Uttoxeter Race Preview, July 6th 2020

Uttoxeter
Monday July 6th

Uttoxeter 3.30
bet365 Summer Cup Handicap Chase Class 1 Listed
3m2f13y – Going: Good (dry forecast) – 12 runners

The Young Master
Not much of a season last term but was doing okay when departing in Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival, prominent to midfield, mistake 3rd, prominent in main group from 7th, mistake 16th, moving comfortably enough when blundered and unseated rider 19th. Far enough out, but was going well enough to suggest he may well have taken a hand in the finish; he’s had a ton of chances from me in the past, but this isn’t the strongest race of its type
Padleyourowncanoe*
Lacks chasing experience, only the two chases (the rule stating you need to run in three chases before going for a Class 1 handicap chase seems to have been relaxed); winning debut at Exeter in October in a small field,  the better jump 13th and disputed lead, led 14th, went up to 2 lengths in front, niggled along home turn, ridden into 4 out, pushed along, stayed on, went 2 lengths up 3 out, about that in front 2 out, hard ridden, stayed on, was half a length in front last, ridden out to beat Monbeg Theatre; ran better than his position in a Class 2 novice at Exeter next time,  pushed along after 12th, headway and tracked 1st 2 home turn and moved better than earlier in the race, challenged 4 out, ridden, blundered and as-good-as-fell 3 out, hard driven, all out but stayed on and still upsides going to 2 out, faded approaching last, lost 3rd jumping, weakened further run-in behind Virginia Chick. Good runs on the all-weather Flat since, running well to a point behind Smart Champion in a Class 2 2m handicap at Newcastle in February, led, stayed on under strong pressure till was challenged 350 yards out, soon headed, faded final furlong, no more. Steep mark, but unexposed
Minellacelebration*
Lots of course form here, this one having won the Staffordshire Plate (lost to the pandemic this year) in 2017 and 2018. After below-form efforts, surprised me by coming up with his best-ever form in conditions that seemed too soft for him when a neck 2nd to Burtons Well in veterans’ chase at Doncaster in February, up with the pace, pushed along from 4 out, effort next, led 2 out, looked to have it last, hard ridden, was closed on last 175 yards, headed and no extra close home. Maximum mark, but on account of where he’s running, has to have a great chance
Henryville
Best form last season was an unconvincing 2nd to Traditional Dancer at Cartmel last August,  not fluent a few times, tailed off and was a fence behind 13th, hopeless when hit 3 out, made no impression by last, started to stay on fairground bend, closed on the 2nd under pressure last 200 yards, took the place close home; ran worse behind Vieur Lion Rouge in veterans’ chase at Chepstow in October when last seen, midfield, still niggled, pushed along home turn, weakened approaching 5 out, dropped away before 4 out, well back and no chance 3 out. Not the force of old and not for me
Minella Daddy
Two wins in small fields before posting form as good when chasing Minellacelebration home at Aintree in June 2019, niggled along to get going, chased leader, led 3rd, headed before 4th, disputed lead 5th, led approaching 8th, soon joined, ridden into 9th and 11th. headed after latter, not fluent 12th, ridden into 13th and led there, pressed on in front, ridden into and jumped right 4 out, niggled along, led 2 lengths home turn, about a length and a half up 3 out, hard ridden, stayed on, headed 2 out, outpaced, put under pressure, no impression under driving approaching last, was 3 lengths down jumping, driven and kept on run-in, no extra. Only start since, did little in a handicap hurdle at Plumpton in March, pushed along approaching 5th, detached last approaching 7th, struggling 8th, tailed off when slowed into 9th, pulled up straight after behind Tambura. High enough mark and doesn’t do anything quickly, but is usually at his best in Spring and Summer
Hepijeu
Best known as a Fakenham specialist nowadays, but has won at other tracks, including at Uttoxeter over hurdles. After winning at Worcester in August was whacked up the weights, but acquitted himself well when 2nd to Touch Kick at Fakenham in October when last seen out although his jumping let him down, mistake 2nd, tracked leaders from 4th, mistake 7th, chased leader from 9th, nearly upsides 11th, mistake 12th, pair clear 13th, at most half a length down 14th, in close to 15th and pecked on landing, pushed along 16th, hard driven approaching 2 out, blundered there, hard driven, a length and a half down under pressure approaching home turn, kept on approaching last, 3 lengths down jumping, ridden, no impression short run-in. Worried that his jumping might let him down in this company and, having run in 33 chases, he’s fully exposed
Brian Boranha
No wins last season, having been well fancied a couple of times, would have finished a close 2nd to Little Bruce in North Yorkshire National at Catterick in February but for falling, closer order 17th going comfortably, ridden along 21st, disputed 3rd approaching home turn, came back on the bit 3 out and travelled comfortably a length and a bit down approaching next, half a length down 2 out, ridden, kept on but no extra between last 2 and beginning to look held when fell last. Disappointed backers in the Edinburgh National at Musselburgh behind Bob Mahler when last seen, moved well till ridden home turn, blundered 4 out, weakened, tailed off.  No stand-out and has had several chances in the past, but is well treated and has often gone well in the warmer months
For Good Measure
Useful at best but only the one chase win to his name, that coming in a 0-130 at Warwick early last October, ridden into and mistake 13th, not fluent 14th, chased leader 4 out and moved best, drew upsides 3 out, travelled much the best home turn, sent on approaching 2 out and led a length and a bit jumping, ridden clear going to last, steadied into it, ridden out, stayed on well, carried head a little high but kept up to his work and unchallenged from Chasma. In a similar race at Exeter in November was a bit disappointing, was doing just about okay when blundered 14th, closer order home turn, pushed along straightening, stayed on wide approaching 4 out where blundered, weakened and looked held 3 out, dropped further back 2 out, put under pressure to no avail between last 2, no more. Between the two mistakes there was some good work, but it was ultimately those which put paid to his chance behind Orchardstown Cross and it’s not a first with this one – swerved in this corner for that reason
Doing Fine
Two wins last season – three if you count his passing the post first ahead of Dark Flame in the voided London National at Sandown in December in which he stayed on well from the second last; he confirmed that form when winning at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, stoked along to make a start, midfield, shuffled back to rear from 5th, made ground and back in midfield 11th, niggled along 14th, pushed along 16th, stayed on under a ride going to 3 out, sustained effort to chase leaders approaching home turn, put under pressure, got upsides 2 out, 1st 2 pulled clear, led approaching last, in close, ridden clear, stayed on well up the hill, workmanlike and decisive from Cogry. Now 12, and still well treated on back form, could go well
Pickamix
Rather fell to bits last season, completing an unwanted hattrick in North Yorkshire Grand National at Catterick in January, a few slow jumps, niggled along and midfield after 16th, worked his way forward and in touch in rear of main group when steadied into and became detached 17th, pushed along and struggling 18th, all over the place 19th, tiring 20th, last pair and tailing off 21st, hopeless when blundered 2 out and pulled up. With his trainer Charlie Mann having had just one winner from November 17th to the present, easy to oppose
Anteros
Was old enough at 11 to be novice chasing but got his third win over fences at Hereford in October in a 0-135 novices’ handicap, little headway before niggled along 4 out, edged closer approaching 3 out, pushed along, stayed on, passed a couple to track 1st 2 approaching 2 out, chased leader jumping it, driven home turn, 1st 2 clear, ridden and drew upsides leader last, put under strong pressure, stayed on well, just got up final strides from The Welsh Paddies. No subsequent form but was doing okay when departing in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival when last seen, midfield 17th, was hampered and rider unseated on the approach to 18th, mistake there when loose – he was going comfortably at the time. Not out of this, with the likes of Padleyourowncanoe and Minella Daddy to potentially set a pace for him to come off
Bandsman
Exposed chaser, often let down by jumping, although by finer margins than usual when a head 2nd to Zolfo at Market Rasen in January when last seen, held up, raced widest of all, a little headway approaching 5th, mistake 8th, a little ground when mistake 10th, left in 4th and some 5 lengths behind pushed along 4 out, closed on 1st 3 home turn, blundered 3 out and lost a couple of lengths, ridden and kept on, driven, stayed on and closed on 1st 2 approaching last, was at most 2 lengths 3rd when mistake, hard driven, stayed on, took 2nd 150 yards out, closed on winner strongly last 100 yards but didn’t quite get there. Only placed at best when running over 3m (arguably given too much to do at Carlisle in October behind Pop Rockstar having taken a hold – his jumping held that time though), but it’s jumping that’s the main issue here

Shortlist: Padleyourowncanoe, Minellacelebration

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