The Trophy Chase- Sat 30th January

This weekend see’s an impressive card set for Cheltenham on Saturday. Gold Cup hope Djakadam is in action in the BetBright Trial Chase along with last year’s Grand National winner Many Clouds. Later in the day we have an intriguing contest set to take place between Thistlecrack and Camping Ground, both will be going for World Hurdle glory in March and this will give a good insight into their chances. The quality action on offer continues all afternoon and the Trophy Chase is no different. Perhaps the most competitive event on the card, this grade 3 handicap chase see’s a nine strong field set to start with Champagne West heading the field.

Champagne West – (rated – 155) Best Price 9-4

Champagne West made a fine return to action after nearly a year off the track last month in The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup. He finished 2nd that day and was only beaten by his stablemate Village Vic who is a vastly improving horse. He travelled well that day and looked to have scrubbed up on his jumping. He has been raised 5lb for that run and is in with a great chance here today however for me 9-4 is too short a price in this competitive event.

Tenor Nivernais – (rated – 149) Best price 11-2

Tenor Nivernais is next in the market, I was on this horse last time out and I must admit I expected a better run. He didn’t really improve all that much and was beaten a similar amount by Village Vic who was running of a higher mark. A good third followed by a good second means that horse has been raised a total of 5lb and that may just be enough to scupper his chances. If he was going to get his head in front I think it would have been last time out and here today he may just struggle.

Irish Cavalier – (rated – 155) Best price 11-2

Joint second favourite is Irish Cavalier, Rebecca Curtis’s runner ran below par last time out when ultimately outclassed in the King George however he can be forgiven for that run as it was over further than he likes and was a grade 1 against quality opposition. Before that run he put in a solid effort in behind Annacotty and comes here off a 1lb lower mark. He perhaps hit the front too early that day and was hosed down late on however there is no getting away from the fact he did tire very quickly. That is a constant niggle for me and is enough for me to look elsewhere.

Annacotty – (rated – 152) Best price 7-1

Annacotty was a ready winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase and also won this event last year. His price is a reflection of that form however he won last year of an 8lb lower mark and was ultimately left behind of this higher mark in The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup. He has it all to do for me against horses that beat him comprehensively last time out and may just find this event to tough on these terms.

John’s Spirit – (rated – 149) Best price 12-1

John’s Spirit has been tumbling down the weights and now comes here off a 2lb higher mark than his last winning mark. He is clearly well handicapped and the forecast soft ground is an obvious plus however he is one of those horses that continues to disappoint. He will take advantage off his dropping mark at some point in the near future however when that will be is another question and one that is decidedly hard to answer. Will it be tomorrow? I’m not entirely convinced but at the prices he perhaps represents the best value in my opinion and if I were hard pressed for a selection a small each way bet on John’s Spirit would be my bet of choice.

Other horses to note are Salubrious who has been running over slightly further recently and has some good form to his name, while Final Assault represents Lucinda Russell and has a big chance if he can reproduce his form when beaten just a length by Village Vic four starts back of a 10lb lower mark.

How we bet – For me John’s Spirit and Final Assault represent the value in this race and are worthy of a small each way bet.

John’s Spirit (0.5pts E/W) 12-1 is available at most bookmakers.

Final Assault (0.5pts E/W) 12-1 is available at most bookmakers.

Good Luck

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