Good morning all,
Continuing my look back at the weekend’s action. Inside today’s main piece you can read my thoughts on Sunday’s Shloer Chase. There's also three horses for the tracker from Cheltenham. Plus. I have a selection from Fakenham.
Before all that I have put Kerry Lee micro angle under the microscope.
Kerry's chasers continue to love the mud
Any doubts about Storm Control’s stamina for 3m 1f were put to bed, as the 7-year-old made all to win the 3m 1f handicap chase at Cheltenham on Saturday. Having his first start beyond 2m 4f over fences he made every yard of the running and still had enough in reserve to hold off the challenge of Bermeo and Lamanver Pippin. More on the latter below.
The winner’s trainer Kerry Lee does well with her chasers especially when the mud is flying. The official going before Storm Control’s race was good to soft but it was changed to soft after the race.
I’m always on the look out for a trainer micro angle and I have found one for Kerry Lee.
Here it is:
Race Type: Chase
Going: Soft or Heavy only
Distance Move: Same or Up
Wins At The Track: 0
22 winners from 78 runners 28% 36 placed 47%.
If you had backed all her qualifiers you would have made a level stakes profit of £73.60 to a £1 Stake and +94.18 to Betfair SP.
Kerry has a couple of possible qualifiers that could run at Ffos Las tomorrow and also has entries at Haydock and Ascot on Saturday.
Put The Kettle On had caused a bit of a shock when winning the Arkle Novices’ Chase at the Festival in March and the mare probably didn’t receive the credit she deserved for winning that race.
The late defection of recent impressive Cheltenham winner Rouge Vif on account of the heavy ground robbed the race of a bit of its gloss.
Put The Kettle On was raced out wide, as Aidan Coleman sought better ground for the mare. It was a good ride from the jockey. She had won the Arkle on soft ground but this was even more testing. It was her class and battling attitude that enabled her to win despite the heavy ground.
A tough mare who finds plenty for pressure. I would have her favourite for next year’s Champions Chase.
Duc Des Genievres the 2019 winner of the Arkle was having his first start since switching from Willie Mullins to Paul Nicholls. He travelled and jumped well out in front and it looked like he would go onto win coming to two out. Those early exertions took their toll on him as he was reeled in by Put The Kettle On in the final 100yds. It was good to see him return to something like his best.
Defi Du Seuil, sent off the 6/5 favourite, looked to be going ok at the top of the hill. However, he got tired and pulled up before the last. It was a similar run to his performance when disappointing in the Champion Chase. He has more questions to answer after this run but it would be folly to dismiss him from bouncing back. I'm sure he will step up in trip and decent ground in March for a Ryanair Chase could well see him back to his best.
Three for the Tracker
All three of this week’s tracker horses ran at Cheltenham’s November Meeting.
Steal A March – Nicky Henderson
A winner of a heavy ground novice hurdle at Hereford last December and fair 4th of 19 on his handicap debut at Warwick in March. The 5-year-old was making his seasonal reappearance in the Conditional Jockey’s handicap hurdle that opened the meeting on Friday. He was hampered at the 7th, lost his place, and got a bit outpaced. However, to his credit he rallied and stayed on well to take third in the final few strides. A step up in distance and more testing ground can bring out more improvement.
Lamanver Pippin – Colin Tizzard
The Colin Tizzard horses have been needing their first runs so Lamanvar Pippin’s third placed effort behind Storm Control was a positive run with the rest of the season in mind. Returning for the first time since finishing a distant third in the National Hunt Chase at the Festival.
This was just the 7-year-old’s fourth start over the larger obstacles. He came under pressure starting the second circuit and looked like he was coming to win his race two out.
Lack of a recent run probably cost him the win but it was encouraging to see him keep on all the way to the line to finish third. There should be more to come from him this season and he should stay a bit further than 3m 1f.
Edwardstone – Alan King
A useful novice hurdler last season winning twice. He ended last season finishing a well beaten 6th of 15 in the Supreme Novices Hurdle in March. He returned a well fancied 13/2 for Sunday’s Greatwood Handicap Hurdle. Off a mark of 142 he looked on a winnable mark for his handicap hurdle debut.
The heavy ground wasn’t in his favour and he was set plenty to do being held up in the rear. Making steady headway he was never really put into the race but he stayed on to finish a never nearer 5th of 14 at the finish.
I’m still not convinced Cheltenham is his track and he will prove a better horse on a flatter track. On pedigree he should stay further than 2m 1f and when he settles better he will. The 6-year-old isn’t one to give up on just yet. He's a future chaser in the making However there is a nice pot over hurdles to be won before that. He could even be a Betfair Hurdle horse?
I think all three can win a handicap in the coming weeks.
At present I couldn’t pick my nose for the column so today’s selection carries an obligatory wealth warning.
2:33 – Midnight’s Gift wasn’t disgraced when 3rd of 7 in Listed Mares race at Wetherby last time and drops back into Class 3 handicap company today. Might need a stiffer stamina test but she will be suited by today’s sounder surface and can make her class tell here.
7:15 – Billy Dylan is on a losing run that goes back to September 2018 and he’s yet to win on five starts since joining his present yard. Seemed to take a step back in the right direction when a close-up 3rd of 14 over C&D 14-days ago. Races off the same mark here and if reproducing his last effort has each way claims.
7:45 – Insureplus disappointed when only 8th of 14 over C&D 18-days ago but the 7-year-old does need a strong pace to chase. He should get his ideal pace scenario here and Danny Tudhope is back in the saddle and he’s 2-3 on the horse over C&D.
2:33 – Midnight's Gift – 3/1 @ Bet365.
Good luck with your Tuesday bets.
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk