Great Yorkshire Chase Tips & Betting Preview

Not one trainer has doubled up as yet in this valuable three-mile chase and if the early betting is to be believed then that won’t change on 2017 as the Rebecca Curtis trained Bigbadjohn (5/1) would give the Pembrokeshire based trainer her first success here if getting to the front where it matters. The stable don’t appear to be in the best of form with one winner from twelve runners in the last two weeks which only makes the early money all the more intriguing, but at least the horse arrives here in good form after a win and two places in his last three starts. After returning to action with a solid third to Cottersrock at Uttoxeter the eight-year-old gelding won a two mile six and a half furlong Beginners Chase at Newbury from odds on favourite Our Kaempfer in a two horse race but it was his last effort that has really caught the public’s imagination. Sent back to Newbury over a fraction short of this trip, he was put in his place by none other than Thistlecrack who beat him by a comfortable eight lengths, seeing his official rating jump another six pounds. Although it would be naïve to take that at face value it still looks as if a rating of 139 could be extremely generous and although his inexperience over fences (just the three starts) may count against him, they clearly think an awful lot of him. After his second place she said “I am delighted with that, second was the best we could have hoped for. Bigbadjohn loves these big, flat galloping tracks and could be a Hennessy type next year….”suggesting he is even better than we have seen so far, and if that is the case favourite backers could possibly reap their rewards this afternoon though all the value is long gone now and others represent far more sensible alternatives.

Despite a poor 5% strike rate of late Jonjo O’Neill remains as popular as ever with the punters and Another Hero (10/1 Each Way) deserves a prime place at the top of the race preview and has already been backed accordingly. Despite sitting nearer the bottom of the weights than the top he still needs a career best to win off a rating of 136. Last time out he did run a decent race when a two and a half length fourth to Regal Encore at Ascot despite being hampered at the first fence and may well even improve for just his second outing of the season but he has been put up a mere two pounds for picking up £5,330 in prize money which seems more than fair enough in the circumstances.  His shorter price may well have a lot to do with owner J P McManus and bookmakers minimising their risks as much as possible or better still the shrewd money is down and if it is the latter he looks worthy of a bet at his latest price with the in-form Aidan Coleman booked to ride.

Neil Mulholland’s Southfield Royale (8/1) is a youngster at the age of seven and has been the subject of plenty of early bets after a seventh behind Zabana at Punchestown in the Champion Novice Chase when last seen back in April. Pretty much tailed off that day after a catalogue of jumping errors he will need to do an awful lot better than that to get involved here on his first run in nine months and although he could be seen as well handicapped on his four length second to Tea For Two in December 2015 (with Native River behind in third), he has clearly had an issue or two with just the pair of efforts in the past twelve months, and he seems to arrive here with a bit more to prove than some of his opponents and may be lacking race fitness after his summer off even though his stable are ticking over nicely with a 15% strike rate in the past fourteen days.

Last season this race was taken by the Alan King trained Ziga Boy (12/1) who scored by three and a quarter lengths from Coologue off a rating of 133. He is back this season to try and retain his crown off a handicap mark four pounds higher which doesn’t seem too punitive, and tom Bellamy has already been booked to ride. The stable are in great form with a 35% strike rate of late and the eight-year-old looked to be coming to a peak with a five length third here off the same rating last month and may well have a solid each way chance at a track where he has two wins and a third from just the three starts which is pretty impressive.

Cumbria trainer Nicky Richards has already suggested that he may well allow both his entries to take their chances here, with Ballyboker Breeze (12/1) perhaps the stable number one. Nicky said this week “Ballyboker Breeze has been fine since Bangor. He is training well and is probably an improving horse I hope. He travelled and jumped well at Bangor, and saw the trip out very well. I thought he was fairly impressive on the day. Experience is always a slight concern in a race like this but he does jump well. I think there are a lot more plusses than minuses regarding his chance”. Positive stuff and enough of a reason to expect a big run from the nine-year-old who has been put up ten pounds for beating Kaki De La Pree last time out over three miles on soft ground, and he is another entry well worthy of some each way consideration with the stable in among the winners in recent weeks.

Last but not least and trainer Charlie Longsdon is expecting a big race from Coologue (12/1) who has had the three runs so far this season with a mixed bag of one win one second and a pulled up at Newbury in the Hennessy when tailed off behind Native River. Last time out he did a lot better when runner up to Three Faces West back at Newbury but he was still beaten thirteen lengths and needs to do a lot better if he wants to get involved here. He has been dropped a pound for that and the winner may well have been a blot on the handicap that day, but he still needs to brush up a little on his jumping and surely a place is the best connections can realistically hope for this afternoon.

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