Ian Williams may well have wished he had pulled his King Of Realms out at Doncaster on Saturday in the Grade 2 Novices’ Chase as the track avoided the heavy rain that engulfed much of the North of England.
That should not detract from the performance of Rocky’s Treasure (25/1 with BetVictor for the RSA Chase) who jumped from fence to fence and who is a genuine contender for the Festival under similar conditions.
The winning time was five seconds faster than the Class 2 handicap Chase later in the card and Kim Bailey’s novice might be overpriced and overlooked given he was put in his place by Santini (6/1 fav with BetVictor) at Newbury on soft ground on his penultimate start.
Granted good ground at Cheltenham in March, I know which one I would like to be with at their current odds.
The Novice Chase at Plumpton looks a match between Impulsive Star and Ok Corral (12.55) with preference for the latter who was pulled out of a race at Cheltenham on Saturday when the forecast rain failed to hit the track in time.
Last season’s Albert Bartlett runner up was well backed overnight before he was a morning defector and there is a £50,000 bonus for any horse who wins over fences at Plumpton and then wins at the Festival in March. Note the selection is unbeaten at Kempton and if he impresses today perhaps he could line up in the Kauto Star Feltham Chase on Boxing Day?
He won’t have things his own way, however, as Impulsive Star ran very well in defeat on all four chase starts last season and was last seen running well before his stamina gave way in the NH Chase over four-miles in March.
Mr Pumblechook (1.30) showed little in two Bumpers but he has run well in his two Novice Hurdles so far this term and can make it third time lucky for Alan King in a very winnable-looking maiden Hurdle.
Lunar Flow (2.00) is a more speculative selection in the three-mile Handicap Chase, given he has shown next to nothing in two starts so far this season for Jamie Snowden who has had inmate’s wind operated on since disappointing at Ffos Las last month. I remember the seven-year-old running away with a handicap from a 4lbs lower mark at Uttoxeter back in the spring and thinking he could be quite smart.
Cougar’s Gold improved, as we suggested he might, for the drop back in trip to 2m 4f when scoring at Uttoxeter last week, but he is reluctantly overlooked under a 7lbs penalty at Ffos Las. A market move for Mixchievous would be worth noting, but the same can be said of Carole’s Vigilante (1.45) who has had a wind operation since joining the stable of Harry Whittington who fits his inmate with a first-time hood this afternoon.
The selection was always considered a decent chaser-in-waiting when trained by Neil Mulholland and he could be slightly better than his opening mark of 115. He has run well fresh in the past.
The Gipper (2.50) took advantage of a lenient mark when scoring at Lingfield last week and a 7lbs penalty may not be enough to prevent him following up for Evan Williams who also saddles last month’s Chepstow scorer Radical Archie. The mare Llantara is entitled to come on for her Ludlow comeback and she represents a big danger with the heavy ground ideal.
I am going to give Panmolle (7.45) one last chance in Wolverhampton’s finale given John Gosden fits his filly with first-time blinkers this evening. I felt the selection downed tools when carried left at the top of the straight at Kempton last time when she was a bit keen having just missed the kick. I am sure she is better than that effort and hope the headgear is the key.
For all your sporting odds go to BetVictor.com.