Published 21st October
Sue Smith’s former high-class hurdler enjoys a 5lb pull with his Scilly Isles’ Novices’ Chase conqueror and will appreciate going left-handed rather than the other way around at Sandown last February.
The seven-year-old has run just three times right-handed in his 21-race career to date, which suggests a definite preference for going anti-clockwise and that suspicion is backed up by his form figures.
The gelding is 3F2 on clockwise circuits whereas all six wins have come this way round, including a competitive Class 2 handicap hurdle over course and distance two years ago.
That was off a mark of 141 but his rating shot up to 158 after he won the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham next time, leaving him potentially well treated off 149 over fences now.
Admittedly his sole success in six starts over the larger obstacles was a fortuitous one - subsequent RSA Chase winner Champ seemingly set for victory in the Dipper at Cheltenham when departing two out - but he has the physique for this discipline and remains open to improvement.
Ground-versatile from good through to heavy, the weather is unlikely to present a problem and his overall record fresh is encouraging.
Ditto his record in handicaps which features two wins (including a 16-runner Scottish Champion Hurdle) and a neck second from four attempts.
Recommended Bet (scale 1-5 points):
MONET’S GARDEN OLD ROAN LIMITED HANDICAP CHASE, AINTREE 25th OCTOBER
1pt win MIDNIGHT SHADOW (12-1 Coral, Ladbrokes, 9-1 Unibet, 8-1 general)
Gary started his look at selected races for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival during his stint as stand-in for Hugh Taylor’s column.
Already Recommended - Cheltenham 2021
1pt win SAMCRO (14-1)
1pt win SHISKIN (5-1)
Marsh Novices Chase
1pt win CHANTRY HOUSE (25-1)
Cheltenham Gold Cup
1pt win TOPOFTHEGAME (20-1)
RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase
1pt win MONKFISH (12-1)
1pt win THE BIG GETAWAY (25-1)
Gary provides regular ante-post updates on Twitter. His username is @horsetraderinfo.@horsetraderinfo