17:30 Cheltenham Tue 13 March 2018

  • Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase (Listed) (Class 1)
  • 2m 4f 78y, Soft (Heavy in places)
  • 19 Runners
  • Winner£39,865.002nd£14,959.003rd£7,490.004th£3,731.005th£1,876.006th£938.00
  • Surface: Turf
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Weighed In

Winning time:5m 28.8sOff time:17:30:45
1
711-10OR: 145D
11/1
In superb form at 2m-2m4f this season on soft/heavy ground and was last seen winning a Grade 2 at Haydock in January. Mark looks fair for handicap debut and probably capable of better; each-way claims.
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2
611-10OR: 145
5/1
Yet to win over fences, but has faced some stiff tasks in all four starts and performed well. Stays 2m4f, acts on soft ground and looks to be on a very competitive mark for what he has achieved. Shortlisted.
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3
811-9OR: 144
25/1
Looks to be a promising chaser and scored at Leopardstown (2m1f, yld) over Christmas. Fell when held there behind Footpad in a Grade 1 last time, but this is more realistic and he is probably an each-way player from 1lb higher mark.
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4
811-9OR: 144BFCD
14/1
Completed a hat-trick in small fields from 2m-2m5½f (on soft/heavy) this season and might have won under penalty at Exeter last time until late blunder. Unexposed and another for whom initial handicap mark looks fair. Interesting.
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5
511-9OR: 145
20/1
Goes well on testing ground. Stayed on well to win over 2m at Naas on stable debut in January and didn't get to see what he can in elite grade last time after bad mistake at first fence. Hard to gauge initial mark and market may be best guide.
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6
711-8OR: 143D
66/1
Won on better ground than forecast here at both Killbeggan (2m4f) and Killarney (2m6½f) last year in novices' company. No impression in competitive handicap at Leopardstown last time and looks up against it from same mark.
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7
811-8OR: 143D
15/2
In his second spell chasing and tasted success the last twice, most recently when winning over 2m4f at Musselburgh (good to soft) at the start of last month. Could be well-handicapped on evidence of prior Market Rasen win; very interesting runner.
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8
711-8OR: 143D
12/1
Made a fine start to chasing though burst blood vessel/unseated when long odds-on on next start. Bounced back at Fakenham but jumped he can jump right at times and he's second-string on jockey bookings. Won't mind ground and trip at least.
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9
811-8OR: 143BFD
11/2
Plenty of whispers that he may be well-handicapped ahead of this, though the facts are that he is 0-4 over fences. Conditions/trip no problem for him and his Galway run behind Presenting Percy reads well. Very much respected.
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10
911-7OR: 142D
25/1
Two from three over fences and unseated at first on other start. Goes well on testing ground and looked as though there was more under the bonnet when scoring at Newbury (2m6½f) last time. Goes well fresh and looks like an each-way contender.
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12
711-6OR: 141D
100/1
Made an immediate impact over fences when scoring at Stratford on debut in September (2m3½f, good to soft), but has only managed to better that effort once from three subsequent starts. Struggled in a Grade 2 last time and this looks a tough ask.
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13
711-6OR: 141CD
25/1
Won the Martin Pipe here over a similar trip (good) when 2lb lower over hurdles in 2016. Yet to score in five starts over fences so far ad weakened out of it on reappearance at Newbury last month; seemingly under a cloud at present.
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14
611-5OR: 140D
40/1
Won at Sandown (2m4f, good to soft) at the second attempt over fences and bettered that when narrowly failing to defy a 10lb rise next time. Could be too easily dismissed after last two runs and may go well at a likely big price from this mark.
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15
611-4OR: 139
14/1
Would be two from three over fences had it not been for a costly jockey error at Exeter in January. Put that right next time at Hereford with an easy 10L success but 9lb higher for handicap debut here in a much better contest.
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16
811-4OR: 139BFD
10/1
Has gone well in all three starts over fences, winning a Cork beginners' chase (2m4f, heavy) in January. Didn't appear to see out 3m at Naas last time, so should appreciate drop in trip and is another of interest each-way on handicap debut.
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17
811-3OR: 138
66/1
Won his first two chases at Fontwell (2m5½f, good to soft) and Doncaster (2m3f, good) and was still going well when a faller at Haydock last time. Acts with cut, unexposed, though this is a sizeable step up on what he has achieved.
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18
711-3OR: 138C
25/1
One win from six starts over fences and looks more exposed than many of this line-up after winning a Grade 3 here (2m5f, heavy) on New Year's Day when well beaten back here from today's mark last time. Will have to raise his game to win this.
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19
711-3OR: 138BFD
25/1
Scored on chase debut at Newton Abbot (2m5f, heavy) and bettered that with 7L handicap win at Wincanton (2m4f, heavy) in January. Improved again when making the frame at Warwick last time and is interesting from 1lb lower with conditions no issue.
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20
611-2OR: 137CD
13/2
Improving chaser who won at Carlisle in November, ran really well in defeat at Kempton on Boxing Day and raised his game again to win here (2m5f, soft) on trials day. Another 8lb rise to contend with but looks to have a live chance.
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Non-Runners

11
Divine Spear27
711-6OR: 141
T: N J HendersonJ: Non Runner

Last Year's Winner

DRAWHORSEAWGTSP
Tully East711-88/1
T: A FlemingJ: D F O'Regan

Betting

Forecast

Any Second Now (5/1), De Plotting Shed (11/2), Mister Whitaker (13/2), Barney Dwan (15/2), Divine Spear (10/1), Livelovelaugh (10/1), Testify (11/1), Rather Be (12/1), Le Rocher (14/1), Report To Base (14/1), Demi Sang (20/1), Rocklander (25/1), Ibis Du Rheu (25/1), Kayf Adventure (25/1), Ballyhill (25/1), Tycoon Prince (25/1), Jameson (40/1), Markov (66/1), Conrad Hastings (66/1), Western Miller (100/1)

Verdict

A hot contest on paper and plenty will go into this fancying their chances, presenting a real conundrum. Only one favourite has won this in the past decade, though with a biggest-priced winner at 16/1 there have been no major shocks. Much of the build-up has focused on De Plotting Shed, who may prove to be as well-handicapped as some pundits have suggested, though the suggestion is KAYF ADVENTURE. Philip Hobbs' seven-year-old has been improving all season and he might have slipped under the radar with one or two other 'talking horses' in the line-up. Mister Whitaker, Any Second Now and Barney Dwan are all feared in opposition.
  1. Kayf Adventure
  2. Any Second Now
  3. Mister Whitaker

Video Replay

Most Followed

Calyx

F: 1

T: J H M Gosden

Without Parole

F: 1-11

T: J H M Gosden

Monarchs Glen

F: 4211-01

T: J H M Gosden

Blue Point

F: 341-291

T: C Appleby

Advertise

F: -

T: M Meade

Most Followed

Calyx

F: 1

T: J H M Gosden

Without Parole

F: 1-11

T: J H M Gosden

Monarchs Glen

F: 4211-01

T: J H M Gosden

Blue Point

F: 341-291

T: C Appleby

Advertise

F: -

T: M Meade

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