Good morning all,
It’s was more of a rollercoaster ride than any at Alton Towers this weekend. So, plenty of talking points from the last couple of days to get stuck into both today and tomorrow.
Inside today’s main piece, I look back at Saturday’s highlights. Plus, there’s a selection from this afternoon's meeting at Carlisle.
How brave is Captain Chaos?
Captain Chaos duelled for the lead with Cobolobo in the Swinley Chase. The pair went an extremely testing gallop from the off. A gallop that found out many of their rivals in the jumping stakes. Three out, Captain Chaos saw off Cobolobo and then it was a case of whether the veteran would be able to hold on.
Course specialist Regal Encore was the only one to throw down a challenge to the leader. The 13-year-old who won the race in 2018 was still six lengths behind at the last but with the leaders stride noticeably shortening on the run it looked like the staying on Regal Encore might get up . There was only a head between the pair at the post but fortunately for me and other Captain Chaos backers he just held on. If he had lost, he would have been an unlucky loser though.
Not for the first time, Musical Slave’s jumping wasn’t good enough in this company although he did plug on into a remote third. His well fancied stablemate Jerrysback, an eyecatching third to Dashel Drasher here last time, made a bad mistake at the third and lost a shoe. That probably didn’t help his cause and it may pay to forgive this run.
Cyrname blows out again
Cyrname is a bit of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde performer and this was another Mr Hyde performance from him in Saturday's Ascot Chase. He was in the lead from the off but was being kept honest by the improving Dashel Drasher. When the latter took up the running at the 13th Cyrname seemed to down tools and was soon pulled up.
Dashel Drasher didn't jump as well as he did here last time and coming to the last it looked like he might be tiring. Master Tommytucker who had been given a fine ride by Daryl Jacob came to the last with every chance. However, not for the first time the leader pulled out more on the run in to win by two lengths.
The progressive winner, was a first Grade 1 success for jockey Matt Griffiths, and looks worth a try over three miles next season.
As for Cyrname it’s back to the drawing board for Paul Nicholls and it seems likely he will be heading for another wind-op.
Now onto a couple of horses on the comeback trail on Saturday at Haydock and Wincanton.
Lisnagar Oscar is back
Lisnagar Oscar bounced back to form after wind surgery with a brave run to finish runner-up to Third Wind in the Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday. Last season’s Stayers Hurdle winner was trying to give Third Wind 6lb but managed to get within a length of the winner at the line. Granted that one was idling once he hit the front, as he has done in the past, on the run in. However, it was nice to see Lisnagar Oscar rally to get as close as he did.
I wrote in the Monday column after his run in the Long-Distance Hurdle. “Last year’s shock Stayers Hurdle winner would have a wind-op. If the procedure has the desired effect the 50/1 available with Paddy Power would look generous”.
Hopefully some of you took up those generous odds as he’s now a best priced 20/1 for next month’s Stayers Hurdle.
He would need to improve on this run to beat the likes of Paisley Park and Thyme Hill, if that pair bring their ‘A’ game to Cheltenham. That said granted a strongly run race and soft ground he's got a chance of retaining his Stayers crown.
I have left my star performer of Saturday until last.
Goshen’s star quality
For Goshen who had unseated his rider at the last with last seasons Triumph Hurdle at his mercy, it was redemption day. The 5-year-old bounced back from a couple of poor runs on the flat and poor return to hurdles at Cheltenham in December, to win the Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton on Saturday. The improving Navajo Pass led the field coming into the home turn with Goshen pressing. However, once Jamie Moore nudged his mount into the lead, he quickly went clear of his field to cruise to an easy win from favourite Song For Someone.
The favourite was held up but he didn’t seem to be travelling and was soon being pushed along. He never looked like he would catch the easy winner. He didn’t give his running here and you would think that connections will give the Champion Hurdle a miss and wait for Aintree.
As for Goshen, it was great for jockey Jamie Moore and connections to get the horse back on track. He’s now firmly back in the Champion Hurdle picture after this. Now a best priced 4/1 with Coral for next months race. He's a definitely a horse with that star quality.
I managed to find a winner for you on Thursday with Eclair Surf. I’m not sure I can back that up today but will give it a go.
I have had several fancies at Carlisle, Southwell, and Wolverhampton today.
2:10 – Multellie, won a handicap hurdle over C&D 12 months ago, off today’s mark. The 9-year-old wasn’t disgraced when 4th of 9 at Wetherby on his first start back over hurdles in November. However, he wasn’t as good at Haydock on his next start. Has had an 82-day break to freshen him up and he’s handicapped to go close here.
Amy Murphy has been among the winners in the past couple of weeks. I like a couple of her runners today.
3:20 – Beauvallon Bay responded nicely to the first time cheekpieces when an encouraging 4th off 11 at Fontwell. Handicap hurdle debut here off what looks a workable mark of 108. The step up to 3m should suit the 5-year-old, who remains open to further improvement.
6:40 – Nirodha a three-time winner on the grass. The filly is 0-5 on the all-weather. However, she put in a career best on RPR’s when 4th of 8 over C&D last time. That was a Class 2 fillies handicap and she drops down into Class 5 company here. She's also been dropped 4lb since that last run. An 84-day break to overcome but the yard is in good form and I think she can go close.
Despite the claims of the Amy Murphy pair, I'm going with the bigger priced of my three fancies.
2:10 – Multellie – 11/1 @ Bet365.
Good luck with your Monday bets.
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk