16:10 Cheltenham Fri 16 March 2018

  • St. James's Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Chase (Class 2)
  • 3m 2f 70y, Soft (Heavy in places)
  • 24 Runners
  • Winner£26,982.002nd£8,428.003rd£4,212.004th£2,106.005th£1,053.006th£531.00
  • Surface: Turf
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Weighed In

Winning time:7m 17.2sOff time:16:13:03
1
1112-0OR: 135
28/1
Useful performer on his day and ran well to finish 3L fifth in this contest 12 months ago. Best effort since came when winning at Punchestown in April and while he pulled up on his return to action, he should be spot on for this.
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2
1212-0OR: 138CD
14/1
Placed in this race a year ago and has won three of his four starts since, including over C&D on good ground in early May. Saw off five rivals in a point-to-point last month and he hails from a stable who are having a good season.
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3
712-0OR: 146
4/1
Progressive youngster and winner five times in succession prior to finishing runner-up to leading hunter chaser Gilgamboa over 3m1f at Punchstown (heavy) last month. Has good form on soft ground though lacks the experience of some of his rivals.
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4
912-0OR: 140C
12/1
Classy performer under Rules and ran twice at this meeting in 2017. Unbeaten in three starts since switching to point-to-point racing this season and looks likely to run well again today with a leading jockey booked to ride.
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5
1012-0OR: 121BFC
66/1
Finished runner-up to Sir Jack Yeats on soft ground at Market Rasen last month and registered his sixth point-to-point win when scoring at Barbury Castle subsequently. Likely needs to improve to figure in this contest.
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6
Foxrockb,t54
1012-0OR: 144
9/2
Victorious at the highest level over fences and a winner four times in hunter chases last season. Satisfactory return to action when beaten 10L by Gilgamboa at Thurles last time and ground conditions are in his favour here.
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7
1212-0OR: 141
14/1
Hunter chase winner last season and winner twice from three starts in handicap company this time around. Saw off Kayf Adventure at Wincanton (2m4f, heavy) last time out and is an interesting runner in this.
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8
1212-0OR: 134BF
25/1
Finished sixth in this race last year and has won twice in point-to-points in 2018. Beaten in all three hunter chases last year however and more is needed on his return to regulation fences.
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9
1312-0OR: 136CD
14/1
Winner of this race in 2015 and 2016 but not the force he once was and could finish only second in a point-to-point on heavy ground at Borris House when last in action back in December.
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10
1112-0OR: 138BFCD
25/1
Winner of this race 12 months ago and made a satisfactory return to action despite finishing only third in a hunter chase over 3m2f at Doncaster (good-to-soft) last month. Interesting to see how he fares under today's inexperienced pilot.
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11
1112-0OR: 123BF
100/1
Successful twice in hunter chases including when winning over 2m7f on soft ground at Taunton in January. Also winner of a point-to-point this season but blotted his copybook last time and looks up against it in this company.
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12
912-0OR: 116BF
100/1
Useful horse a couple of years ago and winner of a point-to-point at Barbury Castle (good-to-soft) on his debut for this yard when returning from a long absence. Well held in a hunter chase last time out however.
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13
1112-0OR: 116
100/1
Three time chase winner and successful in both point-to-point starts this season, the latest coming on soft ground at Friars Haugh last month. Change of jockey today and others have a more obvious chance in this contest.
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14
1212-0OR: 128D
33/1
Useful horse under Rules a couple of years ago and made a winning debut for this yard in a 2m5f hunter chase at Ludlow (soft) in January. Just touched off by Virak subsequently and may surprise a few here.
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15
712-0OR: 130
20/1
Finished third to Shotavodka at Hereford (2m5f, soft) in January but unbeaten in two subsequent hunter chase outings including on heavy ground at Kelso last time out. Interesting to see how he fares in this contest.
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16
Top Woodt,v177
1112-0OR: 124
50/1
Successful on heavy ground for David Pipe and unbeaten in two point-to-point starts on good-to-soft since joining this stable prior to this season. Useful amateur in the saddle and wears a first-time visor.
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17
1012-0OR: 133CD
12/1
Rated 159 at his best in 2015 but not the force of old and beaten by Premier Portrait at Taunton in January. Impressive winner at Wincanton and Fontwell since and underfoot conditions will suit.
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18
1212-0OR: 98D
200/1
Four time chase winner but generally well held when tackling hunter chases and finished 68L behind Unioniste at Wincanton (3m1f, heavy) last time out. Looks likely to struggle.
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19
912-0OR: 139
14/1
Classy chaser on his day and winner of both starts since switching to hunter chases this season. Most recent of those came when defeating Shotavodka over 2m6f at Haydock (heavy) a month ago. Represents last years winning stable.
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20
912-0OR: 147
33/1
Grade 2-placed over hurdles in April last year and the impressive winner of both point-to-point starts this season. Came home 20L clear of his rivals last time out but hasn't always convinced over fences in the past.
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21
1012-0OR: 119D
100/1
Ampton point-to-point winner in January but beaten by Sir Jack Yeats at Market Rasen subsequently. Well supported when winning at Doncaster (3m2f, good-to-soft) last time but others make more appeal in this contest.
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22
712-0OR: 131
50/1
Winning for the third time over fences when victorious over 2m5f at Ffos Las (heavy) last month. Had finished runner-up at Bangor prior to that but has to prove his stamina on his first attempt at this trip.
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23
1012-0OR: 138
11/2
Beaten a neck in this race last year and was winning his third hunter chase when successful at Musselburgh (soft) over an extended 3m2f last time out. Likely to be playing a leading role once more.
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24
1212-0OR: 125BFD
50/1
Winner of a prestigious contest over an extended 3m3f at Stratford (good) in June. Suffered a shock defeat on his seasonal debut and best efforts have come on ground significantly quicker than is forecast here.
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Last Year's Winner

DRAWHORSEAWGTSP
Pacha Du Polder1012-016/1
T: P F NichollsJ: Bryony Frost

Betting

Forecast

Burning Ambition (4/1), Foxrock (9/2), Wonderful Charm (11/2), Caid Du Berlais (12/1), Unioniste (12/1), Barel Of Laughs (14/1), Grand Vision (14/1), On The Fringe (14/1), Virak (14/1), Sir Jack Yeats (20/1), Pacha Du Polder (25/1), Minella For Value (25/1), Balnaslow (28/1), Volnay De Thaix (33/1), Shotavodka (33/1), Top Wood (50/1), Young Hurricane (50/1), Wells De Lune (50/1), Cousin Pete (66/1), Warden Hill (100/1), Shantou Magic (100/1), Premier Portrait (100/1), Saddlers Encore (100/1), Vincitore (200/1)

Verdict

CAID DU BERLAIS is already a winner here having taken a Grade 3 contest a few years ago and he has impressed in winning three point-to-points since joining his current trainer. The selection has won on both soft and heavy ground in the past and is taken to get the better of former stablemate Wonderful Charm . He ran well to finish runner-up in this race last year and was the impressive winner of his sole start this time around. Of the remainder Foxrock has won at the highest level in the past and should appreciate the soft ground that's forecast.
  1. Caid Du Berlais
  2. Wonderful Charm
  3. Foxrock

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