£64,000 is up for grabs to the winner of this 3 mile, 5 furlong chase race on Jump Finale day which even puts some of this year’s Cheltenham Festival races to shame.
With that comes a classy and competitive field, one we’ve managed to whittle down to these six top contenders who should all prove to be able to give a very good account of themselves:
With form figures since last July of 131113 it’s fair to say Kim Bailey’s eight-year-old is a consistent chaser.
That consistency ultimately led to him beating Potterman, who is in opposition again here, in the Listed Badger Beers Silver Trophy last November so we know he has the quality too.
He certainly likes this quicker ground and should stay well enough, but off his current handicap mark he looks just a tad vulnerable at the weights.
Paul Nicholls wasn’t so hot at the Cheltenham Festival, but in terms of the numbers he’s actually had his best ever season and it’s no surprise to see money coming for his Enrilo.
Having raced only eleven times under rules, just four times over fences, the seven-year-old almost certainly has plenty more to give although this late in the season and after four tough enough outings, that extra is not guaranteed to come out in this contest.
He was outclassed in Grade 1 company at Kempton, but he’s won twice this season and can do himself justice once more if finding a bit of improvement having gone up 5lbs for a narrow success two months ago.
Emma Lavelle’s eight-year-old gelding was on the go from last July right through to November, winning twice and improving by some 15lbs in his six chase races.
He was allowed a break, coming back last month and running a moderate third of 5 at Ascot over hurdles, but he’ll be sharper now and should reach a brand-new career peak over fences.
If doing so, he looks a great shout for this race, especially given the way he went through the line when being left clear over three miles at Taunton. Tom Bellamy is entrusted with the reins this time around on a horse who seems to love this quicker ground.
Christian Williams’ five-year-old is well fancied for this race, going 4-1-1 from six races since being sent chasing last August.
His latest success, only last month, was an impressive win over 3¼ miles at Kelso while before that he was third behind El Presente and Potterman at Wincanton.
He’ll certainly stay well and he’s won on quick ground before, however he keeps edging up in the weights and he hasn’t encountered a field as classy as this one is overall.
Plan Of Attack
Plan Of Attack is somewhat of an anomaly here. With form figures of PP8F this season, he should be nowhere near favouritism and yet has been challenging for it since the final declarations came through on Thursday morning.
On the flip side; he’s just eight years old, has some top form from last season, is trained by Henry De Bromhead and will be ridden by Rachael Blackmore.
Those final two factors are probably responsible for his odds in all honesty, with his form all season long absolutely not entitling him to go close here so while we’ll keep a close eye on the betting, nothing about him on paper screams “winner”.
As mentioned above, Potterman’s form ties in closely with El Presente and Kitty’s Light from the Badger Beers at Wincanton, while he was also a very good winner at Market Rasen last summer.
He’s another consistent sort when he gets his conditions, and Alan King’s runner was just 11/1 for the Ladbrokes Trophy when last seen which is worth bearing in mind.
A fascinating race then, made more competitive by the decision of Paul Nicholls to pull out Clan Des Obeaux who initially dominated the weights.
El Presente should be on the premises, while Nicholls’ Enrilo may yet be able to improve further which would give him a solid chance, but the standout one for us is Emma Lavelle’s IRISH PROPHECY at a nice price.
An eight-year-old who is getting better overall, natural progression would now make him around 8-10lbs better than when he last met El Presente who beat him a length, while he’s also 1lb better off with that rival.