Kauto Star Novices’ Chase Tips & Betting Preview

IN SUMMARY: Plenty of these have form that ties in with each other and that makes this quite a conundrum to solve. Preference is for BALLYOPTIC, who trounced Elegant Escape at Exeter in November and was rallying gamely when blundering badly at the last behind Black Corton at Cheltenham last month. He’s fancied to turn that form around and take victory ahead of the progressive Mia’s Storm, who bids to maintain her unbeaten record.


1 BALLYOPTIC – Smart hurdler who won on chasing debut at Exeter two starts ago, denied by a prolific winner on his latest start after blundering at the last. He remains with potential over the larger obstacles and a reversal with Black Corton looks likely. Key player on perfect ground.


2 BLACK CORTON – Has won six times from nine chasing starts, beating Ballyoptic at Cheltenham in November. He ran a good race behind Elegant Escape at Newbury latest and there is unlikely to be much between them once again. Has strong claims under Bryony Frost.


3 ELEGANT ESCAPE – Two seconds from his first two starts over fences before getting the measure of Black Corton at Newbury in a Grade 2 on his latest start. He’s clearly going the right way and looks progressive, but he was trounced by Ballyoptic at Exeter in November. Each way claims but looks held for win purposes.


4 FOUNTAINS WINDFALL – Grade 3 winner over timber who won on chasing debut at Southwell in November, holding every chance when falling at Newbury latest. It’s hard to know whether he’d have won that day but he still remains with potential in this sphere. That said, questions do have to be raised about his jumping after that run. Hard to rule out but others preferred.


5 SOME INVITATION – Useful in four runs over hurdles and started his chasing career the right when scoring at Wetherby in November, winning easily. The merit of the form is a question mark though and he needs plenty more to be challenging here. Others readily preferred on this occasion.


6 WEST APPROACH – Has won two of his three chasing starts, jumping left throughout but in command when scoring at Exeter two weeks ago. That was good performance but he needs to jump straighter here to be in with a winning chance. Others have achieved more over fences and his run at Cheltenham in November has to be taken into account.


7 MIA’S STORM – Progressive over hurdles and made the best possible start over fences with two comfortable victories. She dispatched Elegant Escape on one of those occasions and she looks a potentially very smart mare. If the ground goes truly soft then that’s a big red flag, but she holds leading claims if getting her ground.

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