Friday, 15 January 2016

Betfred Classic Chase Day at Warwick

Holidaying Paul Nicholls saddles just the two weekend runners at Warwick on Saturday whereas Dan Skelton sends three to Warwick and one up to Wetherby.

Paul Nicholls
1.50 Silsol ran 4 times last season winning twice at Newbury and Ffos Las on soft and heavy so has no trouble with these conditions however his bid for a hat trick of wins in 4 weeks came unstuck when he was easily brushed aside by Seeyouatmidnight at Kelso in December when conceding that rival 10lbs. That horse then went on to confirm the form when beating a good field in the Grade 2 Dipper novices chase at Cheltenham on New Years Day.
Silsol is the highest rated hurdler Nicholls has sent chasing this season and he is a solid, dependable chaser that jumps well. He takes on a small but select field here in the Listed contest, however it is hard to see him getting the better of Black Hercules given that the Mullins yard are in much better form than those at Ditcheat.

3.35 Vivaldi Collonges is said to stay forever but he came back with a bang over 2m 7f 96y at Kelso when easily winning a Class 2 handicap chase off a mark of 134c on his return. Prior to that he hadn't been seen since picking up a slight injury and pulling up in the National Hunt Chase over 4m at the festival and with only 10 races under rules to date there is room for further improvement from this 7yo. 
He went up 8lb in the handicap for that win at Kelso and he has 11-7 on his back now but hopefully the 3m 5f trip will be right up his street - that said this is a tough assignment and other runners chances are discussed below.

Dan Skelton
1.15 Le Bacardy returned at Aintree in the Old Roan Chase where he finished 6th after a couple of errors. He's a 10yo so he is unlikely to find any more improvement and is considered to be a spring horse in any event. He is usually held up and is best produced late.
He was pulled up in a decent race at Cheltenham and was then brought down at Doncaster before being a well beaten 7th back at that track but he is steadily dropping down the handicap - 10lb since Aintree and now on 132c ie 3lb below his last win mark of 135c.
He's back over 2m which I think seems to suit him better so hopefully, all being well, he can get his act back together and get a win on the board.

3.00 Born Survivor was a highly rated point to point winner at Broughshane in Ireland last season where he quickened clear of a decent field to win comfortably. He joined the yard after being purchased at the Cheltenham April Sales for £220,000 and several of those who finished behind him in Ireland have also joined top stables in England and some have franked the form. 
He is said to have size and scope and is very well regarded. If all goes to plan he could go to the very top and he looks set to follow a similar route to the stables Three Musketeers and have a light campaign.
He started this season in a maiden hurdle over 2m 5f on soft and for which was well backed and duly won with something in hand after always travelling well and the plan was always to come back here for this race which the stables Three Musketeers won last season and he must have a big chance of emulating him.
However this looks to be a better field than last season and the race should prove informative in any event as it will give us some clear connections to Irish form through the Willie Mullins two runners.

3.35 What A Good Night would have won three on the trot last season but for falling when well clear at Southwell. His dam was an unraced half sister to 2003 Hennessy winner Strong Flow(OR140). He sounds a bit of a character that needs strong handling but  he is an improving sort. That said he's been let down by his jumping on occasions not least at Stratford first time out when he fell at the last with the race at his mercy.
He then went to Bangor and got the better of Algernon Pazham after a ding dong battle up the home straight after which Dan Skelton suggested that the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby would be his next port of call.
Unfortunately, although declared, he didn't run there but the stable thought he had a big chance nevertheless. They had been very happy with his progress since his Bangor win and they were very positive about his chances even though he was a couple of pounds out of the handicap.
He is 4lb worse off with Algernon Pazham for this event - if you take into account Ryan Hatch's 3lb claim.
This race will be a gruelling test of stamina for all concerned and the King pair will be tough to keep out of the fist three home and only time will tell if Houblon Des Obeaux is well handicapped or not. He is 11lb lower on 146c than when 2nd to Many Clouds in the 2014 running of the Hennessy after which Venetia Williams said  "He has a bit to find with the Gold Cup horses, but he´ll be going up for this and if it was soft ground in March it could be a different story. If it´s a stamina test you would have to be optimistic". 
With those comments in mind and if on his "A" game you would have to think he has a great chance.

Born Survivor - 1 point win @ 5/2

1 comment:

  1. I think both SILSOL and WHAT A GOOD NIGHT hold excellent chances today.