02/08- So this week I’ve been looking at a race I’ve not covered yet, the Stayers Hurdle. There are a few potentials that I’ll probably back across the year and monitor how they’re campaigned, whether they’re even staying over/reverting back to hurdles.
Ignoring the favourites at this point, my shortlist so far is- Champ (I think they may toy with going back over hurdles as his chasing career hasn’t gone quite to plan); Roksana (I think if she runs at Cheltenham it will be in this as opposed to the Mares Hurdle as she got caught for pace in that this year); Mrs Milner (a real long shot at 66/1 who I think still has some room in her handicap mark so may exploit that as opposed to step up to graded company); and James Du Berlais (who was way back in second behind Klassical Dream but that was only his first start at three miles and if staying hurdling could be ridden more aggressively now they know he stays).
But the one who I’ve sided with at this point is The Bosses Oscar at 40/1. He was running off a huge 151 in the Pertemps and still managed to come a good second to Mrs Milner off of 134. He then disappointed in a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse over 2 miles 4, he was virtually pulled up that day but I think it came too soon after Cheltenham as he usually has a while between races, he also does better over the3 mile trip. His form at Cheltenham has been good with an eyecatching close fifth in the Martin Pipe last year and the second in the Pertemps this year, his mark is probably too high at this point for another shot at a handicap, but as he is only a 6 year old I’m hoping they keep him over hurdles for a shot at this rather than going straight to novice chasing, but that would be a slight concern.
EDIT - He has now started novice chasing, so would no longer recommend this bet.