JLT Novices Chase 2014
The newest race on the festival calendar, the JLT Novices Chase was established in just 2011 which means it has only been run three times, its a race which is run over two miles and four furlongs and is open to novice chasers who will have to contend with seventeen fences on their way to victory, all three winners thus far have come from Ireland.
JLT Novices Chase 2014 – Trends
This is just the fourth running of this race which means there is not enough data to look at for trends.
JLT Novices Chase 2014 – Blogger Selections
Anthony Sherratt – Vukovar
This Harry Fry trained horse arrived in Britain with a big reputation after some strong form in France, beating the subsequent Greatwood Hurdle winner Del Arca. He was privately sold to Harry Fry and he seems to hold him in very high regard. He started his chasing career in a somewhat disappointing manner, being beaten by the talented but quirky Mr Mole. This was over 2 miles however, and Fry had said he will need further and will even be a 3 miles + horse in time.
He has had the one chase start since, over an extra 3 furlongs where he put up a very impressive success. He jumped superbly to beat the useful Open Hearted by 21 lengths. Since, the reports have been very positive from the yard and the JLT is definitely the target. He is still only 5 so has plenty of room for improvement, and the trip at Cheltenham will almost certainly be to his liking. I don’t remember Harry Fry talking his horses up very often, so when he does it is a big positive. He is a chaser of immense potential and I think he should go close in this before going on to even bigger things in the coming seasons.
Zipster – Wonderful Charm (6/1)
I think this course could very much suit Uxizandre in the opener of day three and whilst the trip is fine there are some questions whether he needs it softer or not and I think he will. Taquin Du Seuil was a dual graded winner over hurdles and last time out at Haydock picked up his first graded success over fences in a comfortable win but is going to have to set up to win this race. My preference is for Wonderful Charm who finished half a length down on Oscar Whisky last time out but is 8lbs better off in the weights today, already a dual graded winner over fences and without having to concede weight here today should ran a cracker.
gghofman – Felix Younger (1st), Taquin Du Seuil (2nd)
The jumping of Uxizandre could be found out in this one his 5th when stepped up compared to his two wins before in easier company and will need help from those cheekpieces. Oscar Whiskey is really closely match with Taquin Du Seuil here and it may well pay to go with the value of Taquin du seuil wit the much better ground likely to suit him even more. Taquin Du Seuil won on good ground here by neck but also gave away 5lbs that day. Wonderful Charm could also reverse the form with him from a run at this track when giving 8lbs in all.
Vukovar has little to no form to go on. He did not win as expected on debut in the Uk but did hammer a 4 horse field next time at Newbury. 2nd that day has not run since but other two have at least won class 3 and 4 type races but never faced this ground, may make me look foolish but too many under answered questions.
Sizing Gold has his 2nd to Foxrock to go on and he has some decent form, but Pont Alexandre did hold him 11 length and well behind in testing Fairyhouse race to suggest this may be beyond him. Djakadam has won both his chase start but winning just 4 lengths with weight on his rivals last time won’t be enough here. Double Ross got 8lb when held by Wishful Thinking who ran solid on Wednesday, he seems a horse more suited to bit of cut and form of wins have not proved that strong. Off the ground won some class 3 handicaps in run up to this, but his best races have seen him far from good enough to win a race such as this. As for Mozoltov he might find this too quick.
It was close call but of the two likely to reverse form Taquin du Seuil stands out more. He should thrive in a big field as he did way back in Uttoxter maiden. He has it over Oscar Whiskey and his form works out pretty nicely. His last run also looks solid. Felix Younger could help Ruby break his chasing dry spell at the festival, he was a 9 length 2nd to Trifolium last time on heavy. On Better ground giving 4 pounds he has beaten him well at navan so drying conditions will be in his favour. Has 2nd in Neptune in 20-12 to show he will go around here.
Jaydubs – Oscar Whisky
This looks like quite a strong field but with so few runs for the main contenders against much worthwhile competition and the softer ground we have seen all winter it is difficult to gauge just how well they will perform. Oscar Whiskey though has continued his excellent form at Cheltenham having won 6 from 12 and 3 from 5 over today’s distance. It has beaten both Wonderful Charm and Taquin de Seuil here and with Nicky Henderson having his horses look in really good shape this is my pick.
Darylrogerson – Double Ross
Doesn’t seem to be much value in the shorter priced runners and Wonderful Charm would probably be my pick. Instead I’m opting for the three time course winner Double Ross at what I feel is great value at his current price of 14/1. He’s raced 6 times over the 21 furlong track finishing 813112. He was only collared up the hill by the staying on Wishfull Thinking last time out in Heavy conditions and the faster ground is more suitable. He travels strong and has recently forgone his usual front running tactics to sit just behind the leaders which has allowed Sam to get a good toe in before producing him off the bend. I can a strong pace benefiting him today and if he’s in a decent position coming back up the hill could be difficult to catch.
Gecko – Double Ross
Looks really good value at around 14s as has got good form, is very consistent, has won here recently twice and is versatile with regard to the ground. trip is ideal too and can see a bold bid here and a good chance of taking this – tough sort who battles well and can see out the trip so no problem there, just a doubt over jumping ability sometimes as can make mistakes.