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Non-Smoking Man

Cheltenham NH Festival 2019

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I did know you go with times, but it's interesting you do your own calculation. I have never been one to follow times, and believe a horse can only go as fast as the race is run. Example, if Samcro had gone out faster, my belief, Buveur D would have also kept pace, giving him a better time figure. Summerville Boy's time in the Supreme Novice at Cheltenham last year was rated comparative to Beveur D's in the Champion by the experts on tv and he was certainly put in his place in the FF'th. Isn't that the joy of horse racing. :D I will have a look at Saldier, sorry my memory on his form is not very good. I will say though, you can never discount a Mullins horse, so good luck.

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Summerville Boy and Buveur D'Air did identical times on the same day last year in their respective Grade 1s.

RSA Chase:

The RSA is the championship for staying novice chasers. It is run on day 2 of the festival over 3 miles 80X.

Heading the market at around 7/2 is the Henderson trained Santini, following his likeable debut win over fences in a Grade 2. Less likeable from a jumping angle was the much vaunted Black Op who made his chasing debut today at Exeter. He hardly rose at some of the fences and drifted markedly in the RSA market as a result. Topofthe game ran OK after being left 20L at the start and has shortened in the betting. Defi Du Seuil won the race but does not look an intended runner in the RSA.

Leopardstown's Christmas Festival sees Delta Work (already a winner over fences and second fav for the RSA) taking on Next Destination in the Neville Hotels 3m Grade 1 Chase. ND beat DW a neck at Punchestown with Kilbricken Storm, conqueror of Santini over hurdles last season, a further neck behind in third  (Irish Daily Mirror Grade 1).(The picture will be much clearer come the New Year after that encounter..)

Last season Raceform described Next Destination as 'an exciting chasing type' (p996 Raceform) and they continue to say how much they look forward to Delta Work jumping a fence.

On hurdles form you have to say there is little to choose between all the market leaders and if they all jump as well as they look as if they should it will be a tight contest and a close finish.

Why oh why, then, is Santini as short as 7/2? I make Santini a 7/1 shot and the others I mention between 10/1 and 14/1; not to mention the possibility of horses who may come out of the woodwork once the big obstacles are put in front of them.

The forgotten horse is OK Coral who beat Santini (stable companion) in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle (Grade 1) at Cheltenham and was only 3L behind Kilbricken Storm. If you forgive OK Corral a poor run at the tight Aintree track next time out, OK is looking big at 38 on Betfair currently. I think we can assume OK is shaping well at home as he has dropped from 60 (taken by me to win £550) in the last 2 weeks. I imagine Nicky Henderson will want to get a run into him soon to get that much-needed experience B4 the big occasion.  I am  going to lay Santini steadily whilst it remains at < 4/1, but my main activity at this early stage has been OK Corral to win.

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Stop Press....

OK Corral entered at Uttoxeter Tues 11/12 in the 1 30 (Novice Chase). I note that he is a possible runner in the Stayers hurdle as well as the RSA. (And Henderson has been known to switch to hurdles if they prove unable to jump cf Buveur D'Air))

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