Friday, February 28, 2020

Doncaster's Grimthorpe Chase 2020

Eleven have been declared for the Grimthorpe Handicap Chase (3.35) at Doncaster tomorrow but both Definitly Red and Saint Xavier have their preferred engagement in the Premier Listed Chase (3.22) at Kelso.

At the start of this afternoon the going at Doncaster was described as soft, good to soft in places; that had changed to heavy by the end of the third race.

Last night, before final declaration stage, I'd thought Now McGinty was certainly worth a second look on the back of his head second behind Santini on seasonal debut at Sandown in November but connections have decided to let this opportunity pass. Stuart Edmunds' charge holds entries in the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival (25/1) and the Grand National.

As an aside, I was interested in stablemate Rowland Ward in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle on Cheltenham's Wednesday card but, checking entries this evening, I see he is now a non-runner.

Back to the business in hand where two seven-year-olds, Worthy Farm and Boldmere, head up the market. The last seven-year-old to come home in front was, I think, Knight Templar (Barry Fenton up) in 2000 - when this was a very different race.

Worthy Farm has done a lot of his racing right-handed and, to date, hasn't won going the other way round. The blinkers certainly seem to have helped the cause but he's now rated 12 pounds higher than when he won a neck at Wincanton on Boxing Day.

Four weeks ago Boldmere looked to have the Towton at Wetherby at his mercy when coming to grief at the last. Caroline Bailey's charge is now rated 24 pounds higher than when winning the Holly Handicap Chase at Leicester (over two and a half miles) on December 11th.

Both market leaders have just four chase starts to their name.

At nine years of age Yalltari may be two years older but with just five chase starts Venetia Williams' charge looks as though he hasn't been the easiest to train. The stable is in fine form though (23% win strike-rate over the past fortnight) and his chance is respected.

Captain Chaos isn't the most consistent of individuals but this season he has finished second behind Takingrisks in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle and then made practically all only to be mugged after the last by Kimberlite Candy in the Classic Chase at Warwick. That looked a hard enough race but, if in the mood and allowed his own way up front, he could take some pegging back.

Chidswell won this last year off a mark of 127 and tries to repeat the trick racing off 132. I lost count of the number of jumping errors Nicky Richards' charge made in the Sky Bet Chase here last time out yet he stayed on through beaten horses to claim third. Better jumping should see him more competitive but yard form looks a worry with no win for 40 days.

Dr Richard Newland hasn't recorded a win for 38 days; he saddles Aaron Lad who has just three chase starts to his name and this looks a stiff task.

Both Fortified Bay and Ascot De Bruyere were entered in last week's Eider Chase which fell to the weather; I put up the latter for the Eider as James Ewart's gelding happens to like it around Newcastle. Just over four weeks ago Fortified Bay beat Ascot De Bruyere some 21 lengths at Newcastle and, at the weights, would be expected to confirm that form. Jennie Candish's charge is another relatively inexperienced over the larger obstacles.

Respected commentator Simon Holt puts up Cesar Et Rosalie each-way.

I'm assuming Definitly Red and Saint Xavier will travel north to Kelso.

This year's renewal looks atypical in that five of the remaining nine runners have five or less chase starts under their belts and, on balance, I prefer to side with experience.

Captain Chaos' profile is just a little too inconsistent and I'd struggle to support Chidswell after those jumping errors last time so I'm going to chance Ascot De Bruyere with his featherweight on the heavy ground; Danny McMenamin can claim three.

On Racing Post ratings - and on his best form - he should certainly be competitive and, as I indicated last week, on his only try beyond three miles, he showed he could stay this sort of trip. I just hope he takes to Doncaster as well as he has done to Newcastle in the past.

Most layers go 33/1 this evening but Sky Bet offer 25/1 and pay one fifth the odds four places.

Ascot De Bruyere is the each-way suggestion.


Anonymous said...

RTG Horse

I do think the betting looks heavily weighted to the front two in the market; as such this is a race I’d like to invest in.

With both Definitely Red and Saint Xavier like to take up their Kelso entries the filed is down to 9.

The Sky Bet 4 places offer, assuming the remaining 9 runners hold their ground, in a great concession but I’ll not be able to get on. At 1/5 odds for 3 places the edge is with the layers so I’ll be doing win only.

Take off Danny McMenamin’s claim and Ascot De Bruyere is only 2lbs higher than his last winning mark and I think this race might suit him better than the abandoned Eider Chase.

I was a little bit worried that Neil Mulholland’s horses were running a bit below par but yesterday’s two winners have eased that thought. Cesar Et Rosalie, off a mark off 122, could also get himself involved at the business end of the race.

I’m splitting my 1PT stake as two win bets on ADB at 33/1 and CER at 20/1

Good luck


GeeDee said...

Thanks for providing your ratings, TW.

One of my worries - Captain Chaos sets off in front and races with the zest he showed in the Classic Chase and ADB struggles to hold his position...

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I’m hoping Danny McMenamin might get his day out at Doncaster off to a flyer.

As a 10yo Bryden Boy is fully exposed, ran a very flat race LTO over CD and is 1lb out of the handicap. But that aside……!

BB did win the 2017 renewal of this race off a mark off 131; including Danny’s 3lb claim he runs of 115 today, conditions are perfect, and William Hill are offering generous odds of 33/1 4 places 1/5 odds [I can get on] I hoping BB proves a worthy of an EW play.


Anonymous said...

There does look to be a fair bit of pace in the Grimthorpe which might play against ADB but with CER.

Boldmere and Childswell now non-runners [both going] which probably scuppers the Sky Bet 4 place concession.


GeeDee said...

Scuppered indeed, TW. Seven runners, two places a quarter the odds - Ascot De Bruyere a best-priced 11/1 shot.

GeeDee said...

An attritional renewal of the Grimthopre run on heavy ground and in very windy conditions.

Captain Chaos (9/2) set off in front - a mistake at the third didn't disrupt his rhythm - and he promptly proceeded to jump his rivals into the ground. Sent on rounding the turn for home, he finished an astonishing 54 lengths ahead of Worthy Farm (9/4f) who did not jump well with Yalltari (5/1) a further 38 lengths behind in third; just three of the seven starters completed.

Selection Ascot De Bruyere (12/1) was quickly outpaced on the run to the first, racing some three to four lengths adrift of his field. The subject of a few negative comments in running, he settled reasonably well thereafter (I thought), jumping with some fluency. He was still at the tail of the field some ten lengths or so off the pace when Fortified Bay (6/1) was pulled up after a mistake at the thirteenth and hadn't really been asked a question when Aaron Lad (9/1) fell in front of him at the next and brought him down.

Frustrating. I certainly don't think he would have won but it was difficult to gauge what, if anything, was left in the tank. That said, hats off to Captain Chaos who certainly deserved his moment in the sun.

It's just been one of those seasons...

Sandracer said...

Might have got 2nd without the sabotuer.. There was room. Chaos only won by the odd furlong...

Cheltenham soon. Jumps season only really starts in March ;)

GeeDee said...

Good to hear from you, Sandracer.

Couldn't lend me a score for the Festival, could you? I've got this horse...


Sandracer said...

Maybe:: If Burgess Dreams wins the 2.50 Huntingdon...

GeeDee said...


Prefer Haveacuppa in that race...


Sandracer said...

I think if the race caller fails to mention your horse you should get your dough back..

GeeDee said...

Like that idea, Sandracer. To be introduced *before* Cheltenham...