**KNOW THE BEST HORSES IN TRAINING (BEFORE THEY RACE!)**
Sunday, 19 January 2014
Katenko could only finish 4th beaten 2 1/4 lengths at Haydock in the Peter Marsh Chase and if he had any Gold Cup aspirations then he should really have won on what was his favoured going. Both trainer and jockey had said pre race that he had his ideal conditions and therefore anything less than a win was simply not good enough in the context of the Gold Cup and he doesn't look the same horse as last season pre his injury.
Sire De Grugy cemented his position as the best opposition to Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase and I am of the same opinion as Paul Kealy in the Weekender in that there must be some value to be had in that race. There is every possibility in a championship race that Sprinter Sacre may succumb to the irregular heartbeat that troubled him at Kempton and if that were the case then Barry Geraghty will be pulling him up, that's even if he makes the race which may be in some doubt. The outsiders need some looking at in detail as with non runner no bet already in operation with some bookmakers you have a chance to get some big odds without risk of losing your stake.
Melodic Rendezvous is back on track for his Champion Hurdle bid after winning the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock, the fact that he did it whilst being a little short on fitness is a sign that he should go well if conditions were to come up soft at Cheltenham and if that were the case then 25/1 would be a good ew price.
Paul Nicholls released another handicap blot in Irish Saint at Ascot (Tom Segal was well up to picking it out in his pricewise column in the Racing Post) and Nicholls seems to have a good grasp of what is required from his handicap hurdlers at the moment. He is now likely to run in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and Nicholls states "I’ll discuss it with the owner and see what reaction we get from the handicapper, but he might have to run in the Betfair Hurdle. We struggled with him early with niggly problems and we had a job getting him fit, so yesterday was the best we’ve had him. The main thing is he’s back in form and where we want him. He carries only a 5lb penalty so we’ll have to look at Newbury. I can’t confirm him as a definite as we want to see what new mark he gets and how he is, but it’s very likely he’ll run.”
Bury Parade was also on his best behaviour in the Sodexo Handicap Chase but there's no knowing if the hood will work again if the horse has cottoned on to the fact that he was duped.
Mike Cattermole's swipe at the C4 Racing team in the Weekender smacked of sour grapes and if that is all he has to write about then can we have someone else who wants to write about the future and not the past.
Finally I put forward a few All Weather performers in my last post and Trinityelitedotcom paid a compliment to the progressive form of Caspian Prince by winning at Lingfield.
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