Cleeve Weekly Notebook horses – w/e 20th February

Arpege D'Alene (7-y-o gelding)
Trainer: Paul Nicholls


Well supported in the market on Saturday at Ascot when eventually going off as an odds-on favourite, Arpege D'Alene ultimately disappointed by finishing fourth of five runners in the Grade 2 chase behind Bigbadjohn. Plenty keen enough in the opening stages he jumped well but hit a flat spot about a mile out and a couple of ponderous jumps sealed his fate entering the home straight, although he was kept up to his work, he wasn't given a particularly hard time by jockey Sean Bowen. Given all that it might just be that it was a promising run, if we look at it more as a sharpener for the Cheltenham Festival. The seven year old's form at Cheltenham reads very well having never finished unplaced when he has run there. It seems that team Nicholls could be aiming him at the Amateur Riders Chase, and with Nicholls having ties to many promising young amateurs he looks set to line up with a live chance. This 'on the surface of it', disappointing effort may just allow him to slide under the radar a little, and punters would do well to bear him in mind come the festival.
Race Type: chase
Race Distance: 3m 1f plus.
Ground Type: good or softer

Persian Delight (7-y-o gelding)
Trainer: Paul Nicholls


Another inmate from the Paul Nicholls stable, and one that definitely looks to have a few pounds in hand of his handicap mark is Persian Delight. He made his handicap debut at Wincanton, and for a horse that was fancied to give Barter's Hill a run for his money in the Aintree Champion bumper last season, a mark of 123 looked very workable indeed. Unlike his stablemate above, he drifted like the proverbial barge in the market from a morning 11/8 all the way out to 11/4 (touched as big as 7/2 on Betfair), but nobody told the horse! He looked like the best horse in the race from an early stage, travelling strongly for Nick Schofield and jumping fluently. The step up in trip seemed to suit well, and he tanked his way into the lead with two to jump. He was a bit untidy a the second last and it looked like he might have hit the front too soon, however a good jump at the last put him 3 lengths clear and although he idled on the run in, he won by a neck. This was only his 3rd start over hurdles and he showed signs of greenness still so is bound to improve. Given that he beat a horse rated 125 a neck, it is unlikely that the handicapper will be too harsh with him and he should be followed... he is definitely in my tracker!
Race Type: handicap hurdle
Race Distance: 2 mile 4 furlongs +
Ground Type: soft or better

1 Comment

  1. michael bolt on February 22, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    thanks i love it thanks

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