Alan Marron takes you through one of the feature races on Saturday, The Peter Marsh Handicap Chase at Haydock Park (3:15pm).
The Peter Marsh Chase is seen as a Grand National trial, but over the last couple of seasons we have seen a potential Gold Cup contender emerge in terms of Bristol De Mai in 2017.
It is run over 3 miles one furlong and is for 5 year olds and upwards.
The aim of this preview is to highlight two value alternatives in the middle half of the market for the more adventurous each-way punter.
If we look at the trends for this Grade 2 we will see that a number of stats stick out:
- 7 of the last 9 winners were aged 8 or older
- 8 of the last 9 winners ran within the last 36 days
- 8 of the last 9 winners were rated 135 or higher
- 9 of the last 9 winners had at least two runs that season
In last year’s race Wakanda was rated 150 and ended up being pulled up after making numerous mistakes on the first circuit.
Sue Smith looks to have targeted this race again this year and his preparation has been interesting to say the least.
His first run this year was a 2 mile hurdle at Wetherby where, as expected, he got outpaced and finished fifth. Off a handicap rating of 147 he then showed a little more life last time on St Stephen’s Day again at Wetherby over 3 miles when finishing fourth of eight behind Lake View Lad, just getting touched off for third in the closing stages.
For me it is evident that this horse should be spot on fitness-wise and this year the ground at Haydock will not be as heavy as last year and he should be in contention in the closing stages.
Captain Redbeard is a horse that has plenty of course form to his name, particularly with finishing runner-up in this race last year. He is off the same rating this time around and, again, like Wakanda, the preparation has gone smoothly.
He wasn’t beaten far off a rating of 144 over course and distance on the 24th November last year and, if you watched the race, you could see he was continuously hampered throughout and just lost out on second close home.
The horse that won the race that day was Vintage Clouds, trained by Sue Smith, who trains the previous selection Wakanda.
Captain Redbeard’s last run at the start of December was quite uninspiring, but it may have blown away the cobwebs and put him in prime contention to go one better than last year.