Friday, February 22, 2008

Saturday's staying chases

The three mile Racing Post Chase at Kempton had been pencilled in as a possible Gold Cup preparation for Exotic Dancer but that idea was given short shrift earlier this week; my guess is that Exotic Dancer's owner, Sir Robert Ogden, fancies the chances of his Ungaro for this race. Paul Nicholls' Gungadu looks likely to go off favourite and is set to carry top weight - statistically a big weight hasn't necessarily been a drawback. Simon won this last year but, if my memory serves me correctly, the ground was riding soft that day and he stayed on to collar the leaders up the home straight. Connections must fear the good ground horses will have too much speed on this occasion. Lower down the handicap Hennessy second Dream Alliance could bounce back to form and run well at a price, while Burntoakboy's second behind Gungadu at Sandown gives him every chance. However I'm going with Ungaro who ran well behind An Accordion at Doncaster last time and has course and distance winning form.

At Newcastle eighteen go to post for the Eider Chase run over a stiff four miles one furlong. A case can be made for a few of these but Donald McCain's out and out stayer Bannister Lane has a racing weight (10-9) and looks worth an each-way interest. This horse wouldn't want the going to dry out too much.

Back at Kempton, Hobbs Hill, now owned by one J.P.McManus, should take the Pendil and Binocular the Adonis but both will make little appeal as betting propositions.


Anonymous said...

Agree about Ungaro; I've opposed Hobbs Hill too, with Oslot.
Friend of mine asked me to name my six best for Cheltenham. Finding it very hard.

GeeDee said...

Ungaro got no further than the second fence, appearing to crumple on landing at the back of the field - disappointing. 4/1 favourite Gungadu carried top weight to an impressive victory. At the last Kelmai looked a big danger but he didn't jump it well.
The top weight, Comply Or Die (11/1), won the Eider convincingly. Bannister Lane (7/1) raced prominently for two of the three circuits but made a serious error in front of the stands as they were about to go into the country for the last time and that effectively put an end to his chance - he finished a tailed-off ninth, the last horse to complete.
Drama indeed in the Pendil with Hobbs Hill (8/13f) and Pur De Sivola falling independently at the third last. Tom Roper called the winner, Oslot, an 11/2 shot - well done! Although he'd jumped well up to that point, HH looked in trouble as they rounded the home bend - I think he was beaten when he fell.
J.P. McManus gained some compensation with the victory of Binocular (8/11f) in the Adonis although the horse had to work prety hard to repeal Pierrot Lunaire's challenge by one and a quarter lengths at the line. Binocular is a best priced 8/1 for the Triumph but that makes little appeal for what is traditionally a very rough race.