Brown Advisory Novices' Chase
A race that in the last couple of years has included some high class horses, last year it was Monkfish who looked brilliant; before that Champ edged out Minella Indo and Allaho. This years' renewal looks just as hot on paper.
Long time favourite Galopin Des Champs is 4/5 and though Mullins has mentioned he could go for the turners, has looked brilliantly and is worthy favourite here. After possibly the best debut over fences I've ever seen, he bolted up in the grade one chase over 2 and a half miles at the Dublin Racing Festival. His main rival in the market that day was Capodanno who unfortunately fell early into the race, but it was very impressive never the less. He won his grade one over hurdles at the back end of last year over three miles, that came after winning the Martin Pipe at last years' festival with any amount in hand. So the trip here wouldn’t be an issue, nor world it be if he were to go for the Turners. Which ever race he goes for, he has an excellent chance in, I personally think this race is a little more winnable as favourite for that race is Bob Olinger.
His main opposition on paper, if he were to run here, is Bravemansgame at 2/1. A well beaten third in last years' Ballymore, behind Bob Olinger, he was always going to be a better chaser. The reason that Galopin's chase debut is only ‘possibly’ the best I've seen, is because this horse was every bit as impressive. He started off in an intermediate chase, taking on experienced rivals including next time out open Grade Two winner, Fusil Raffles. He jumps brilliantly and has racked up 4 straight chase wins. Including impressively putting to bed his conqueror at Aintree last year, Ahoy Senor, 11/2 here, in the grade one Kauto Star. He then ran in a novice handicap giving over a stone to two very solid rivals, particularly Pats Fancy who I have backed for the National Hunt Chase. He is no mug and will serve it up to Galopin if he is here, if not I expect he’ll go off odds on favourite.
The one who could throw a spanner in the works is Bob Olinger himself, if diverting here to avoid Galopin. He won a point to point over this trip and has already beaten Bravemansgame last year. I expect he will go for the Turners either way though.
Ahoy Senor finished second to Bravemansgame in that Kauto Star when not jumping quite as well as usual. Kempton is a real speedsters track so could feasibly do better at Cheltenham, and he has looked very good in his two grade two wins either side of that second. He also has a Gold Cup entry which shows how highly thought of he is. At 11/2 there’s not much of an each way angle, but by no means is he just making up the numbers here. The concern with him is whether connections opt to bypass Cheltenham for Aintree.
Just after him in the market is Capodanno, a decent hurdler rated 147 over the smaller obstacles, he has already shown potential to be better over fences. A winning Chase debut followed by a good second to Bob Olinger, briefly looking to have him in trouble. He went off second favourite to Galopin Des Champs when upped to Grade One company, but unseated his rider early. Having shown his best hurdles form over three miles, he could have a real chance should he run, but would possibly have a bit to find with the market principles. Also a 6/1 shot is L’Homme Presse, another who has looked a different horse over the bigger obstacles. He’s unbeaten in four starts over fences including a grade one success. I expect that he’s more likely to line up in the Turners, however as all of his starts have been at that trip.
The next in the betting is Jungle Boogie, at 10/1, he’s a horse I love and think he may just end up here depending on what Mullins does with Galopin Des Champs. He’s unbeaten and Mullins had described him as a stayer at the start of the year, so could suit this race. I like him a lot, but would be concerned that he doesn’t have much experience for a race like this. Stablemate Stattler, is 12/1, and recently won a grade race over three miles, Mullins has mentioned that he’s likely to go for the National Hunt Chase where he is the 5/2 favourite. I don’t particularly like him for either race, personally.
Threeunderthrufive would have an each way shout at 14/1, having won 4/5 chase starts, he’s experienced and won a couple of Grade Two races. He could go for the National Hunt Chase too, but connections would like to keep Adrian Heskin on board and he can’t ride in that race. He’s done very little wrong this year and could spring a surprise, there’s a very good each way angle to play on him. Fury Road is also 14/1 and has won a Grade One over this trip, he‘s unreliable though and never seems to do much in front. He’s another that could go for the National Hunt Chase along with Stablemate Farouk Dalene in the same colours. Farouk Dalene is also 14/1 and has been running with lots of credit, I expect one of him and Fury Road to run here. He would have a better chance than Fury Road for me, and at 14/1 could also be an each way bet.
Another 14/1 shot is Gaillard Du Mesnil, who finished ahead of Bravemansgame game in last years’ Ballymore. Unsuccessful over fences so far, he’s looked in need of this step up in trip. I’ve backed at bigger prices and wouldn’t advise as a play at current prices, but wouldn’t be shocked if he could grab a place again. After him is Beacon Edge, he’d have to improve a little but has ran some good races this season, he gets the trip and has ran well at the course in last years’ Stayers Hurdle. There’s definitely worse 16/1 shots. Last years’ Bartlett winner, Vanillier is 20/1 but looks in need of further and connections have said the National Hunt Chase for him too, where he is just 11/2. The final horse who I think could be worth mentioning is Dusart at 20/1, I thought he would be more of a Turners horse, but has looked every bit a stayer this year. Maybe not a bet in this race, he’s bred to be a high class horse and has room to improve, maybe one for the next few seasons.
This year I've been trying to find some value, looking at some of the more obscure horses, unfortunately for this race it seems to have back fired.
Gars de Sceaux – Brown Advisory 40/1 0.5pts each way (23/03/21)
Gaillard Du Mesnil - Festival Novices Chase' 25/1 0.5pts each way (31/03/21)
Minella Escape - Festival Novices' Chase 50/1 0.5pts each way (12/07/2021)
Bob Olinger - Festival Novices Chase (PP & Betfair) 20/1 1pt win (06/09/2021)
Grand Paradis - Festival Novices Chase - 40/1 0.5pts each way (01/11/2021)
Of these only Bob Olinger and Gaillard Du Mesnil are still entered. Bob looks near enough certain to go for the Turners, though with Mullins and Galopin also going there, he could still divert here. I still think he could win this if connections had an unlikely change of heart. Gaillard Du Mesnil has been below last years form by quite a bit, but has shaped as though the step up to this trip could help things.
At the moment I won’t advise anymore bets, but once we have declarations I will have another play in the race.