Old Roan Chase Aintree 2.00 Good to Soft 20f
The most open Old Roan I can remember and one with its fair share of what-ifs. Hitman is consistent but doesn’t win often (4 from 18). After 687 days off, will My Drogo be at his best? Might his old injury flare again? Even at his best, will that be good enough? Looking back, he hasn’t achieved that much.
Will Tommy’s Oscar stay the trip? His best RPR is 162 at 2 miles on GS. No reason on breeding to doubt his stamina. And he won a Grade 2 in January. He ought to run well, and would be the most reliable bet among those at the fron of the market, but I see no value in the 9/2 on offer.
Will Do Your Job’s jumping hold up? J Snowden, trainer of Datsalrighgino said last season that the horse wants 3 miles. If he is okay at this trip, will the ground suit? It’s currently good to soft with 6mm due to fall betwenn now and racing. Snowden’s horse is best on good (153 RPR) though he has run to 149 on soft.
Can Al Dancer maintain his recent consistency – relatively – having won 2 of his last 3 races? Sam Thomas looks to have revived the 10-y-old, and he’s back in the region of his best RPRs. He could go well, but looks about the right price.
How will Jetoile do away from Chepstow (3 from 3 there)? Will Courtland need farther? His top RPR of 150 was over 23f and on good ground. Courtland could outrun his odds back at this trip, but is probably the right price.
I think the only solid value here is with Minella Drama and potentially (ground dependant) Hang In There.
Minella Drama has won 7 from 17, and 4 from 11 over fences. His best RPR (161) was here at Aintree over this trip in April when 3rd in the Grade 1 Melling Chase to Pic D’Orhy. That was on soft. He’s run a 159 on good so he’s not reliant on the rain. He’s improving too;his last three ratings: 156 159 161. He’s been well placed by McCain, showing strong consistency – 22/211212/125142/43113 – an important factor as the value lies in EW. 365 Extra Each Way tab opens opportunities to bet to 6 places for which Minella Drama is 17/2. With the target of simply making a profit, that is the best bet. If you feel braver, you can have 16/1 to 3 places. McCain is in fair form place-wise, though it’s a week since he had a winner.
Hang In There at 13/1 to 6 places (30/1 to 3 places) also looks value, but only if the ground dries up and that seems unlikley. He has run to 155 on good, but only 146 on soft. He’s 9 from 20 on good, 1 from 6 on soft and 0 from 3 on GS. In all he is 11 from 32 and 7 from 16 over fences. He looks to have a good rapport with his young 5lb claimer Joe Anderson who is 3 from 8 on him (three 2nds too). He’s another improver: 146 147 155 his last three runs. And trainer Lavelle has had 5 winners in the past 14 days. If the ground is reported more good than good to soft, I’d defiitely back him. If it turns soft I would not.
Well, we learned the hard way that Jetoile does need to be in Wales to produce his best. Despite a few calling this a freak result due to the omission of 6 jumps (3 fences), he looks a horse well capable of more improvement. I’ll be watching him.
But we did okay with EW on Minella Drama, 2nd. Hang In There was 5th for those who took the chance on 6 places.