Friday, January 21, 2022

Haydock's Peter Marsh Chase 2022

During the week concern was expressed that the 'Lingfield Million' initiative might have an adverse effect on the number of runners in the Peter Marsh at Haydock. Eight set off in last year's renewal; ten are set to face the starter at 2.35 tomorrow. 

The going is described as soft, heavy in places on the chase course.

12 months ago Royal Pagaille won in something of a common canter, Tom Scudamore doing the steering after regular pilot Charlie Deutsch opted to go to Ascot instead. At the time I wrote:

An analysis I've read of Royale Pagaille's victory at Kempton over Christmas talks of  'a performance of some note' indicating the horse 'won't look out of place in Graded company'.

It's no surprise therefore to see Venetia Williams' charge priced up favourite but the gelding has been raised 16 pounds for that effort and now sits on a mark of 156. There's Gold Cup talk in the background as well, with layers quoting odds of 50/1 for the Cheltenham showpiece in March. 

So I still haven't quite worked out why regular pilot Charlie Deutsch has decided to go to Ascot to ride Espoir De Guye (3.00) and Fanion D'Estruval (3.35). Did Charlie, like the rest of us, expect Haydock to be abandoned? Or does he prefer his chances at Ascot?  

Scudamore clearly enjoyed his armchair ride that day but it must have made for painful viewing for Charlie with Fanion D'Estruval finishing fourth behind First Flow in the Clarence House and Espoir De Guye also fourth behind  Dashel Drasher in the bet365 Handicap Chase.

Fanion D'Estruval has been declared for tomorrow's renewal of the bet365 Handicap Chase - this year, though, Charlie rides at Haydock. I note the gelding also holds an entry in the Fleur De Lys Chase at Lingfield on Sunday but connections' preference is for the Ascot engagement.

Conceding 12 pounds and upwards to the rest of the field represents no easy task for Royal Pagaille who goes off 163. Historically just four horses with a rating of 160 or higher have competed in this event;  Jodami is the only one to come home in front, in 1997, off a rating of 169.

Last time out in the Betfair Chase Royal Pagaille finished 22 lengths second behind A Plus Tard, the current 7/2 favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. 

The ground at Haydock that day was described as good to soft but rode nearer to good; Venetia Williams' charge came back in with an injury to the right hind pastern and in the circumstances ran a very good race.  

Tom Scudamore rides Remastered who was running a big race when taking a crashing fall four from home in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury; thankfully he came out unscathed. Next time he ran a fine second here but had no answer to Enqarde in the Tommy Whittle (Sam's Adventure pulled up).

The Rowland Meyrick run at Wetherby on Boxing Day looks a significant piece of form. 

Good Boy Bobby was tenacious up front to see off the attentions of Lord Du Mesnil by one and threequarters lengths with Lake View Lad some 16 lengths adrift in fourth.

That only tells half the story though as Empire Steel looked to be travelling ominously well when coming to grief four from home. His chance is respected here but under the conditions of the race he is obliged to go off three pounds higher than his allotted handicap mark.

Exasperated with the family's Boxing Day festivities, I sought some simple temporary solace in backing Lake View Lad each-way at Wetherby on the back of Nick Alexander's comments that the grey had been trained  specifically for the race. 

Unfortunately the gelding provided no Boxing Day solace whatsoever, struggling to keep tabs on the principals over the second circuit. 

The handicapper has dropped his mark three pounds to 146 and the grey has a good record at this track but it's difficult to see him finishing ahead of Empire Steel (provided he completes) or Lord Du Mesnil (provided he's in the mood).

With just six chase starts to his name, Sam Brown has looked difficult to train but as a consequence still remains relatively unexposed for a ten-year-old. Last time out at Aintree he finished a distant third behind Protektorat - currently a 9/1 chance for the Gold Cup; two years ago he won a two and a half mile novice chase on this card. 

Kalooki's jumping has proved problematic in the past - connections will hope first-time cheekpieces can help - while Alnadam has done a lot of his racing over two and half miles.

Beaten over 40 lengths, Fortescue wasn't disgraced finishing seventh in the Ladbrokes Trophy at odds of 50/1 and at Kempton over Christmas he was beaten a length by Five Star Getaway. He is three pounds 'wrong' at the weights but the additional burden is offset by Hugh Nugent's five pounds claim.  

Last season Sam's Adventure won the Tommy Whittle over course and distance off 133 and the Eider Chase at Newcastle off 139. This season Brian Ellison's charge has been bang out of form; he went off at 40/1 for the Rehearsal Chase in November (finished 49 lengths behind winner Aye Right) and, four pounds 'wrong' at the weights tomorrow, is quoted at a similar price.

The market suggests the race rests between Royal Pagaille, Remastered and Empire Steel; two each-way chances of interest are Lord Du Mesnil and Sam Brown.

The former isn't entirely predictable and wouldn't be guaranteed to build on his second in the Rowland Meyrick (for which he was raised two pounds) but he has a lot more experience over the larger obstacles than most in the field and his record at the track reads 1121.

The latter has something to find on ratings but handler Anthony Honeyball is quoted in the Racing Post as saying: 'I'll be very disappointed off his current mark if he isn't thereabouts at the finish.' Sam Brown has been the subject of support in the market this evening.

Lord Du Mesnil is the each-way suggestion, at the time of writing 10/1 with bet365 and BetVictor, both paying three places.


Anonymous said...

Peter Marsh Handicap Chase

191,SAM BROWN(GB),22.6

Nice write-up.

Of the two you narrowed down for your EW play [...two each-way chances of interest are Lord Du Mesnil and Sam Brown…] I’ve opted for Sam Brown [SB].

SB may not have the strongest constitution but, as you note, is unexposed [only his 2nd handicap start] and on a going day could well have a fair bit in hand. The early 16/1 has long gone [touched 18/1 in places] but any double figure odds look to hold some value.

Good luck.


GeeDee said...

Thanks for your ratings, TW.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Clarence House Chase

Well, if that race did not give you goose bumps then [jumps] racing is not your game!


GeeDee said...

Momentous. Marvellous sport, TW.

For me Energumene was quicker over the obstacles - as he jumped the last I thought he'd go on to win.

GeeDee said...

Royal Pagaille digs deep to defy top weight in thrilling Peter Marsh.

Sam Brown (8/1) and selection Lord Du Mesnil (12/1) cut out the early pace and were still at the head of a tightly packed field as they turned into the home straight for the final time.

TW's top-rated selection Sam Brown went on, with the main threats coming from Royal Pagaille (5/2f) and Remastered (4/1).

The favourite edged ahead two out while Remastered ran out of steam coming to the final flight. Sam Brown threw down a tenacious challenge after the last and at one point appeared to be making inroads but the favourite wasn't for passing - the winning distance was half a length.

Fortescue (16/1) stayed on stoutly from behind to claim third ahead of Remastered.

Selection Lord Du Mesnil jumped well up front but when the race began in earnest he simply couldn't go with them and was quickly dropped; he came home sixth, some 25 lengths behind the impressive winner who is now 20/1 for the Gold Cup in March.