Saturday, February 7, 2015

PREVIEW: Denman Chase (Grade 2)

Harry Tropper: Won this race in heavy conditions last year. Only seen twice since then and both times pulled up. This is easier than latest Betfair Chase. Ground should suit and perfect track record. Hard to know what to expect today, though, and would need to be trusted to find back to form.
Unioniste: Course and distance winner. Back to form when clear winner of Handicap at Sandown last month. CP fitted 1st time. Probably below a bit Grade 2 standard.
Double Ross: Pulled up in King George, all wins came over shorter, has been placed over 3m in the past though. Still stamina to prove to be capable to win Grade 2 over this trip,
Houblon De Obeaux: Runner-up last two, including in Hennessy. Finds it hard to put his head in front these days nonetheless. Trip and ground fine but has a bit to prove on this level.
Coneygree: Unexposed and still lightly raced. Smart hurdler who took very well to fences, won last two in Novice company in Grade 2 & 1 level. Track & trip should suit,
Taquin Du Seuil: Pulled up in King Gorge. Fine runner-up behind Menorah in the Charlie Hall. Bit of a break may have done him no harm. Trip in soft ground conditions slight worry.

Verdict: If Taquin Du Seuil gets his jumping together and has no problem with the soft ground over the 3m today, he'll be a big runner. Houblon De Obeaux as the Hennessy runner-up must be rated a good chance as well. He is in fine form and this race looks one where he could finally win on this high level since leaving the novice ranks. Harry Tropper won this race last year but it's hard to know what to expect from him today. I don't think Unioniste is good enough, neither should be Double Ross. But the lightly raced Coneygree makes plenty of appeal, now going outside Novice company for the first time. He was a smart hurdler and has excelled over the big fences in two career starts so far, most impressively landing the Kauto Star Chase. It would be only appropriate if he'd win subsequently the Denman Chase. He could be anything, but potentially has a good deal of improvement left, and neither trip nor ground conditions should pose a problem for him. 

Coneygree @ 7/2 Bet365 - 5pts win

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