A fascinating card at Perth on Sunday afternoon with this 2m 4f handicap chase one of the two features on the card. Read on for our runner by runner guide and our expert tips.
IN SUMMARY: Both Magic Money and Always On The Run deserve plenty of respect here, the first named in very smart form of late with the latter looking well capable of winning off this sort of mark. INDIAN TEMPLE however looks well overpriced at 9/1 given his two recent runs in much better races. He travelled beautifully at Aintree before his stamina ebbed away over three miles, stepped back to two and a half now, he is a strong each way pick.
1 ALWAYS ON THE RUN – Has run consistently well since last getting his head in front at Kelso in May 2016. His three wins for the Tom George yard have all come when making all, tactics that have not been used with regularity since. Two of his chase wins have come at Kempton, a similar sharp right handed track to this. His recent placings suggest that he is up to winning from this mark so he must be given each way consideration.
2 TORNADO IN MILAN – Eleven years old now, but has shown little signs of slowing down, winning twice last season, once over fences and once over hurdles. His last six wins have all come going this way round, most recently on heavy ground from a pound higher at Wincanton. A little rain would be useful for his chances as the very best of his form has come with a little cut, this is higher than he has won off over fences in the past and a ten pound claimer certainly helped lessen the burden at Wincanton. The percentage call is to oppose him under these conditions.
3 INDIAN TEMPLE – Acquitted himself with credit the last twice, both races a deeper grade than he finds himself in now. He gave way late on in a Listed Chase at Ayr during the Scottish National Festival before failing to stay three miles at Aintree last time. He travelled sweetly for a long way at Aintree and just two pounds above his most recent winning mark, he looks primed for another huge run here, he gets the vote to continue his progression.
4 WITNESS IN COURT – Landed back to back running’s of the Kilmany Challenge Cup over this course and distance in 2014 and 2015. They came from marks of 135 and 137, finding himself now off 127 following a disappointing season where he struggled to make any real impact. That said, the majority of those runs came at a higher level than this and he is certainly well worth plenty of consideration off such a low mark, given his affinity for this track.
5 BRAVE SPARTACUS – Bold front runner, he has generally found life tough over fences since scoring in the Summer Plate at Market Rasen in 2015. Would have gone closer at Cartmel on Monday but for a mistake two out, striking up a decent rapport with his amateur jockey in 2017. He is nine pounds lower than that Market Rasen triumph now but, with others likely front runners in the line up, he will have no easy time setting the fractions to suit himself out in front.
6 MAGIC MONEY – Steadily progressive over the bigger obstacles in 2017, winning twice, both times over a little further than she has to travel here. She claimed black type when runner up at Cheltenham last time, chasing home a similarly progressive mare. She has been squeezed up a couple of pounds to a career high mark and while she is certainly still entitled to respect, she may just find a couple of these too hot to handle down to this trip.
7 EASY STREET – Given a superb ride by Aidan Coleman to force his head in front at Fontwell in March, beating a similar type who finds it hard to win. He has flopped on both starts since, making too many mistakes to remain competitive. This sharper track with a number who like to push the pace along is going to put plenty of pressure on his jumping and he’s hard to support with any confidence.
8 DR MOLONEY – A winner at this track over hurdles, he has been third on five of his other six runs at the Scottish track, including last time out. That hurdles win remain his sole success, way back in July 2014 but he showed more when making a return to form on his 2017 debut last time. This is a much deeper race so he would be a surprise winner but he may yet find a way of making it into the frame at this track once again.
9 FORMIDABLEOPPONENT – Racked up a five timer starting from a basement mark last Autumn but he has struggled to show anything like that form now much further up the weights. The handicapper has been slow to relent, still eight pounds above his most recent winning mark so it’s hard to think that he will be able to halt the decline from three pounds out of the handicap.