Race Time: 1.15pm Meeting: Cheltenham Day: Saturday 14th November 2015
Distance: 3m 80yds Full Race Name: mallardjewellers.com Novices’ Chase Class Two
An important novice chase at Cheltenham yet without a Willie Mullins entry caught us off guard, but then a second look showed us any number of promising beasts engaged with the RSA Chase presumably their long term objectives. David Pipe has won two of the last three runnings with Our Father and Kings Palace, and he will be running Un Temps Pour Tout (6/4) who would be making his first public outing over fences if turning out on the day. Top class over staying trips when hurdling, he was eleven lengths sixth to Cole Harden in the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last season, but was last seen in June back in France when beating Thousand Stars ten lengths in the Grande Course De Haies D’Auteuil and picking up £129,000 in the process, so we know he is still in decent enough form. Reported to have schooled immaculately at home, he has all the potential to make in to a top class chaser for this season and beyond and risky as it is nominating a first time out novice, he could yet be the next big thing and we won’t get a better price next time out!
With More Of That running and winning yesterday (Friday), our next option looks to be Vicente (12/1) who represents Paul Nicholls, and won his first two races over fences this season at Newton Abbot and Wincanton before a good third to Shantou Flyer here after a bad mistake three out ruined his chances. When he gets it right he clearly has plenty of ability but mistakes are inclined to let him down now and again, and with some potentially top class rivals here he may have his work cut out to win and will need to get round error free in our view.
Continuing through a really top notch potential field, and Kim Bailey may well allow Twelve Roses (13/2) to take a step up in trip here after a month off to recover from his first race since March 2014. He is another who was pretty decent over hurdles and was only a length behind More Of That at Wetherby in 2013, though he was receiving weight that day and the winner has improved considerably since. What he lacks for in hurdling form (as opposed to some of the others) he makes up for with experience having won over fences at Wetherby when running on strongly over two and a half miles or so, and if he doesn’t bounce for that good effort after a lay off, may well make the frame this afternoon at a decent price.
Missing out One For Arthur wasn’t an easy choice but we narrowly prefer Blaklion (9/2) who had superb hurdling form here and elsewhere and deserves another chance over fences as well. He didn’t jump as well as we would like at Chepstow over an inadequate two and a half miles on his first run since April last month, but will hopefully have been well schooled at the Twiston-Davies yard, and with the step up in trip sure to be right up his street, if there is a cat to put amongst the pigeons, then he could well be the one with the excellent Ryan Hatch doing the steering.
Vintage Vinnie (8/1) is our last one against the field for now, though Rebecca Curtis will have had to school him well if he wants to get round here in one piece. He was awesomely impressive at Worcester when making all the running and pulling away for a close to thirty length victory, but seemed to forget to try and take off here last time out, making mistake after mistake before finally falling three out. If he does that again then he has zero chance or worse, but if he has learnt from his mistakes (some do, some don’t), then he could have them all off the bridle by half way and force jumping errors from his rivals instead.