E. Scarth & Son Ltd Handicap Chase 3m 1f
- (4yo+, 3m 1f, Class 3, 10 runners)
- Winner £25,048
- Going: Heavy, Soft in places
- Surface: Turf
- Winning time: 6m 45.68s
- Off time: 13:50:30
|1st||3 Mr Strachan||4/1|
|2nd||5 Huka Lodge||¾||7/2f|
|3rd||10 Sammy Spiderman||23||16/1|
Gypsy George 312
|8||166 11-12||T D Walford||Mr M Walford (7)||135||6/1|
Idle Talk (IRE) 17
|10||163 11-9 p||D McCain Jnr||Brian Harding||132||9/1|
Mr Strachan (IRE) 38
|8||158 11-4||Mrs S J Smith||R McGrath||127||4/1|
Description (IRE) 24
|7||152 10-12||Mrs S J Smith||H Oliver||121||13/2|
Huka Lodge (IRE) (ex7) 10
|12||152 10-12||J Ewart||Harry Haynes (5)||114||7/2f|
Fast Forward (NZ) 774
|9||151 10-11||M Todhunter||D F O'Regan||120||16/1|
Minouchka (FR) 15
|9||147 10-7||S Shirley-Beavan||Miss K Bryson (7)||116||16/1|
Nouveau Maire (FR) 233
|8||140 10-0||Ferdy Murphy||G Lee||109||10/1|
Boris The Blade 19
|7||140 10-0 p||Miss T Jackson||Ryan Mania (3)||106||15/2|
Sammy Spiderman 7
|6||140 10-0||A C Whillans||P Buchanan||100||16/1|
Huka Lodge won well enough last time and the admirable old boy is respected but our vote goes to NOUVEAU MAIRE ahead of Mr Strachan. Ferdy Murphy's French import won a hunter chase on his first start for the yard before going on to win a handicap off 102. Up 7lbs for this seasonal reappearance he looks worth chancing particularly in light of the fact the horse has shown he goes well fresh and this trip should help to bring about further improvement, so a big run is expected. Huka Lodge rates the logical danger having won last time but throughout a lengthy career this 12-year-old has never strung together back-to-back victories and looks worth opposing here under a penalty, despite the acknowledgement that the gelding will doubtless run his race once more. Mr Strachan is one of two runners for Sue Smith and looks the most likely of them on paper. This gelding was thought good enough to contest the Jewson Novices' Chase at the 2008 Cheltenham Festival and was duly sent off favourite before falling and indeed hasn't won since. The eight-year-old's rapidly declining handicap mark reflects that mark though and if his able trainer can coax him back to something like top form he'd have a solid chance, as might Description who is the yard's other runner but this one might be handicapped to the hilt at present. Idle Talk has ability but is far from reliable whilst Fast Forward needs a market check but our idea of the winner is Nouveau Maire.
Mr Strachan (IRE)12-1 (11-4) Prominent, under pressure 8th, soon outpaced, headway after last, stayed on, 3rd of 14, 12l behind Silver By Nature (11-0) at Carlisle 3m 2f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Nov.
Huka Lodge (IRE)11-2 (10-8) Led to 2nd, tracked leader, ridden approaching 2 out, stayed on to lead flat, won at Carlisle 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Nov beating Prince De Beauchene (11-12) by 1l, 8 ran.
Sammy Spiderman14-1 (10-0) Tracked leaders, fell 5 out, in a race won by Skippers Brig (11-12) at Ayr 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft, 5 ran.
Boris The Blade11-1 (11-12) With leaders, blundered 1st, soon behind, tailed off from 11th, 6th of 11, well behind Garleton (11-1) at Kelso 3m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) hvy in Nov.
Gypsy George10-1 (11-10) Chased leaders, weakened 6 out, 10th of 19, 38l behind Jass (10-7) at Doncaster 4m hcp chs 0-140 (2) gs in Jan.
Idle Talk (IRE)5-1 (10-10) Held up in touch, blundered badly and unseated rider 2nd, in a race won by Vic Venturi (11-12) at Aintree 3m 2f list hcp ch (1) sft in Nov, 8 ran.
Fast Forward (NZ)15-2 (11-12) Chased leaders, weakened 6 out, behind when blundered and unseated rider 4 out, in a race won by The Hollow Bottom (9-10) at Aintree 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Oct '07, 10 ran.
Minouchka (FR)7-4fav (10-3) Led to 3 out, lost place before next, stayed on approaching last to take 3rd flat, no danger, 3rd of 10, 6l behind Aibrean (10-10) at Sedgefield 2m 4f mrs nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Nouveau Maire (FR)7-1 (11-7) Held up, headway and in touch 10th, effort when not much room and switched right before last, ridden to lead flat, held on towards finish, won at Hexham 2m 4f hcp ch 0-110 (4) gf in Apr beating Pamak D'airy (11-7) by nk, 11 ran.
Description (IRE)5-4fav (11-12) Led, mistake 3 out, soon ridden, headed next, kept on same pace approaching last, 3rd of 5, 6l behind Youngstown (10-13) at Market Rasen 3m 1f nov hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Nov.