in 2012-13 with Bobs Worth and most recently in 2013-14 with Lord Windermere.
The head of this year’s ante-post market has a very Irish look to it. Four of the five market principles are trained on the Emerald Isle.
Presenting Percy has already tasted success at the Cheltenham Festival, when landing the Pertemps Final last season. The Patrick Kelly trained seven year old started his novice chase campaign way back in October, with a comfortable and sound display beating De Plotting Shed. The next time out at Punchestown, Presenting Percy was sent off an EVENS favourite and put in an uncharacteristic display, racing without his usual zest, finishing only third, 13 lengths behind Jury Duty, who I fancy to win the Four Mile National Hunt Chase. Faith was maintained at Fairyhouse in December with the gelding going off 7/2 favourite for the Porterstown Handicap Chase. An 11 length demolition job propelled him to the head of the ante-post market for the RSA. The 9/2 ante post price was validated with another good display when landing the Grade Two John Mulhern Galmoy hurdle at Gowran Park in January.
Although Presenting Percy has lots of positives such as his jumping and travelling through a race, I feel he lacks the experience of a fast run Grade One race over fences. He may be more of a Grand National horse in time.
A horse who has the experience of Grade One races and is a consistent performer is the Henry De Bromhead trained 7 year old Monalee. After finishing runner up in last year’s Albert Bartlett at the festival behind Penhill, he went on to run one more time before being put away for the season. His seasonal opener came in November at Punchestown where he put in a bold jumping display to beat Any Second Now by 6 lengths. In the Leopardstown Christmas festival Monalee was sent off 11/10 favourite for the Grade One Neville Hotels Novices Chase and suffered a bad fall. The race was eventually won by the mare Shattered Love.
The best novice chase ran in Ireland this year was the Grade One Flogas Novice Chase. Monalee was once again sent off favourite at 11/4. His loyal fans were rewarded after a brilliant round of jumping and a performance fit to win any Grade One. The race was very hot with the first four finishers being covered by no more than 2 lengths.
Al Boum Photo and Invitation Only, two Willie Mullins horses chased home Monalee that day, and have both won good races earlier in the season. Connections are deliberating between running in the RSA or the JLT with Monalee. They believe with his bold jumping and the style he travels through his races with, he could prove hard to catch and pass in the shorter run race. This would be a mistake in my opinion, and feel he will run in the RSA and could prove very hard to beat.
One of the best trials ran in the UK traditionally is the Kauto Star Feltham Novices Chase on Boxing Day at Kempton. Unfortunately, my long term fancy for the RSA Chase is no longer with us due to a schooling accident. That horse Fountains Windfall was running a huge race and looked set to win when coming down at Kempton on Boxing Day in the race eventually won by the very brave Black Corton.
The horse gave Bryony Frost her first Grade One win and it is hard to argue with what he has achieved this season. It is very rare a horse that runs throughout the summer months and the winter, can carry on to win up to and at the Cheltenham Festival. The form can be argued as to being not very strong. Fountains Windfall twice fell when going well against Black Corton. West Approach and Ballyoptic, two very good hurdlers have not set the world alight in the novice chase ranks this year and have both been beaten by Black Corton on more than one occasion. Is Black Corton a lucky horse? For me he has had a few things go in his favour, but I cannot question his attitude and determination on the race course. He is not up to the standard of the top Irish novices in my opinion and at best can hope to run in to a place.
Another horse who has divided the opinion of racing fans is the Alan King trained Yanworth. Last season’s disappointing Champion Hurdle favourite bounced backed to winning ways at Aintree before being put away for the season. His novice chase campaign began at Exeter in November, where he put in a sketchy display of jumping to beat Sternrubin by 2 lengths. Yanworth returned to Exeter a few weeks later as odds on favourite and fell early in the race. The next task was a two and a half mile contest at Newbury, where he could finish only second behind last year’s Neptune winner Willoughby Court, favourite for the JLT Novices Chase. In the Newbury race Yanworth showed signs of warming up to the tasks but ultimately his poor jumping earlier in the race proved costly.
On New Year’s Day at Cheltenham, Yanworth put in his best display over fences, reversing the Newbury form by winning the Dipper Novices Chase, beating Sizing Tennessee by a neck, with the Newbury victor Willoughby Court back in third. I cannot take much out of the Cheltenham race, as the form of Sizing Tennessee does not stand out as RSA winning form. Willoughby Court was uncharacteristically ridden with restraint and in ground he would not be in favour of. I would be happy to keep the faith with different race tactics and better ground when the JLT is run in March.
For more tips on the RSA Chase and other Cheltenham Festival 2018 races, check out horse racing tips from Tipsfix.com.
The first horse I am writing off is Yanworth. I cannot have him winning a Grade One Chase at Cheltenham, where there will be no hiding place. His jumping is questionable and he will be exposed against horses more suitable to such a race. I think if he went to the Stayers Hurdle he would have a very good chance. Presenting Percy will have his fans and I am certainly one of them. I just feel that this is not the race for him. I would love to see him go for the Four Mile National Hunt Chase and have a tilt next year at the Grand National.
The best performances I have seen this year are from Monalee. I love how he travels, jumps and although he had a slight mishap at Christmas, he bounced back and has proved he is up to the job.
The one horse I mentioned who seems to be a bit of a dark horse, but ran a blinder behind Monalee is Al Boum Photo. He will travel through his race and can definitely improve again. He is a consistent performer and will be the horse I would choose to ride if I was Ruby Walsh, over Invitation Only, who also has each way appeal. The race will go to Ireland for sure.
3 pts Win Al Boum Photo @ 12/1
1 pts Win Shattered Love @ 16/1
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