Friday, January 07, 2022

The 2021 Veterans' Chase Final at Sandown

Thirteen have been declared for tomorrow's final due off at 3.00, with the going on the chase course currently described as soft, good to soft in places; heavy rain is predicted throughout most of the day and conditions are expected to deteriorate.

Market leader Aso came home under four lengths behind Blaklion in Leg 12 of the series run on heavy ground at Haydock just over five weeks ago. 11 started that day but only five completed with Dashing Perk, Psychedelic Rock and Primo Venture all pulled up - Primo Venture was subsequently reported to have bled from the nose.

Venetia Williams' charge was raised two pounds to 149 for that effort and, after taking jockey allowances into consideration, has to concede 10 pounds and upwards to the rest of the field.

Final Nudge may have finally nudged 13 years of age recently but he finished third behind Time To Get Up and Midnight Thunder in the Midlands Grand National last March and then reappeared in Leg 10 of the series at Warwick in November to beat Fagan, with Sir Ivan six and a half lengths behind in fourth.

Raised just three pounds, Fergal O'Brien's charge looks weighted to confirm the form.

Sir Ivan is a consistent sort who finished third behind Seeyouatmidnight in last year's renewal off a mark of 135. 

Back in March he beat Valadom (128) and The King's Writ (139) in Leg 3 at Newbury but at the moment, off 140, would appear to be in the grip of the handicapper.

Last time out The King's Writ finished 49 lengths behind L'Homme Presse over an inadequate trip. 

Now on 133, he makes some appeal with amateur rider Mr Joshua Newman able to claim another seven pounds; Kayley Woollacott's charge has been well backed today.    

I prefer David Bass to Lee Marvin aboard Wandrin Star who beat Dancing Shadow and Gwencily Berbas over course and distance nine weeks ago. This one goes particularly well fresh but wouldn't be guaranteed to reproduce his form next time out.

Meanwhile, after that race, Gwencily Berbas made the short journey from David Pipe's yard to Exeter racecourse where, tipped up by Mick Fitzgerald, he won ten lengths at odds of 25/1 over a trip of three miles six and a half furlongs (Dancing Shadow third). A rise of eight pounds to 132 looks reasonable.

After a spell point-to-pointing Rolling Dylan finished second behind Wishing And Hoping in Leg 8 at Aintree in October and then second behind Bali Body over course and distance last month (Valadom third). 

The official going was good that day; to my mind both Rolling Dylan and Valadom prefer better ground, a comment that also applies to Psychedelic Rock.

Prime Venture's fifth behind stablemate Secret Reprieve in the Welsh Grand National 12 months ago reads well. Evan Williams' charge will appreciate underfoot conditions but only has one chase win to his name - a three runner Sedgefield novice - while Dashing Perk doesn't look guaranteed to stay the trip.

Both Indy Five and Dancing Shadow run from out of the handicap. 

The former hasn't looked the easiest at the start this term but made all to win comfortably at Doncaster the last day while the latter had Sir Ivan and Indy Five behind when finishing third to Some Chaos on seasonal debut.

I was impressed with the ride Tom Scudamore gave Gwencily Berbas last time and the manner in which the horse won. Since the move over from Ireland in May the gelding has finished in the first three on all four starts.

At the time of writing Gwencily Berbas is 10/1 with bet365 and Paddy Power who pay one fifth the odds four places.

Gwencily Berbas is the each-way selection.

Finally, I'm going to take another look at Navajo Pass in the finale (3.35). 

Top weight on heavy / desperate ground and the fitting of first-time cheekpieces rings the alarm bells, added to which Donald McCain's charge finished a long way behind Samarrive over course and distance five weeks ago. That said, on his best form - and current RPR ratings - he's entitled to be in the mix and has been backed this evening. 

After the gelding won over two and a half miles at Musselburgh 12 months ago, the trainer indicated his charge would be a better horse this term. 

Navajo Pass underwent wind surgery after finishing well beaten behind Goshen in the Kingwell Hurdle in February and then missed Aintree after suffering a setback. 

Was that run behind Samarrive (Zambezi Mix second) a sighter for this? 


Anonymous said...

Unibet Veterans' Handicap Chase

161,SIR IVAN(GB),7.4
157,INDY FIVE(IRE),5.3

The Kings Writ is out to 12.5 on BF, I hope he is going to drift a bit further.

Unibet Casino Deposit 10 Get 40 Handicap Hurdle

171,NAVAJO PASS(GB),22.6
166,ZAMBEZI FIX(FR),14.9
152,HERMES BOY(FR),6.3

The system is also keen on Navajo Pass, 10.0 on BF currently, any double digit price looks to hold value.

Good luck.


GeeDee said...

Thanks, TW.

Encouraged by the rating given to Navajo Pass...

Good luck!

GeeDee said...

The official going was changed to heavy after the 1.15 race.

Run on attritional ground, Valadom and Lily Pinchin quickly built up a substantial lead in the Veterans' Chase. The closing pack made ground after jumping the Pond Fence.

Prime Venture (18/1) came up the hill best of all, nine lengths ahead of Final Nudge (100/30f), with Sir Ivan (22/1) a creditable third, Dashing Perk (18/1) fourth and long-time leader Valadom the last horse to finish in fifth.

I wasn't too concerned as selection Gwencily Berbas (8/1) raced mid-division in the early stages. He started to lose his pitch as they went away from the stands; following a mistake at one in the back straight Tom Scudamore decided to pull him up and that was that.

Navajo Pass (10/1) did little to lighten the mood in the finale.

In a compact field Donald McCain's charge looked short of room as they turned for home. It made no difference as he was left for dead as the race began in earnest. 25/1 outsider Hydroplane saw off Zambezi Fix (15/2) at the finish while Navajo Pass trailed in seventh, over 27 lengths behind the winner.

Time for a couple of paracetamol, I think.