Thursday, 3 December 2015

Friday at Exeter and Sandown



We managed to avoid making any bets yesterday and therefore dodged a couple of seconds for the Paul Nicholls stable.

Paul Nicholls
Exeter - Soft  (Heavy in places)
1.10 - Mon Successeur was previously trained by Guillame Macaire in France and won his only two starts over fences before joining Paul Nicholls. He is a 4yo half brother to Easter Day 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 as well as hanging a bit right.
He was given a spin over hurdles at Cheltenham as the stable thought it would open more options but he looked as though he would appreciate a bit further and finished 10/20 beaten 18 lengths. He then went to Newbury 7 days ago for a conditional jockeys handicap chase over two miles two and a half furlongs on soft and finished 2nd beaten three quarters of a length to today's rival Rouge Et Blanc whom he meets on worse terms.

2.15 - Mr Mix had just the one run in France at Auteuil when third beaten 9 lengths in the 3yo Listed Prix Finot hurdle over 2m 2f on going described as very soft. Should be capable of a bold show and can follow in the footsteps of Irish Saint(1st), Ptit Zig(9th) and Saphir Du Rheu(3rd)who also ran in the Prix Finot. One of Paul Nicholls five to follow for the season he has been given plenty of time to mature and develop as he's had a few temperamental issues. He started this season in a Class 3 NH Novices Hurdle over 2m at Stratford on soft going finishing 3rd of 11 to Charbel. He probably needed the run that day and he should be spot on now and ready to make his mark although you would want a little more than 7/4.

3.20 - Calipto finished second on his only start at Auteuil in France. He started fav for the Triumph Hurdle in 2014 where he was an unlucky second. He ran 4 times last season but failed to win - although he finished 4th, beaten 13 lengths, in the Betfair Hurdle off a mark of 143 (started as fav) after a breathing operation and when wearing a first time hood. His hurdle mark has dropped to 139 so possible he may go up that route at some stage as his trainer thought he was a fair bit better than a 143 rated horse. A horse with scope he likes decent ground, jumps well, has a touch of class and Nicholls liked the way he travelled and jumped on his way to winning at Fontwell.
He then ran in the Arkle trial at Cheltenham, a race in which the stable have a good record, but he could only finish 3rd beaten three lengths behind Garde La Victoire - he seemed to lack a change of gear over 2m. As a result he now steps up 3f and 48 yards in distance in this Class 2 novices chase which should benefit him and the going shouldn't be a problem.
The hood which was on for his first two starts this season is now removed.

Dan Skelton
Sandown - Soft
2.40 - Captain Chaos joined the stable after winning a bumper at Newcastle in impressive fashion. He is a horse the stable are quite keen on and he returned with a win at Uttoxeter in a Class 4 national hunt novices hurdle over 2m staying on well to win with a bit in hand and the stable think he will improve further as the season goes on. What he does this year will be a bonus as chasing would appear to be his game being a big 4yo. The soft going is ideal for this race as is the distance and he should go close in what is a decent little race that has produced many a fine winner over the years.

Betting wise there isn't a great deal on offer. Paul Nicholls Mr Mix and Calipto are at cramped odds whilst Mon Successeur doesn't appeal against his conqueror last time out. Dan Skelton's Captain Chaos is better odds wise but is in a hot race.

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