REMASTERED 7/1 generally – 0.5 POINTS E/W (4 places, 1/5 odds)
A Pertemps Hurdle Qualifier and it is no secret how I approach these races. Basically the first 6 home qualify to run in the Pertemps Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. For those rated higher than 136, as long as they come home in the first 6, then they can make an entry in March. I am of the opinion that those above 136 will not want to ruin the handicap mark and some could be trained to the minute hoping to bring the handicap mark down to a very workable mark, come March. I like to look at horses who are rated 133 or below and need to improve their handicap mark, or risk not making the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle in March.
The one who stands out here is REMASTERED who is rated 133. If the plan is the Pertemps Hurdle later down the line, he won’t get in off 133 which means he will be all out to increase that handicap mark. He had a chasing career last season and won 3 races on the bounce, earning himself a handicap mark over fences of 146. Maybe they feel that mark is too high this season or maybe they are getting a run in for the Ladbrokes Trophy. Either way if you compare his chase mark of 146 to his hurdle mark of 133, he could be very well handicapped and with the Ladbrokes Trophy just 3 weeks away, he can’t be that far away from full fitness. At the price he looks a very solid each way bet.
SENIOR CITIZEN 6/1 generally – 0.75 POINTS E/W (5 places, 1/5 odds)
SIR JACK YEATS 12/1 generally – 0.5 POINTS E/W (5 places, 1/5 odds)
Giving away all my secrets away here but again my long term subscribers will know how I play it the majority of the time over these National Fences, particularly at these lower level handicaps. Basically who has run over the fences before and who has not. I get rid of those who haven’t before seeing a list of horses who have run over the fences, and run well.
Just 4 horses in this line up have jumped the bigger National Fences before in SENIOR CITIZEN, Hogan’s Heights, Cat Tiger and SIR JACK YEATS.
I am happy to put a line through Cat Tiger as the jockey David Maxwell just don’t do it for me. He rides awkwardly and in a finish professional jockeys would eat him up. He will probably go and win and I will have egg on my face but at the end of the day, these are decisions you have to make.
I will also put a line through Hogan’s Heights as although he won this race in 2019, he has not looked the same since.
With that in mind I will go into this race double handed with SENIOR CITIZEN and SIR JACK YEATS who both came home 3rd and 5th in the Topham Chase back in April.
SENIOR CITIZEN ran well that day when rated 137 and is only 2lb higher for this on a mark of 139. He jumped well in the Topham and looks a solid bet. He also comes into the race off the back of a win, 3 weeks ago. E/W.
SIR JACK YEATS just comes alive over these fences and really saves his best for Aintree. He has yet to win over them but has come home 2nd in this race in 2020 when rated 126, exactly the same handicap mark as today. He also came home 5th in the Topham off a 5lb higher mark of 131. I expect him to try and make the running and if he gets away from them and given he normally jumps these fences for fun, he could be hard to peg back. E/W.