Jumps Finale Day Preview 2019

By Samantha

So the English jumps season is coming to a close. This Saturday, the champions will be crowned – Richard Johnson as Champion jockey, Bryony Frost as Champion Conditional and Paul Nicholls regaining his Champion Trainer crown from Nicky Henderson.

There have been some incredible performances this season by the equjne participants. My highlights have been City Island winning the Ballymore and Paisley Park winning the stayers for his lovely connections but who could forget Tiger Roll winning his second Grand National? That was a win which will live in the memory for a very long time.

Let’s hope we see some more stellar racing on the day that brings closed a memorable season of jumps racing but, most of all, I hope all horses come home safe.

bet365 Novices Championship Final Handicap Hurdle

The Owners Group syndicates have done very well this season with Pentland Hills winning the Triumph Hurdle. Another of their stars has been GETAWAY TRUMP. He was one of my ’20 To Watch’ at the start of the season and won two hurdle races at the end of November and early December. He ran well to be second in a grade one behind subsequent Aintree Festival winner Champ. He lost his way a bit but got back to winning ways last time at Ayr. He has a huge weight to carry but he’s got lots of class and hopefully that can see him through into the winners enclosure. The Skelton team have had an incredible season and they have two runners. Humble Hero, who won nicely last time out, seems the stables pick and preferred to the consistent, three times winner Flash The Steel who has each way claims. Birds Of Prey may find this on the short side but he has won twice on the flat. Listed flat winner, Lord Yeats ran very well at Aintree to be fourth in a handicap hurdle but, arguably, would prefer more dig in the ground. Scarlet Dragon was also a classy flat performer and he won very well at this trip in January at Huntingdon.

bet365 Oaksey Chase

This is a relatively new race as the inaugural running was in 2014. The first four renewals were won by Menorah who was an excellent servant for Phillip Hobbs and Richard Johnson. None of these ran in this last year but Josses Hill followed in Menorah in 2017 to finish third. He has ran three times this season and was behind Charbel, fell and then unseated. He likes good ground and is a dual grade two winner but has a bit to find. Charbel won in October and December but struggled ever since and pulled up in the Ryanair. Black Corton has ran five times this season and been second on four of those occas. He was behind DEFINITELY RED at Wetherby at the start of the year. That race was the first leg of a double which concluded in a grade two at Aintree. He was beaten at 1/6 by Captain Redbeard in a two runner race which was a shock. He was then brought down in the Gold Cup. This is more of his kind of race and he can get back to winning ways. San Benedeto and Go Conquer both ran over the Grand National fences with the former coming seventh in the Topham and Go Conquer pulling up in the big race. Cobra De Mai won well last time and is rated higher than Gold Present, who hasn’t won since December 2017.

bet365 Celebration Chase

This race has been won the past two years by ALTIOR and he tries to make it three years in a row this Saturday. He has won his last eighteen starts and that includes four Cheltenham wins. He had a really tough race last time at Cheltenham which is why he bypassed Aintree but I can’t see him getting beat. We wanted the big Altior/Cyrname clash but Paul Nicholls pulled out Cyrname due to the ground being so firm. Sandown needs rain otherwise Altior may not run either. He goes against four other horses. Paul Nicholls has Diego Du Charmil, who has followed in Altior and Gods Own in his last five starts. Gods Own is a grand horse. He won the Haldon Gold Cup in November and if anyone can beat Altior it would be him or Sceau Royal. He won a grade two on seasonal reappearance then was last in the Tingle Creek behind Altior. He’s classy on his day though as he gave Altior a proper battle at Cheltenham. Vosne Romanee is good but not up to this level.

bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase

Three of these ran in the Grand National three weeks ago – Joe Farrell, Rock The Kasbah and Step Back – but none finished the race. The Mark Bradstock trained Step Back won this last year off a 10lbs lower mark. He ran off 149 for his first two starts this season and then got pulled up in the Aintree Grand National. He won’t want the ground too firm as he’s quite delicate. He has finished behind THE YOUNG MASTER and Rock The Kasbah. The Young Master won this in 2016 off a 6lbs higher and won his first two starts this season. He was a good third at Cheltenham last time and that will set him up perfectly for this. Rock The Kasbah won a grade three in November but fell in the Grand National. Joe Farrell was well backed for that race but was pulled up. His two runs before that were good so if he has to be bang there. Beware The Bear won at the Cheltenham Festival but was pulled out of the Scottish National due to the good ground so he may not even take his chance in this. Yala Enki stays further so could be decent value at 20/1. Talkischeap is a novice and the only chase he has won was two runners. He’s the likely favourite but, for me, he’ll struggle.

bet365 Select Hurdle

This isn’t a great race and its quite tough to work out. Rayvin Black is likely to make the running. He’s a nice sort and has won on good to firm before. Nicky Henderson has three runners. Nico De Boinville rides On The Blind Side. This seven year old has been chasing this season and really didn’t take to this. Winner of a grade two, he has never ran on ground this firm. Thomas Campbell won a listed handicap hurdle and, like On The Blind Side, didn’t take to fences. He has been well beaten the last twice. One of the marea is With Discretion, she hasn’t been seen since over a year ago so she is a bit of an unknown quantity especially as she has ran and won twice in the UK. The other mare is Mia’s Storm. I fancied her for a race at Aintree but she ended up nineteenth of twenty one. She is better than that though. Old Guard is a really gutsy horse. He hasn’t won for over a year and was beaten convincingly in the Grand Spirit Hurdle last time so that’s a worry. BLACK OP gets a chancey vote. He also went chasing this year but didn’t take to it. He’s been behind Paisley Park the last twice but if he can return to the Ballymore form of 2018 then he should be bang there. Younevercall hasn’t been seen for a while but has won five if his eleven starts. Jarvey’s Plate is a Listed winner and Blu Cavalier is ultra consistent.

bet365 Josh Gifford Novices Handicap Chase

The top weight Larry is only six and has already won over course and distance. Huntsman Son and Militarian, who was well beaten five days ago, both also carry 11st12lbs. Huntsman Son was ninth in the Close Brothers after winning a novice chase beating Molineux. Good Man Pat was pulled up at Cheltenham but was only beaten three and a quarter lengths in a grade two. Psychedelic Rock and Aintree My Dream have been running well but this is quite competitive. DIDERO VALLIS is an ex-Willie Mullins horse. He’s won twice for new connections. His run at the Cheltenham Festival was very good and that seems the standout form. Gone Platinum has won his last two but this is a big step up in grade.

bet365 Handicap Hurdle

Trans Express has done most of his running lately at Exeter and won a few times. His is one of three who won last time out. The other two are Commanche Red and the bottom weight That’s A Given. The former is a nice sort. He’s is lightly races and he stays this trip but also has a lot of pace as he’s a dual winner at two miles. That’s A Given is two from six but is stepping up in grade. WAIT FOR ME won this two years ago off a 1lbs higher mark. His third last time was good and he showed he will be winning soon.

R1- Getaway Trump
R2- Definitely Red
R3- Altior
R4- The Young Master
R5- Black Op
R6- Didero Valis
R7- Wait For Me

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