I readily admit this has me baffled. Will Silviniaco Conti prove as effective on ground underhoof? Will Dynaste improve from his Haydock Park run, and does he truly stay three-miles? Can Menorah keep up his refound form and zest for racing. Will Al Ferof, Wishfull Thinking, Wonderful Charm, and Johns Spirit see out the trip? Can Cue Card bounce back to 2013 form? Will Double Ross’s jumping and stamina hold-up? Can Champagne Fever, (a) show his best form in December (0-3) and (b) harness his stamina given his natural exuberance and style of racing. In the Betfair Chase, Silviniaco Conti jumped and travelled like a dream in first time cheek-pieces. A repeat of that run would, I feel, be good enough to land the prize. The question is whether he can reproduce it on this better ground. Menorah will enjoy the ground. He has a decent record round here and is entitled to be thereabouts when it counts. Those I mentioned with stamina doubts, have for me, exactly that. Cue Card jumped poorly down the back straight at Haydock Park. He looked to my eyes, still in need of the race. Several well-respected judges noted he blew an awful lot after the race, suggesting that was indeed the case. Champagne Fever is an enigma. At his best, he has the ability to win the race. On paper, there is nothing to suggest he will not stay three-miles and further. The unknown, is his ability to settle into a rhythm that enables his stamina to see out the trip. The hope would be that the pace put to the race enables Mr Walsh to settle and conserve resources. He has won round right-handed and flat tracks. A good friend reminded me that One Man won this race, before finally winning at the Cheltenham Festival in the Champion Chase. To summarise, a repeat of Silviniaco Conti’s Betfair Chase form would I believe be good enough to win the race. However, with the imponderables listed above, I will personally watch with fascination, but no financial interest.
LATEST HORSE RACING NEWS, PREVIEWS AND TIPS