With all or nearly all of the Christmas racing digested, CALUM LEITCH decides its now time to look at some antepost fancies and value prices ahead of the Cheltenham festival with one runner suggested each day this week.
This is the middle distance of the 3 Novices Chases over the Festival and I like the claims of Lostintranslation. I’ve always been slightly biased to this horse so please be warned, but he really is a very nice type. My bias comes to him being named after a favourite film of mine and I’ve watched him closely throughout his career and he was always going to make a very good chaser. Always highly regarded by Colin Tizzard, he outran his odds in last years’ Supreme Novices Hurdle despite encountering bad luck in running. He’s made a very taking start to fences, a decent 2nd to La Bague Au Roi (conceding weight and form franked) and almost beating that same rival when challenging strongly but making a mistake 2 out when looking the winner. He had jumped perfectly up until that mistake, as he did last time out when beating some very decent rivals including Black Op, On The Blind Side and Defi Du Seuil.
I think this trip is ideal for him, even though he is very versatile. But a strong gallop and his jumping are what appeals to me and a quick look at the top of this market and there are question marks aplenty about whether some of these runners will even run in this race. I think the mare La Bague Au Roi is even better over further as she shown last time so I expect to see her in the RSA Chase. Topofthegame needs at least 3miles to me judging by his chasing form and visual impression and I would say the same of Delta Work and possibly Vinndication. Summerville Boy hasn’t jumped a fence yet, Defi Du Seuil looks a better 2miler and got outstayed by the selection last time. Though Kalashinkov and Getabird could turn up here, I think The Arkle could be more likely. Getabird made a mistake last time and seems to be better right-handed and has something to prove at Cheltenham anyway.
It must be said, the recent withdrawal of the injured Master Dino has boosted confidence strongly in Lostintranslation here. The French horse looked exceptional on British debut and has very strong French form. But with question marks over the market principles in terms of this being a targeted race, I think Tizzard’s runner runs here and I expect him to be half the price come racetime and judging by how he’s taken to fences, must have a big chance.
Stay tuned throughout the week to find all the festive fancies