Friday, 13 November 2015

The Open Meeting at Cheltenham

A mixed bag from yesterdays results for the Nicholls and Skelton stables.

Onto tomorrow :

Paul Nicholls
1.40 - As De Mee Ran 7 times last season winning three including the EBF Final at Sandown by 2 lengths from stablemate Great Try. Said to have matured and strengthened up over the summer - he looks to have a bright future ahead of him. Returned at Chepstow in a Class 2 novice chase finishing 2nd to the more chase experienced Cocktails At Dawn. He was said to have needed the run so that makes it that much better and also the fact that the third placed horse Native River easily won next time out in another Class 2 novice chase beating Abracadabra Sivola who had himself finished 2nd to Nicholls It's A Close Call also at Chepstow. The form seems to be stacking up and as this horse can only progress as the season goes on he should put up a bold run today.

2.15 - Alcala  - A bumper winner in France he was fourth of eight on his debut in this country in the Grade 2 Adonis Juvenile Hurdle in 2014 behind Activial(OR153), Commisioned(OR154) and stablemate Solar Impulse, He ran just the once last season in a Novice Hurdle and finished 6th of seventeen having choked. He was given a breathing operation thereafter but didn't reappear. He is said to have strengthened up having been given plenty of time and he returned to win in eyecatching style at Worcester in a maiden hurdle over 2m 4f. Paul Nicholls seems to be in an quandary as to where to run this horse as he keeps chopping and changing his plans - the fact is he is currently on a favourable handicap mark but how long that lasts may be decided by what he does today. However that said he is up against three talented individuals and this should be a fascinating race to watch as any of them have the potential to win. If Alcala runs well here he will probably turn out 
in  the Fixed Brush handicap hurdle at Haydock next weekend.

2.50 - Sire Collonges - I'm not overly fussed by these races other than at the festival, however I'm sure Sire Collonges will run his usual consistent race but whether that is good enough on his first run back is far from clear. An old Nicholls inmate Saint Are ran a great race in the Grand National to finish second to Many Clouds and his jockey Paddy Brennan knows his way round this course.

3.25 - Mon Successeur was previously trained by Guillame Macaire in France and won his only two starts over fences before joining Paul Nicholls. He is only a 4yo and finished 2nd on his return in a novices limited handicap chase, over a Wetherby 2m, despite being in receipt of a 4yo weight allowance, however he was said to have needed the run that day and wasn't used to British fences. He is switched here to a  novices handicap hurdle over 2m and the stable feel there is plenty of improvement to come albeit that may be on a right handed track but Harry Cobden takes off a useful 7lbs and he may be better off jumping hurdles at this stage.
4.00 - Minellahalfcentury ran 4 times for the stable last season winning once at Chepstow in a Class 3 novice handicap chase over 3m on good to soft. The welsh national looks to be his target and he will improve for today's run out.

Dan Skelton
1.05 - Le Bacardy returned at Aintree in the Old Roan Chase where he finished 6th after a couple of errors and he has been dropped 2lb by the handicapper. Although this is a Class 2 I'm not sure it's an easier race and his jumping will need to be up to scratch if he is to trouble the judge. He's a 9yo so he is unlikely to find any more improvement and he is considered to be a spring horse in any event so although he may run well I don't feel drawn to him.

3.25 - Benissimo

3.25 - Adrakhan Was given a light campaign last season running just three times. His best run came when he was 2nd in a Class 4 3yo Juvenile Hurdle at Warwick over 2m on Soft when he was beaten by Chatez who went on to win the Doncaster Spring Mile on the flat in March beating Buckstay.
Adrakhan progressed on his first two runs and the soft going put paid to his run at Musselburgh and he can be forgiven that. He started on a mark of 112h on his first race back in a Class 4 Maiden Hurdle at Market Rasen winning by half a length and this race was put up as his next target. Some of the stable runners have been improving for a run and he is probably capable of stepping up again even though he is up 6lb for his win.


As De Mee 1 point win @ 7/2 with several bookmakers
Adrakhan 0.50 points ew @ 16/1 Sportingbet, 14/1 elsewhere

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