Skip to main content

Maghull Novices Chase

It's turned out to be a small field, but we could just be seeing a superstar in action. Time will tell. James Jack, @materialista27, previews the race.

The Maghull Novices' Chase is a Grade 1 Chase which is open to horses aged five years old and up. It is run at over two miles and there are twelve fences to be jumped. The event was established in 1954, and it has been known by various titles. It is currently named after Maghull, a town located to the north of Aintree. For a period the race was classed at Grade 2 level, and it was promoted to Grade 1 status in 1995. Previous winners include Flagship Uberalles, Well Chief, Twist Magic and Finian's Rainbow. Paul Nicholls has won the race five times and Ruby Walsh has ridden three winners in the event. The prize fund is £100,000 of which £56,270 goes to the winner. Due to the fact that the race is synonymous with the two mile novice division, traditionally runner from the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham usually line up. When I picked this race to preview, there were eleven entries, but for various reasons, which will become apparent, there are only four runners tomorrow. All horses carry eleven stone four pounds.

Australia Day

Denis O'Regan for Paul Webber

Form figures look good, won his last two in Novice events at Huntingdon and Kempton and is used to these small field races having been first of three and first of four. However he hasn't run since November, and the Nosecondchance who he beat that day has been worse than rubbish on his subsequent re-appearances. In fact, even the horse that last beat him, Ultimate has been mince since then. It would appear that he'll only finish in the first four by default.

Best Odds: 14/1 (Paddy Power)

Kudu Country

James Reveley for Tom Tate

Well at least this one has more recent form, albeit a defeat of Nosecondchance at Southwell last time out, but he only beat him sixteen lengths in a three runner race for £3,250. That just isn't going to cut it in this event. The second that day finished a mere thirty two lengths behind what would generously be considered one of Paul Nicholls' shire horses. Still, he's in with a chance as this is such a small field, but he's thirty five pounds behind the favourite, so it'd be an achievement to even finish.

Best Odds: 40/1 (Sportingbet)

Sprinter Sacre

Barry Geraghty for Nicky Henderson

A penalty kick, a sure thing, a mortgage job, one for your wonga and any other phrase that annoying cockney Gary Wiltshire wishes to call it, seriously, isn't he as bad as McCririck as a caricature of bookies....? [edited]

Won the Arkle whilst still asleep destroying Cue Card, Al Ferof and Menorah. Beat Peddlers Cross (Who?) by a distance at Kempton. Beat Zaynar and French Opera while setting a new course record on the bridle at Newbury. If you don't get the drift by now, I'll spell it out:

S-P-R-I-N-T-E-R S-A-C-R-E W-I-L-L W-I-N T-H-I-S R-A-C-E

Which means what? Well nothing much, the absence of any older horses means we won't be able to read much into this for next season as in avoiding older horses at this meeting means we might get a slightly better price if he re-appears in the Tingle Creek or the Amlin Chase next season. In all honesty, we're looking for a second placed horse for the forecast.

Best Odds: 1/6 (Paddy Power)

Toubab

Ruby Walsh for Paul Nicholls

I was quite right to discount this one in the Grand Annual preview at Cheltenham, and guess what, I'm gonna do it again. He won't win, but if Nicholls and Walsh are as smart and shrewd as me, they'll realise that this is a race for second and the £21,200 that comes with. Toubab should have enough to beat the other two easily, he beat Zaynar by nine lengths at Cheltenham in October and was nice enough to fall when in contention next time out at Haydock, he bounced back at Sandown to beat Falcon Island in a second rate Novices' Chase. He should have enough to beat the other two if Ruby lets him switch off and forget about trying to chase Sprinter Sacre. If they do get silly and try to go with Sprinter Sacre, there's a chance there could only be one finisher. Fingers crossed they all stay on their feet.

Best Odds: 10/1 (William Hill)

VERDICT

Sprinter Sacre's race to lose, men braver than I will try to get him beat, but that's not the way I play and they'll deserve whatever they get.

10pt Sprinter Sacre to beat Toubab

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

The Melbourne Cup preview 2019

We're back again for the greatest race on turf, the world's richest staying race and the only race in the world which creates a public holiday for millions of locals.




Once again a fine international field has been assembled and it's worth a deep look at the race. So get a cuppa and find a comfortable seat to plough your way through my preview!

--------------------------------

The Lexus Melbourne Cup
Group 1, Handicap, 3200m
AUD 7,750,000
Flemington 1500 local, 0400 GMT
Broadcasters - Network 10 (AUS), Racing.com (worldwide), SkySportsRacing (UK)


1. Cross Counter
Trainer - Charlie Appleby (one previous Cup win)
Jockey - William Buick
Breeding - Teofilo - Waitress
Drawn 5, Weight 57.5kg

Last year's impressive winner who doesn't get the 3yo weight advantage this time. Won first up at Meydan in March but has run fourth, third, fourth in the big set weights staying races in England and Ireland, never quite making it as the next big staying star. While running close behind Stradivar…

hope for investors in the Centaur scandal?

In a breaking story, it has been reported that directors of the failed sports investment fund Centaur have had their assets frozen in order to repay investors. It is believed that managing director Keith Sobey skipped town trying to avoid prosecution however he either naively thought Ireland was a safe enough place to hide or had a lingering feeling of guilt and sat waiting for that knock on the door.

Sobey, the name behind Centaur (read the original story here), is believed to own four houses, worth more in total than the missing £1.6m. His willingness to sell them to repay investors is likely to keep the matter out of the courts, and at least one other director, Andrew Cork, will apparently follow suit.

All this adds weight to anecdotal evidence that the collapse of the fund came down to mismanagement rather than fraudulent deeds. As costs grew (why would you set up a training academy in central London?), margins evaporated and keeping the business afloat went through money like a…