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14:25 Cheltenham

Soft

Unibet Middle Distance Chase Series Veterans’ Handicap Chase

  • Prize money: £26015
  • 2m 4f 127y
  • Class 2
  • 9 runners
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Unibet Middle Distance Chase Series Veterans’ Handicap Chase

Runners: 9 runners

Type: Chase Turf

Surface: Turf

Weather: Partly cloudy

6/1 (Won)

  • Win: £6.50
  • Place: £2.10

Form: /0/7-4 CD

Last run: 23 days

W: 11st 1lb

11 yo Gelding

OR: 137

Form & Verdict

One of his career highlights came from the front over C&D on soft but in January 2020; seen only three times over the last two years or so, failing to show enough to be recommended; wears headgear for the first time.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5

11th Feb 2024

Heavy

3m 0f 54y

Class 2

16:35 Exeter

Cepage

11st 6lb

J: Charlie Deutsch

T: Venetia Williams

Looked revitalised when winning by 7l in first-time cheekpieces at Cheltenham (2m4f, soft) in December and remains very well handicapped on older form, but he then ran very badly in last month's Veterans' Final and it's hard to predict whether he'll warm to the task here.

12/1

0

7

13th Jan 2024

Soft

3m 0f 0y

Class 2

15:35 Warwick

Cepage

11st 4lb

J: Charlie Deutsch

T: Venetia Williams

Has been lightly raced in recent times but turned a corner in a big way when 7l too good for Lord Du Mesnil over 2m4f at Cheltenham last month (soft; first-time cheekpieces); yet to win beyond 2m5f but was fourth in a 3m1f race (soft) at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival; back up 6lb but likely to be bang there should the cheekpieces work again.

9/1

10/1

  • Place: £1.70

Form: 2722-5

Last run: 33 days

W: 11st 9lb

10 yo Gelding

OR: 145

Form & Verdict

4-45 overall and no win since February 2021, with three of his four wins having been at Haydock and the last two at 3m4f; runner-up three times last season, including at Cheltenham (3m2f) in April, and he was not disgraced on reappearance last month; the mud holds no fears but he is surely vulnerable at this short a trip.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

4th

4

11th Feb 2024

Heavy

3m 0f 54y

Class 2

16:35 Exeter

Lord Du Mesnil

11st 6lb

J: Gavin Sheehan

T: Richard Hobson

Thorough stayer who did pretty well to take second behind Cepage over inadequate 2m4f at Cheltenham (soft) in December; safely held in Veterans' Final at Warwick since but can have a say off a workable mark here.

10/1

6th

6

13th Jan 2024

Soft

3m 0f 0y

Class 2

15:35 Warwick

Lord Du Mesnil

11st 5lb

J: Lilly Pinchin

T: Richard Hobson

Coming on three years since the last of his four career wins and three of those have come at Haydock, the last two over 3m4f; therefore, it was a highly commendable effort last month to chase home Cepage over 2m4f at Cheltenham where he unsurprisingly found himself outpaced before staying on; goes well on testing ground and he's on the shortlist.

10/1

3/1

  • Place: £2.10

Form: 142-P1 D

Last run: 32 days

W: 10st 13lb

10 yo Gelding

OR: 135

Form & Verdict

Started off for Joe Tizzard with three chase wins (last of those 2m on soft) in February/March and even better form when he won a four-runner veterans' race comfortably at Kempton (2m4f, good; made most) last month, despite sometimes jumping to his left; tailed off over hurdles both starts here but they were a long time ago and he has to be considered seriously today.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5th

3

15th Feb 2024

Soft

1m 7f 99y

Class 3

13:55 Sandown

Le Ligerien

11st 12lb

J: Brendan Powell

T: Joe Tizzard

Lots of form on heavy going, albeit more than two years ago; with this yard over the last year, clocking up a very solid record for them over 2m-2m4f, including on soft; should not be far away.

9/1

2nd

2

13th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 4f 110y

Class 3

15:15 Kempton

Le Ligerien

11st 12lb

J: Tom Cannon

T: Joe Tizzard

Good strike-rate over fences for the yard, winning 4-8, most recently a four-runner race over C&D (good; equally effective on soft); not far off that level when third of eight finishers in another veterans' race at Cheltenham last month and he looks good for another big run.

5/1

Form: 612-72 D

Last run: 19 days

W: 10st 2lb

11 yo Gelding

OR: 121

Form & Verdict

First run over hurdles for just over a year when beaten a neck at Uttoxeter (2m4f, soft) 19 days ago; that could tee him up nicely for this return to fences, in which sphere he won twice (2m4f/2m6f) off lower marks than this last season, and he looks very much like one of those who will be better suited by this sort of trip; 3lb out of the handicap but should be a player.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5th

2

27th Jan 2024

Heavy

2m 3f 207y

Class 4

14:33 Uttoxeter

Go Steady

11st 12lb

J: Mr Sean O’Connor

T: Dan Skelton

held up in rear, headway after 7th, disputing third after 3 out, weakened final 110yds

6/1

5th

5

6th Jan 2024

Heavy

2m 4f 35y

Class 3

14:40 Wincanton

Go Steady

11st 5lb

J: Tristan Durrell

T: Dan Skelton

Rare hurdle start these days when beaten a neck at Uttoxeter (2m4f, soft) before returning to fences with a respectable fourth at Cheltenham (2m4f, soft; beaten 12l); a late mistake didn't help matters last time and yet he finished his race out nicely; major player now down a grade.

6/1

OUR TIP

Form: P5FF-P D

Last run: 34 days

W: 12st 0lb

11 yo Gelding

OR: 150

Form & Verdict

Inconsistent and showed disappointingly little on reappearance; blinkers (worn on final start last term, ran well before falling two out) return; all starts since May 2021 have been over 2m7f+; player if he's on song but that can't be relied upon.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5th

1

24th Feb 2024

Soft

3m 0f 0y

Class 1

15:37 Kempton

Sam Brown

12st 0lb

J: Jonathan Burke

T: Anthony Honeyball

Landed the big prize for veterans, rescheduled to Warwick (3m, soft) from Sandown, on most recent handicap attempt; however, the 12yo looks vulnerable off 5lb higher against these younger rivals.

16/1

4th

5

10th Feb 2024

Soft

2m 7f 86y

Class 1

14:05 Newbury

Sam Brown

11st 2lb

J: Jonathan Burke

T: Anthony Honeyball

didn't always jump with fluency, in touch with leaders, outpaced after 5 out, rallied from 2 out, not pace to challenge

10/1

1st

4

13th Jan 2024

Soft

3m 0f 0y

Class 2

15:35 Warwick

Sam Brown

11st 8lb

J: Jonathan Burke

T: Anthony Honeyball

Can be hard to predict but the visor now joins his regular tongue-tie and he's performed okay in two of his last three starts when blinkered, showing definite promise when behind Cepage at Cheltenham last time over an inadequate 2m4f (stayed on); too well handicapped to be ignored and this ground was once considered the key to him; possible.

8/1

Form: /4242- D BF

Last run: 287 days

W: 10st 2lb

12 yo Gelding

OR: 123

Form & Verdict

Fourth of 18 in the veterans' final at Sandown (3m, soft) in January and good second at Doncaster (3m) in March on his only start since; another creditable show over this sort of trip in November when reappearing last season, not nearly as long ago as with many of his rivals, so he could be interesting.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2nd

2

19th Feb 2024

Soft

3m 0f 110y

Class 3

16:00 Carlisle

Up Helly Aa King

11st 11lb

J: Bruce Lynn

T: N W Alexander

Early faller at Sandown last time; prior to that this highly admirable 13yo won at Ayr (3m, heavy) and he scored twice here earlier in his career; respected off just 2lb higher than at Ayr.

9/1

0

5

26th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

3m 0f 37y

Class 3

15:00 Sandown

Up Helly Aa King

12st 5lb

J: L-Cdr Vicki Sollitt

T: N W Alexander

Admirable 13yo who ran well in defeat during a light last season and, after a heavy defeat on his Cheltenham comeback, he narrowly returned to winning ways in a 3m heavy-ground Class 3 handicap at Ayr; ran a good fourth in the veterans' final here just over a year ago and needs considering.

8/1

1st

5

2nd Jan 2024

Heavy

3m 0f 20y

Class 3

13:45 Ayr

Up Helly Aa King

11st 6lb

J: Danny McMenamin

T: N W Alexander

in touch with leaders on outer, headway 4 out, led 3 out, ridden after 2 out, 2 lengths ahead last, faced challenge run-in, stayed on, always doing enough

11/2

Form: /3584- C

Last run: 351 days

W: 10st 7lb

10 yo Gelding

OR: 129

Form & Verdict

Front-runner who had two wins here in 2020 but has not fared nearly so well here since; well handicapped judged on three runs in January-April 2022 but not so hot in three runs late last year and has not been seen since; despite recent wins for the yard, which won this race in November last year, his first-time-out record is a big worry.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

7th

6

15th Dec 2023

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 2

14:25 Cheltenham

Storm Control

10st 7lb

J: Richard Patrick

T: Kerry Lee

Front-runner who had two wins here in 2020 but has not fared nearly so well here since; well handicapped judged on three runs in January-April 2022 but not so hot in three runs late last year and has not been seen since; despite recent wins for the yard, which won this race in November last year, his first-time-out record is a big worry.

4/1

4th

8

29th Dec 2022

Good

2m 7f 214y

Class 3

14:40 Doncaster

Storm Control

11st 6lb

J: Richard Patrick

T: Kerry Lee

Front-runner who ran respectably in midfield over an inadequate 2m4f in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham last month; now 5lb lower than when second in the competitive Sky Bet Chase over C&D (good) in January and is capable of a bold bid now back up in trip and back down in grade; wears a first-time visor (replacing blinkers); also effective on soft/good to soft.

8/1

Form: 1-214P C

Last run: 47 days

W: 10st 3lb

10 yo Gelding

OR: 125

Form & Verdict

Won at Wincanton (3m1f, good to soft) and Fakenham (3m5f, good) in the spring; first start since May when not showing much in an October run and his creditable runs both on soft ground and at this sort of trip were an uncomfortably long time ago.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

8th

13

13th Jan 2024

Soft

3m 5f 54y

Class 1

15:00 Warwick

Duc De Beauchene

10st 2lb

J: Jack Tudor

T: David Pipe

Two wins last spring included 3m5f Norfolk National at Fakenham (good; used to act on soft); 2lb lower today as he's failed to fire in his four starts since; reverting to blinkers from recent cheekpieces might help.

20/1

Form: 53P0-F

Last run: 47 days

W: 10st 13lb

11 yo Gelding

OR: 135

Form & Verdict

Nothing like the force of old and fell on reappearance seven weeks ago but he was third of 23 at Leopardstown (2m5f) in February; also third on his first run of last season (2m7f) and testing ground holds no fears, so he could still be competitive.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

1

17th Feb 2024

Heavy

2m 3f 203y

Class 3

13:37 Haydock

Top Ville Ben

12st 0lb

J: Robert Dunne

T: Philip Kirby

12yo who has a patchy profile nowadays and was soundly beaten in Ireland a fortnight ago; however, he showed spark when second of four at Aintree (2m4f, soft) on Boxing Day and this course winner is not ruled out.

11/2

8th

25

4th Feb 2024

Yielding To Soft

2m 5f 107y

15:20 Leopardstown

Top Ville Ben

10st 0lb

J: Robert Dunne

T: Philip Kirby

Third in this last year off a 6lb higher mark, and is effectively running off that mark here from 6lb out of the handicap; second in a four-runner contest at Aintree over Christmas but much more needed here.

40/1

Terms and conditions

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+o+e Accumulators

Payout
Exacta £321.00
Straight Forecast £284.20
Tricast £1460.60
Trifecta £1861.00

Selections

POSTDATA:

Le Ligerien

TOPSPEED:

Sam Brown

D Express:

Storm Control

SPOTLIGHT:

Up Helly Aa King

RP RATINGS:

Go Steady

Telegraph:

Cepage

The Times:

Top Ville Ben

WEST COUNTRY:

Le Ligerien

The Guardian:

Le Ligerien

Daily Mail:

Le Ligerien

Daily Mirror:

Le Ligerien

The Sun:

Le Ligerien

Daily Record:

Le Ligerien

The Star:

Sam Brown