A Grade 2 winner, he ran well to finish 5th of 14 in a good race at Ascot in October. He has won 3 hurdles over 2 miles and handles soft and heavy ground. He has finished in the first two 4 times in 9 races over hurdles. Good jockey booking in Jamie Moore who has partnered before.
A win and place in Cl 4 novice hurdles in Feb and March
Fell on reappearance last time out a month ago in Cl 3 hurdle handicap debut
in conditional jockey race ,going off as 7/4 fav.
Going will suit, mark unchanged, good chance if picking up the threads again.
From Nicky Henderson's yard, GRAN LUNA only had three runs last season. The horse won 2 of them and was also placed third. Last time out, it won a Class 4 Novice Hurdle over an extended 19 furlongs at Chepstow by 4 lengths off a mark of 121. it's making its handicap debut today off a mark of 119
There are some pretty good horses taking part in this Class 3 race. David Pipe has fielded two competitors today at once. I'll choose Itacare, which will be ridden by the more successful rider Tom Scudamore. The 4-year-old Itacare has two wins on his record. Both wins were scored in France. He's used to competing on heavy ground and today's expected rain may help him a little
at a quick count , three chase runners return to the hurdles and two runners step up in distance, however this selection is trained by David Pipe , has racing over the chase fences in last 6 races , over the distances of 16 through to 20 furlongs, with four framed places, returns to the hurdles in todays contest and racing over the distance of around 19 furlongs, hopeful ground will suit, Fergus Gillard (3) is in the saddle, has ew appeal
Highway One O Two
Chris Gordon's charge Highway One O Two ran well in Listed handicap in October finishing fifth of nine 7¾ Lengths behind Soaring Glory. On his latest outing in a hurdle race at Ascot over 2 miles last month, he finished 15 lengths behind Captain Morgs when fifth of nine. He has won three hurdle races on the ground varying from good to soft to heavy. Jamie Moore has the reins.
he ran good race round here last time and looks like slowly improving.
i think with alot having run for long time the distance could find alot in this race out where as this boy will stay on.
seems to act on any ground but i think the better the ground better for him.
On his comeback run last month, considering he was 7 months off the track and also he was moving up to a class 3 for the first time, it has to be assumed connections had him ready as he went off the 7/4f. He was looking a big threat travelling very strongly when disaster struck and he fell over the third last. First career fall hopefully his last.
Obviously returned fine and back out today after 35 day's, still taking on a class 3 but over an extra 3f, and although less fancied in the market could well make amends, this only his seventh career outing for a 6yo so improvement likely.
A more serious jockey booking today as Sean Bowen takes care of the reins for trainer Alastair Ralph. There doesn't seem to be any reason why the extra yardage would matter, his pedigree say's he will stay even further. (though not a given as we all know), and going too is not an issue. With a clear round he can at least bring home the price of a bag of pellets for the turkeys. (It's time they were plumping up)
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Glenfarclas Crystal Cup Cross Country Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2)
Good luck all
BLAST OF KOEMAN
A quirky type for a quirky race. Plenty of the usual suspects turn up here but I will take a chance on a gelding making his first trip to England and hope he fancies it.
Interestingly he brings J J Slevin with him. Blast Of Koeman is already out of the handicap (should carry 9-11) and this jockey is unlikely to even be able to do 10-0 so it looks like connections are unconcerned about overweight and are going with a rider who gets on with the horse. The partnership finished second earlier this season and J J Slevin regained the ride in November when they were in with a chance until just before the last. That was after a break and Blast Of Koeman never wins first time up. Second time up today though and he has won twice in similar circumstances. He has also won and placed at this time of year.
Blast Of Koeman went well on the Punchestown banks last time and today's course should hold no fears.
He takes a big hike in distance but this race has tight turns and is very stop/start so stamina may not be as essential as handiness especially as the going is forecast as good in places.
Blast Of Koeman has run well on good and yielding going and can go well at a price.
Won over course and distance in November and came from off the pace to do so.
Sean Bowen rode a very good race on him when winning the cross country race on the seven year old and possibly the horse enjoyed the technicality of the race and can show the same character once more with a sound performance.
It was good ground twenty eight days ago and it may be good to soft today, which may not be a concern.
The handicapper has raced him three pounds, which can be within his grasp of winning this race and still feel to be several pounds in hand.
The Irish trainer has a proud record in races of this nature so this 9-y-o gelding must hold every chance having run 7 lengths second behind his more fancied stablemate Shady Operator on his cross-country debut over three miles on good/yielding ground at Punchestown so considering he was coming back from a 200 day break he looks well placed for a big run today with the retained jockey M P Walsh doing the steering
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