Racecards

11:55 Cheltenham

stanjames.com Challow Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1)

  • 8 Runners
  • Distance: 2m 4f 110y
  • Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
  • Surface: Turf
  • added
Weighed In
  • Winning Time: 4m 59.50s
  • 8 Ran
1
Silk - Emerald Green and Orange (quartered), diamonds on sleeves, Orange cap
  • Form 13/11
  • Age 8
  • Weight 11-7
  • Official Rating 118

held up in rear, ridden 4 out, no impression

2
Silk - Black and Mauve stripes, Mauve sleeves, Black cap
80/1
  • Form 549-517
  • Age 5
  • Weight 11-7
  • Official Rating 125

always in rear, lost touch 6th

3
Silk - Dark Blue, Light Blue hoop, checked sleeves and cap
3/1
  • Form 91111
  • Age 5
  • Weight 11-7
  • Official Rating 134

in touch, closer order 5th, ridden to chase clear front pair 3 out, always held

4
Silk - DARK GREEN, WHITE chevron, LIGHT GREEN sleeves, DARK GREEN and WHITE check cap
5/2
  • Form 1-11
  • Age 6
  • Weight 11-7

with leader throughout, led 3 out, pushed clear approaching last, easily

5
Silk - Light Blue, Purple sash, Light Blue sleeves, Purple stars, Light Blue cap, Purple star
150/1
  • Form 2-06202
  • Age 5
  • Weight 11-7
  • Official Rating 106

tracked leaders, weakening approaching 2 out and mistake

6
Silk - Black, Green sleeves, White cap, Green hoop
  • Form 31-11
  • Age 6
  • Weight 11-7

tracked leaders, ridden and weakened 3 out

7
Silk - Light Blue and White stripes, Dark Green sleeves, White armlets, White cap
  • Form 211-211
  • Age 6
  • Weight 11-7

narrow leader, headed 3 out, weakening when hit 2 out, well beaten when blundered last

8
Silk - Mauve and pink check, white sleeves, pink cap

Ungaro (FR)

36 BF
14/1
  • Form 24-3112
  • Age 7
  • Weight 11-7
  • Official Rating 128

held up, steady headway from 6th, ridden and outpaced approaching 3 out, soon one pace

In depth

Verdict

This looks by some way to be the best novices' hurdles seen in the UK this season pitching together the likes of Boychuk, Its A Dream, The Cool Guy and Denman with the vote going to the last mentioned. The selection probably needs to improve on the bare form of what he has shown so far but the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding belied his inexperience to comprehensively get the better of the useful Karanja at Wincanton last time on only his second start and, if improving again for that run, he will be tough to beat. Ask The Gatherer has improved with each outing so far but needs to step up again to have any chance in this grade, while Keith Reveley's Ungaro is more exposed than most of these and does not look to be good enough. The Cool Guy had decent form in bumpers but has yet to prove that he is as effective over hurdles, although he is clearly going the right way. Boychuk won a Grade 2 contest at the Open meeting here in November and it will be interesting to see how he handles today's longer trip, while Nicky Henderson's Its A Dream is another that is progressing along the right lines but Denman looks to have a touch a class about him and he gets the vote to remain undefeated.

Formwatch

Ask The Gatherer (IRE) 6-1 (11-5) Mid-division, headway after 6th, ridden to lead approaching 2 out, ran on, won at Warwick 2m 5f nov hdl (E) gd in Nov beating Archduke Ferdinand (10-12) by 3 1/2l, 18 ran.

Biscar Two (IRE) 12-1 (11-5) Held up in rear, some moderate progress from 4 out, never on terms, 7th of 15, 19l behind Be Be King (11-5) at Chepstow 2m 4f nov hdl (E) gs in Dec.

Boychuk (IRE) 8-1 (11-0) In touch, headway 5th, stayed on approaching last, went 2nd flat, led final 100 yards, driven out, won at Cheltenham 2m nov hdl Grd 2 (A) gs in Nov beating Buena Vista (11-7) by 2l, 10 ran.

Denman (IRE) 2-1 (11-4) Made all, shaken up and hung left approaching 2 out, pushed clear from last, easily, won at Wincanton 2m 6f nov hdl (D) gd in Nov beating Karanja (10-12) by 15l, 12 ran.

Double Dizzy 7-2 (10-7) Mid-division, mistake 7th, headway 9th, ridden 2 out, kept on but no chance with winner, 2nd of 13, 6l behind What A Vintage (10-5) at Plumpton 2m 5f nh nov hdl (E) sft in Dec.

Its A Dream (IRE) 11-8fav (11-0) Tracked leading pair, challenged 2 out, soon led, ridden clear flat, won at Sandown 2m nh nov hdl (D) gs in Dec beating Pablo Du Charmil (11-8) by 15l, 7 ran.

The Cool Guy (IRE) 4-7fav (11-5) Chased leader, mistake 3rd and 5th, hung left when led and pecked 2 out, clear last, ridden out, won at Haydock 2m 4f nh nov hdl (D) sft in Dec beating Harmony Brig (10-12) by 7l, 14 ran.

Ungaro (FR) 8-15fav (11-10) Tracked leaders, led 3 out, ridden next, headed flat, rallied towards finish, just held, 2nd of 13, shd behind Youlbesolucky (11-0) at Newcastle 2m 4f nh nov hdl (E) gs in Nov.