Racenews - uk horseracingRacenews Newslink Archive click here for...


Saturday, December 2, 2006


SANDOWN PARK, Saturday, December 2, 2006

3:40pm £35,000 williamhill.co.uk Marathon Handicap Chase 3m 5f 110y


1) F242-F Ladalko Paul Nicholls 7-11-12 Ruby Walsh
Thorough stayer, as he showed when beaten a short head in last season’s Scottish Grand National. Can make a bad mistakes and his relatively poor runs to wins ratio makes him opposable as does this soft ground. BP= 7/2

2) 3P63-F Fork Lightning Alan King 10-11-06 Robert Thornton
Landed the William Hill Chase at Cheltenham Festival back in 2004 but missed the following season and didn’t look at his best last season. Fell at the first on his only start this start and has plenty to prove as he is also unlikely to be really suited by the ground. BP= 14/1

3) 23-1P6 Nitrat Francois Doumen FR 5-11-06b Mick Fitzgerald
Listed winner in France, making his British debut here. Hard to assess how good he is but the trainer doesn’t usually waste his time and Nitrat certainly warrants respect even though he has yet to race beyond three miles. BP= 12/1

4) 432P-1 Tana River Emma Lavelle 10-11-05 Barry Fenton
Successful for the first time in almost two years on seasonal debut in four-runner contest at Wincanton on good ground. His stable is going well but he will have to improve to win this. BP= 7/1

5) F70-74 Iris Bleu David Pipe 10-11-03 Timmy Murphy
He was a fair fourth last time out at Wincanton and looks to be coming to hand. He won over the course at three miles and one furlong in February, 2003, on very soft ground (after which he shot up in the handicap ratings and only now has come down the handicap to that mark again) and conditions should suit, especially as his running style is to be held up and come with a good run in the straight. Excellent value. BP= 9/1

6) 455125 Tribal Venture Philip Hobbs 8-10-13
Won at Chepstow earlier in the season but has been well beaten on next two starts in better company. Others make more appeal. BP= 10/1

7) 1211-5 Simon John Spearing 7-10-13 Andrew Thornton
Progressed into a fair novice last season and although he was beaten a fair way at Bangor on his reappearance, he should come on for that effort. Not out of it as he loves soft ground. BP= 15/2

8) 2-1323 Wild Is The Wind Jonjo OìNeill 5-10-10 Tony McCoy
Only a novice but has already hinted that a test of stamina is what he may need. Can miss a fence out but has some potential. BP= 6/1

9) -3P7F5 Dead-Eyed Dick Nick Williams 10-10-08
Certainly stays a marathon trip (won over 4m at Exeter last year) but there is nothing on this season’s form that makes him appeal greatly. BP= 16/1

10) P55P-5 Willie John Daly Graeme McPherson 9-10-05 Jamie Moore
Has run well in this race before, winning last year, but could always be a slightly quirky customer and there little encouragement on his one outing for different connections this year. BP= 40/1

11) 23P1P- Earlìs Kitchen Colin Tizzard 9-10-05tp Dave Crosse
Stays well and has hinted at time that he may have a decent chase in him but best form at Chepstow. Tough reappearance in this race though. BP= 28/1

12) 21U0-5 Moorlands Again Matt Sheppard 11-10-02t Seamus Durack
A winner over 3m 5f on soft at Warwick last season but this is much stronger affair and he needs com3e on a lot for his reappearance. BP= 14/1

is terrific value - get on.


Saturday, December 2, 2006


3.10pm £50,000 WILLIAM HILL HANDICAP HURDLE, 2m 110yds,

Past Trends

19 of the last 20 winners were aged between four and seven

18 of the last 20 winners carried 10st 13lb or less to success

18 of the last 20 runners had their last start in the month of November

16 of the last 20 winners were placed in the first four on their last start

The Gary Moore-trained Verasi relished the heavy going as he found an extra gear to take this competitive Sandown handicap last year by two and a half lengths from Cherub, and the five-year-old faces 16 rivals as he bids for back-to-back successes in the £50,000 contest.

He is up against another former winner, Overstrand, who triumphed in 2003 and is in good form having won a two-mile handicap hurdle at Leicester on November 26. As 18 of the past 20 winners had their last start in November, Overstrand has sound claims again.

Chrysaor in 1985 and Balasani six years later managed to win here first time out, but every other winner had their last start in November, and this strong trend means that Caracciola and Star Shot, who last raced in October, are discounted. The Pat Haslam-trained Etoile Russe has not raced over hurdles since winning at Wetherby in May, but was in action on the Flat at Wolverhampton on November 10, and remains a contender.

Since 1985, 19 of the 20 winners were aged between four and seven - the one exception being Corporal Clinger who succeeded at the age of nine for trainer Martin Pipe.

Codebreaker can rule out the eight-year-olds Guru and Elegant Clutter, as well as the year older Nathos.

Over the last 20 runnings of this prestigious event, only two horses have managed to carry a weight in excess of 10st 13lb to victory - Land Afar (11st 2lb) in 1993 and Aonoch (11st 7lb) in 1986

This rules out last year’s winner Verasi, who is allotted 11st 6lb, along with Whispered Promises (11st 7lb), Fenix (11st 3lb) and Self Respect (11st).

Since 1985, only four renewals have gone to horses who failed to finish in the first four on their previous start over hurdles, and Nation State, who was fifth at Ascot last time, is discarded.

Of the 18 winners who had competed that season, 12 had contested no more than three races, therefore bottom-weight Mohawk Star, with five runs under his belt already, is cast aside.

This leaves six still in the running; Heathcote, Overstrand, Miss Academy, Rosecliff, Ellway Prospect and Etoile Russe.

As 15 of the last 20 winners had finished no worse than second at least once that term, Heatchcote (best placing third) and Rosecliff (fourth) are excluded.

Half of the last 20 winners were successful on their most recent start over hurdles, including the last three victors, so the David Pipe-trained Miss Academy also goes, having finished third at Lingfield on November 22.

Etoile Russe fits the profile, having won at Wetherby on his last start over hurdles in May, but was well-beaten when last of 12 in a nine and a half furlong handicap on the Flat at Wolverhampton and, as good recent form is an important trend, the four-year-old is ruled out.

Codebreaker is left with the difficult task of selecting the winner from the seven-year-old Overstrand and the six-year-old Ellway Prospect.

Two seven-year-olds have won the contest since 1985, while six-year-olds have succeeded three times, so the age issue is not a major factor in this case and we will look to the betting market as a guide.

Only five of the last 20 winners have started at odds greater than 12/1. The race is often known for gambles and prices can shorten significantly, but at the time of writing Ellway Prospect is widely available at 16/1, while Overstrand is generally 8/1.

This week’s Codebreaker selection is OVERSTRAND who landed a gamble when giving his new trainer Richard Newland a first success of his career at Leicester recently. The gelding won this race off his current mark of 120 in 2003 when trained by Mary Reveley and can repeat that success under amateur Sam Jones, who takes off a handy seven pounds.

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

designed and produced by Racenews Internet Services