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Rewards4Racing Novices´ Handicap Chase preview

Another excellent piece of penmanship here from Calum Madell, covering the get-out stakes. Small plug to the sponsor, a company set up by former colleague @joshapiafi, that's a huge achievement to sponsor a race at the Festival.

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5:20 – Rewards4Racing Novices´ Handicap Chase (Listed Race) (Class 1) (5yo+ 0-140)

A race that is a strong one for the stats, with every winner finishing first or second last time out and that shows that horses need to get to a certain level as to guarantee a run. It’s also a race where well fancied runners do well while another positive is interestingly horses getting beat on their first two chasing starts of their career.

Likely favourite Colour Squadron is one I want to oppose for this and also for the fact he doesn’t jump very well at all. He looked a natural chaser last year and though he could be thrown in based on some of his top hurdles form, he’s one I’d be avoiding.

Similar can be said for Carlito Brigante who is fancied to take another Festival handicap and he has mixed it with some of the best about over the bigger obstacles. He’s a lot more solid than the Hobbs runner but two horses instantly caught my eye and they were Shangani and THE DRUIDS NEPHEW. The former has impressed on his last two starts, showing he stays very well and will relish the ground and the trip. He also represents a stable that know how to train a progressive handicapper and I think he’ll go very close. Preference though is for the latter who I have been a real fan of for quite a while. Former Cheltenham Hurdles form is another positive for the race which he has and though he started his jumps career in decent style, he has improved significantly for every run. His tight second to Hadrian’s Approach at Ascot is some of the best form on show, if not the best while his win at Wincanton after has been boosted by Grandioso who duly obliged at Kempton after. He stays all day, well relish the ground, jumps well and altogether I think he has a major chance.

Charlie Longsdon has both Vulcanite and Hazy Tom but I fancy neither. I think the former is gutless and this trip and ground is not what he wants and similar can be said for the latter who wants better ground and is not badly treated when getting it. Both have better chances at Aintree.

Johns Spirit has solid form behind Katenko though never got into a similar race here and that is a worry for him and also Radjhani Express who was in the same race where both didn’t make a challenge from the rear.

The consistent Bobowen has seemed to show his hand and Ohio Gold is very similar. They both have good chances of getting into the place money though.

Forgotten Gold has strong form behind Super Duty but he didn’t back it up after that and the run on terrible ground may have had an effect.

Kruzhlinin and Fourjacks are not without chance and seeing as they’ve been running up North they may be overpriced.

Arthurs Pass is interesting at the bottom of the weights while Howards Legacy also has really good form in the book, especially with Opening Batsman, but he may need further. There’s others worthy of mentioning but I won't go on further.

Advice
The Druids Nephew 3pts win with William Hill @7/1

Read more of Calum's work on his excellent blog or follow him on Twitter @calummadell.

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