Matchbook’s Micheál Deasy is at the halfway point of the festival with nine selections for Thursday’s action in the Cotswolds.
Marsh Novices’ Chase
Mr Fisher was a very impressive hurdler up until the Supreme last year, where he ran a stinker. He received no market support coming up to it so something was amiss.
I always got the feeling that he was one of those “whatever he does over hurdles is a bonus” horse’s last season and that looks to have been the case when you watch his races over the bigger obstacles this season.
He is a lovely economical jumper but what sets him apart is his burst of pace.
This was seen to great effect when he beat Good Boy Bobby over today’s CD at the December meeting, cruising past him in the run-in after being a length down jumping the last. It was the exact same at Doncaster last time out when he beat Al Dancer by a length.
This is a good race and the top four horse all deserves respect by I think Mr Fisher should have enough in his locker to continue Nicky Henderson’s good week.
Pertemps Handicap Hurdle
Sire Du Berlais won this race last year despite having zero luck in running. It was an astounding win when you watch it back and he obviously was well ahead of the handicapper. He arrives here on a 7lb higher mark but I think that is well within his capabilities and he has been campaigned gently.
He is probably overlooked in the market despite being a short enough price for a 24 runner handicap.
Jatiluwih lines up here having tasted defeat only once this year.
This horse has his quirks but he also has a serious engine.
His win at Wetherby in October was remarkable for a few reasons. He was giving more than a stone to a smart field of novices, including Young Bull (1113 since, rated 133) and West Cork (2112 since rated 139).
Before the race he bolted and ran loose around the track twice, delaying the race for 10 mins. When he lined up you could have forgiven him for having nothing else but he proceeded to absolutely bolt up, winning by 5 lengths.
He followed that up with a win at the November meeting, beating the smart Falco Blitz and a 1l defeat to Third Wind in his Pertemps Qualifier on Boxing Day.
This horse will eventually end up winning the Foxhunters Chase next year but for now, he’s well worth a bet in the 2020 running of the Pertemps.
The dream team of Henry DeBromhead and Rachel Blackmore can take the win here with A Plus Tard.
There isn’t much value in his price but he looks well worth a bet despite that.
His win in the Novice Handicap last year was one of the performances of the festival and he has taken the notable scalp of Chacun Pour Soi already this year. He looks rock solid.
A race that could be dominated by Paisley Park for years.
I will be playing in the without the favourite market in this race with two big priced runners.
Ronald Pump is cracking dual-purpose horse for his up and coming trainer and is taking his chance here instead of the Pertemps.
He has only run once over hurdle this year but 3 miles on soft ground is his thing and he can outrun his odds.
The other one is The Jam Man. Another dual-purpose performer for a small Irish stable who put the English handicapper to the sword with three chase wins in 12 days last summer.
He has reverted back to hurdles this season and has been equally as progressive.
He was terribly unlucky at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.
He looked like he was travelling very well coming into the home straight but when he was blocked on the rail just as he was getting going and then a horse fell in front of him at the last. He ran on to finish fourth but I think he would have gone very close with more luck.
I wouldn’t be shocked if he places at huge odds.
Plate Handicap Chase
Simply The Betts form got a huge boost by Imperial Aura’s win in the Novice Handicap on Tuesday.
He has already been backed as if defeat is out of the question and is well worth a bet.
Mares Novice Hurdle
Colreevy has been around a long time already and was a high-class mare in bumpers, most notably when she beat Abacadabras at last year’s Punchestown. Minella Melody has beaten her already this year but Colreevy made a mistake at the last that day which ended her chance.
She has already seen some support and can take this race again for Willie Mullins.
Kim Muir Handicap Chase
Bob Mahler has an interesting profile here for a jockey/trainer combo that won this race in 2018. He is not a handicap plot job having won the Edinburgh National last time out but he is a dour stayer and also has the bonus of course form, winning off a mark of 132 last April on good ground.
He is a big price and can definitely finish in the top 5.
- 13.30 – Mister Fisher (6.4) – 2pt Win
- 14.10 – Sire Du Berlais (13.0) – 1pt Win, 0.5pt Place
- 14.10 – Jatiluwih (23.0) – 0.5pt Win, 0.5pt Place
- 14.50 – A Plus Tard (2.9) – 1pt Win
- 15.30 – Ronald Pump (9.8) – 0.5pt Win, 0.5pt Place (Without Paisley Park)
- 15.30 – The Jam Man (40.0) – 0.5pt Win, 0.5pt Place (Without Paisley Park)
- 16.10 – Simply The Betts (5.0) – 1pt Win
- 16.50 – Colreevy (8.6) – 1pt Win
- 17.30 – Bob Mahler (26.0) – 0.5pt Win, 0.5pt Place