Classic Chase 2018 Trends

Warwick Tips and Trends - Classic Chase

Usually raced on softer ground, the Classic Chase has proven to be a good National Trial in recent years. A 3m 5f slog, it was won twelve months ago by the eventual Grand National winner One For Arthur and previous winners have been all about stamina. A wide open betting heat at the antepost stage, weight is going to be crucial and as always, there are plenty of trends we can follow to try and find the winner of this tricky contest. It must be noted that there were no races in 2009 and 2010, as the meeting was called off due to snow/frost. In fact, ten renewals of the race have been called off since the first race in 1974.

Trends

  • Experience counts – 22 of the 29 winners of this contest were all aged nine or over
  • Weight matters – Out of 29 renewals, only six horses have defied a weight of 11st 1lb of higher
  • Fitness is crucial – The past twelve winners had all run within the past six weeks 
  • Going the distance – Eleven of the past twelve winners had all won a chase over at least the three mile distance
  • Market isn’t always right – Six of the past twelve renewals have thrown up a double figure priced winner

The pick on the trends is Russe Blanc, who goes off a featherweight and is two pounds lower than when winning this race in 2016. He’s fit from three runs this season and the more testing the ground gets, the better for him. At the age of eleven he’s no spring chicken, but the trends show that age is no barrier to this race. At a best priced 18/1 at present, he seems very much overpriced.

Analysis

With this being such a stamina test it’s no surprise to see older horses doing best and it does pose a question to the early favourite Missed Approach, who is aged eight. He’s been unreliable over fences but classy at his best, so it’s no surprise to see him where he is. He is closely followed in the market by Cresswell Breeze, who is also aged eight but she’s proven herself over the marathon distances which is positive. The one who fits the age factor at the top of the market is Sir Mangan, who is aged ten and has shaped for much of his career as an out and out stayer in the making.

With there being no standout horses entered, it means the weights are top heavy and only two horses fall outside the 11st+ range. Those are Russe Blanc, who won this race in 2016 and Itstimeforapint, who is unlikely to run. This certainly isn’t a sparkling renewal of the contest and as such the weights may not be as bigger of an issue as in previous years. That said, only one horse has defied top weight of 11st 12lb to win this race previously, which gives Missed Approach a big hurdle to overcome. Sir Mangan is only a pound lower and as such goes off 11st 11lb, with seasoned stayer and fancied runner Cogry another to be right at the top of the weights.

Experience at the staying distances is everything, as proven by Russe Blanc who won the race in 2016 on the back of several good runs at 3m 2f on softer ground. He runs off a featherweight of 9st 12lb currently and that is two pounds lower than when he won the race in 2016. Missed Approach will have no problem stamina wise, as he was second in the four miler at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Sir Mangan is a winner at the 3m 2f and has been screaming out for this trip on many an occasion. Cogry is no stranger to marathon races either, finishing second in the Scottish Grand National back in April and he’s another who will relish this test on softer ground.

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