A warm looking early season mares novices’ chase for a prize of £4,431. Read on for expert analysis and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: CASABLANCA MIX has had just the one start for Nicky Henderson and was behind Dusky Legend that day, but she looked like a horse with plenty of potential and can take this. The previously mentioned Dusky Legend and Copper Kay are the dangers here.
1 CASABLANCA MIX – Moved to Nicky Henderson from France and made just one appearance in Britain last season when thrown straight into a listed race. Clearly she is quite well regarded and on figures doesn’t have much to find – demands respect.
2 COILLTE LASS – Has some very good hurdles form to her name and is just one pound off being the top rated in this field. She won a listed race quite easily last season before struggling in Grade 1 company, however these are calmer waters and she should go well for an in-form yard.
3 COPPER KAY – Second in a Grade 2 over hurdles last year and, if transferring that form to fences, she would have a good chance. She was beaten off level weights quite comprehensively by Dusky Legend so will need to improve to get the better of that one today.
4 DUSKY LEGEND – A very consistent mare who ran an excellent race when beaten just three lengths behind the brilliant Let’s Dance at the Cheltenham Festival. She turned around early season form with Coillte Lass there and, on that basis, she has a massive chance here.
5 MORELLO ROYALE – This mare’s form is slightly harder to weigh up as she contested races such as the Coral Cup rather than sticking to the mares’ programme. On ratings she is bang there, however, and if putting her best foot forward, she couldn’t be discounted lightly.
6 RENE’S GIRL – A consistent mare, but one who has been racing in lesser company than most of these and may find it a shock to the system against the class some of these mares possess. On ratings she isn’t too far off, however, and she has an each way chance.
7 SPARKLING RIVER – Won a handicap hurdle when last seen by an enormous 39 lengths, but even after a 13 pound rise she is rated 120. That leaves her well short of what would be required to win this if even one of the principals performs.
8 TARA’S RAINBOW – Rated just 93 over hurdles and is the rank outsider of this field. It is difficult to imagine any scenario where she gets involved.
9 TIMEFORWEST – Racked up an impressive hat-trick last season and went up 27 pounds in the handicap in the process. Even so, she finds herself ten or so pounds short of what should be required here and others are preferred.