Cheltenham – PETER O’SULLEVAN NATIONAL HUNT CHASE

CHELTENHAM 12:30 – PETER O’SULLEVAN NATIONAL HUNT CHASE (AMATEURS) (CLASS 2) (5yo+) 4m

4/1 Ornais, 5/1 Over The Creek, 8/1 Back On Line, 9/1 Beantown, 12/1 Old Benny, Sandhurst, 14/1 Here´s Johnny, Ice Tea, 16/1 Leading Authority, 20/1 Menchikov, Niche Market, Oulart, 25/1 In Accord, RimSky, Sherwoods Folly, Sizing Australia, 40/1 Millards Lad, Pass It On, 50/1 Dreux, The King Of Angels.

SELECTION – OLD BENNY

* This is a 4m Novice Chase – the old National Hunt Chase
* The last 3 winners were 33/1 33/1 and 40/1 + a 25/1 as well 5 years ago
* OULART and DREUX look too exposed to be winning
* No horse like OULART had more than 15 Chase starts
* I dont want to bet any horse that ran within 14 days (1-61 record)
* IN ACCORD and OULART fail that
* Do not bet horses that ran with a 7 week or more absence
* Only the 1998 winner who was different class won this with an absence
* SIZING AUSTRALIA fails that
* You want at least 3 career starts – All winners since 1993 could say that
* SANDHURST fails that and has less experience than every other runner
* That Said I want to keep SANDHURST on my side as he is “Interesting”
* You want at least 4 runs that season
* The only time in 15 years the winner ran fewer than 4 times was in 1998
* Wandering Light ran just twice that year. He was different class that year
* The last 16 winners had the following races in the season they won
* They had 7-4-4-4-5-8-5-6-2-7-7-6-5-10-4-4 previous races that season
* OULART fails that
* BEANTOWN has ran just twice this season but again I want to keep him on side
* MENCHIKOV has ran just once this year and he is out
* PASS IT ON has ran just 3 times but will be respected for connections
* ORNAIS has had only 3 runs and is a 6 year old
* Horses aged 6 have a 0-43 record since 1989.
* This race looks too tough for them
* ORNAIS – THE KING OF ANGELS – DREUX are 6 year olds
* So to are SHERWOODS FOLLY – SIZING AUSTRALIA
* I want to oppose ORNAIS as a 6 year old and just 3 runs that year
* His worst two runs came at this track and he may be more of an Aintree horse
* His trainer has raised doubts about the Track as well
* OVER THE CREEK was 4th last time in the Reynoldstown beaten 27 lengths
* OVER THE CREEK is reasonably sound statistically despite being a 9 year old
* They dont score that well but they can win
* My objection to OVER THE CREEK is the same as it was for the Reynoldstown
* I hated the fact he came from the Welsh National
* He was 3rd in a hard race for the Welsh National and that may have knocked him back
* He had nothing to offer last time out and I would be wary about that
* Has he left his season behind at Chepstow would be my main worry
* Thats no more than a hunch but I opposed him correctly last time for the same reason.
* NICHE MARKET has two poor runs to put behind him
* Would be worried about his last 2 runs and he isnt from a stable with a festival pedigree
* LEADING AUTHORITY has form closely tied up and has a similar weak chance
* HERES JOHNNY has to put his last run behind him when jumping badly
* 22 of the last 24 winners had a 1-2-3-4 place last time out
* MILLARDS LAD has an outsiders chance much as he isnt the best age
* I cant fault ICE TEA statistically other than failing to place last time
* He isnt totally out of this but he will need a career best

SHORTLIST

BACK ON LINE -BEANTOWN -OLD BENNY -RIMSky -SANDHURST

Since 2002 the race conditions have changed. If we take the last 6 winners you will see that all winners came from 25f or shorter. There were no horses that ran over 3m 2f or more last time. That suggests to me these horses are slower and although they look better bets as they have less stamina to find they really are not as they lack the class of the speedier horses. Its almost the same as why 2 milers on the Flat do not win the St Leger despite being the proven stayers. In the last 3 renewals there were 21 horses that ran at 3m 2f or more on their last run and only 1 of these managed to scrape a place. I am going to follow this in this race and that means ignoring he horses that ran at beyond 25f last time out. These include BACK ON LINE and RIMSKI

* BACK ON LINE had an otherwise excellent profile in my view
* She is a Mare – and comes from a handicap but I am ok with that
* Loving Around (1996) was a Mare that won this from a handicap
* As she ran at over 25f last time I take her on
* She may also need softer ground
* RIMSky was placed in the Eider Chase last time out
* So to was the 1993 winner (Ushers Island)
* RIMSky loves soft ground and I wonder if it will be soft enough
* I reject RIMSky as he ran at 4m last time

This leaves 3

BEANTOWN -OLD BENNY -RIMSky -SANDHURST

I feel I have to give massive respect to SANDHURST but have to overlook him down to his lack of experience. SANDHURST has inexperience to worry about and thats a big problem. He looks a very interesting prospect and is clearly laid out for this and he looks a horse that has a lot of ability and I wouldnt put it past him to sicken me by winning but he is very inexperienced and has only ran in 1 completed chase as he fell at the last on his second run. BEANTOWN is interesting. He was second in this race in 2006 at 40/1 and that was an excellent run for such an inexperienced horse. Injury has held him back since but he won well last time and looks a big runner and he’s been Laid out for the race. What I dont like about him is the fact he is a 10 year old – and has just 2 runs this season.

OLD BENNY is therefore my choice and I am more than happy with him. He is held on form by Ornais last time out but this is a completely different test over a Mile more and I feel that suits me far more and I dont see any reason why this track should be a problem. That risk is factored into his price.

Posted under Major Horse Races

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