Friday, February 17, 2023

The 2023 Haydock Grand National Trial

Sturgeon's gone - and now Scudamore as well. Whatever next?

Fifteen have been declared for tomorrow's Grand National Trial (2.40 Haydock) where the going is described as good to soft.

In the past this race has been run after the weights for the National have been revealed but this year it's a different story with the announcement being made at St George's Hall, Liverpool, next Tuesday.

Cloudy Glen, Fortescue, Grumpy Charley and Quick Wave all hold entries for this year's Aintree showpiece.

Venetia Williams saddles three with stable jockey Charlie Deutsch aboard favourite Fontaine Collonges. 

The mare just held The Big Breakaway at this track on seasonal debut (Tom Scudamore up) and then finished fourth, beaten nine lengths, behind Remastered at Kempton over Christmas (Tom Scudamore up). All of her racing prior to this season has been over trips between two and two and a half miles.

Top weight Bristol De Mai needs no introduction, having won three Betfair Chases at the track; he was awarded this race last year following the disqualification of The Galloping Bear. 

The grey is five pounds lower now but probably not as good as he once was and connections have indicated the drying ground isn't ideal. Should he come home in front, there won't be a dry eye in the house.

This looks a big weekend for Alex Hales' Northamptonshire yard with Millers Bank going to Ascot to mix it with Fakir D'oudairies, Shiskin et al. while Omar Maretti takes his chance here. 

The gelding only has five chase starts to his name but he's certainly built for the job. Like several in the field, he'd prefer more cut and stable form would be a concern but he has been well supported today and at the time of writing is vying for favouritism.

Course and distance winner Tim Pat is another to have been well backed during the day, now as low as 7/1 with some layers. 

Donald McCain's charge was only beaten a neck on good ground at Doncaster the last day and he sports cheekpieces for the first time tomorrow. All that said, he has just five chase starts under his belt and he races from out of the handicap - the last seven-year-old to come home in front was Heltornic (Michael Scudamore trained, Tom Scudamore up) in 2007.

Sue Smith's Small Present has yet to win over the larger obstacles and has been on the drift but his third behind Bangers And Cash in the Lincolnshire National at Market Rasen on Boxing Day reads well.

Fortescue was my tip for this year's Welsh National but he never went a yard and was beaten after the first. 

Henry Daly's charge hasn't shown such good form this term - I'm waiting for some signs of revival before giving him further consideration.

Grey mare Snow Leopardess is another who has been out of sorts this season. Connections will hope cheekpieces can bring about a revival.

At least Notachance gave me a run for my money in this year's Classic Chase at Warwick, eventually finishing third behind Iwilldoit and Mr Incredible. 

He won the 2021 running of the Classic Chase before suffering an injury in this race five weeks later behind Lord Du Mesnil. It has taken connections a long time to rebuild confidence but, given that he won the 2021 Classic Chase off  a mark of 139, he  must have some sort of chance off 132 tomorrow.

Nobody could begrudge The Two Amigos his Welsh National victory last December, given he finished second to Secret Reprieve the year before. 

Nicky Martin's charge may not be the biggest but he's terrier-like and likes to race from the front. He'd prefer more dig in the ground but earlier in the week his handler indicated he was 'bouncing out of his skin'.

First Lord Du Cuet has finished second in all five chase starts to date while Grumpy Charley struggled in the recent Classic Chase at Warwick.

Venetia's other mare Quick Wave is forgiven her effort behind The Two Amigos at Chepstow - she lost her right-fore shoe. Prior to that she had won the London National at Sandown in something of a common canter - but Charlie Deutsch has opted for the other mare. 

Seven or so weeks ago Time To Get Up ran well enough in the Welsh National before pulling up and finished third in this race last year - subsequently promoted to second - following the disqualification of The Galloping Bear. 

He was 26 lengths adrift of Bristol De Mai that day but meets that opponent on six pounds better terms on good to soft ground tomorrow. 

This one won the 2021 Midlands National at Uttoxeter off 138 and finished third in that race off 142 last year. 

The Midlands National may well be the target once again but he goes off 133 tomorrow so is obviously worth a second look; earlier today bet365 stood out going 33/1 about this J.P.McManus owned runner - he's now generally a 14/1 shot.

A very competitive renewal. 

The three on my each-way shortlist are Notachance, The Two Amigos and Time To Get Up. 

In a race that often goes the way of a more experienced sort, Time To Get Up is the each-way suggestion, currently 14/1 with William Hill, Paddy Power and Sky Bet all paying five places.


TW said...

I’ve re-formatted the system output...but rest assured it is the same old drivel.

[RTG] System Form Rating
[WC] System Win Chance%
[TL] Traffice Light
(G)reen: Horse should be capable of running its race
(A)mber: Some niggling doubts about the horse
(R)ed : More serious doubts about the horse

14:40 HAYD 15 Runners
1. TIM PAT(IRE) [RTG: 160] [WC: 12.69%] [TL: G]
2. THE TWO AMIGOS(GB) [RTG: 161] [WC: 12.18%] [TL: A]
3. QUICK WAVE(FR) [RTG: 158] [WC: 10.55%] [TL: A]
4. NOTACHANCE(IRE) [RTG: 161] [WC: 9.12%] [TL: A]
5. SNOW LEOPARDESS(GB) [RTG: 161] [WC: 8.34%] [TL: A]
6. OMAR MARETTI(IRE) [RTG: 160] [WC: 8.22%] [TL: R]
7. SMALL PRESENT(IRE) [RTG: 161] [WC: 7.99%] [TL: A]
8. FONTAINE COLLONGES(FR) [RTG: 161] [WC: 7.55%] [TL: A]
9. FIRST LORD DE CUET(FR) [RTG: 162] [WC: 6.44%] [TL: A]
10. CLOUDY GLEN(IRE) [RTG: 161] [WC: 6.18%] [TL: A]
11. TIME TO GET UP(IRE) [RTG: 164] [WC: 5.24%] [TL: A]
12. FORTESCUE(GB) [RTG: 160] [WC: 1.87%] [TL: R]
13. SAINT XAVIER(FR) [RTG: 159] [WC: 1.67%] [TL: A]
14. BRISTOL DE MAI(FR) [RTG: 163] [WC: 0.99%] [TL: R]
15. GRUMPY CHARLEY(GB) [RTG: 160] [WC: 0.99%] [TL: A]

The system likes Tim Pat [TP]; conditions look ideal and I’m hopeful the first time cheek-pieces can provide an additional aid to an already improving profile.

The potentially well handicapped Time To Get Up [TTGU] is predicted to finish 11th by the system; a sure he sign he has every chance of running well!

Simon Rowlands covers this in his At The Races column, has the mare Fontaine Collonges as a 20% win chance and can see value in 9/2. He has TP at 5.3% and TTGU at 3.5%.

Good luck!


GeeDee said...

Thanks for providing ratings, TW.

Good luck!

GeeDee said...

On his first run for 385 days Cloudy Glen led from the start and ensured there was no hanging around in the Grand National Trial.

Three from home there were three possible winners - Cloudy Glen, stablemate Quick Wave (18/1) and Snow Leopardess (16/1).

The two mares fought out a thrilling finish with Quick Wave proving just the stronger after the last, holding Snow Leopardess threequarters of a length with Cloudy Glen a gallant third.

First Lord De Cuet (11/1) ran well for a long way but couldn't stay with the leading trio from three out, eventually finishing fourth, while Fortescue (12/1) ran on through beaten horses up the home straight to claim a remote fifth.

Selection Time To Get Up (20/1) raced in midfield in the early stages but looked to have decided it was time to pack up as they went out on the final circuit. Kevin Brogan was still pushing hard as the partnership rounded the home turn in fifth but there was no further response; he eventually crossed the line in eighth place, beaten just over 30 lengths.