Golden Chieftain – 3.10 Newton Abbot
A drop in grade could be just what’s needed for Golden Chieftain to return to winning ways and Colin Tizzard’s chaser looks to have his easiest task for some time in the 3.10 Newton Abbot today.
The 10-year-old has shown little since winning the Grade 3 JLT Specialty Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Festival in 2013. He was raised more than a stone in the weights for beating his closest rival by 10 lengths that day and has been gradually dropping down the handicap since. Running below the marks which has seen him win four career chases, Golden Chieftain looks a tempting proposition at 9/2 with Coral, the online bookmaker giving money back if your horse falls.
Peter Bowen’s Velator looks set go off favourite for the seven-runner handicap over the extended 3m 2f chase course. The eight-year-old ran well enough in defeat at Kelso last time and has winning form over the course and distance, albeit against lesser grade opposition than he will face today.
Venetia Williams saddles Saroque, looking to get off the mark at the fifth attempt this season. The eight-year-old comes in at a decent mark and could be a real danger if getting his own way at the front of the small field of seven.
Ballypatrick represents Mick Channon’s yard and would have a big chance if reproducing the form when finishing third in the Eider Chase at Newcastle last year. But, the gelding has done nothing of note since and is unlikely to get the heavy ground he enjoyed that day.
Achimota is raised seven pounds for the win at Bangor last time, it was a hard won victory and it’s probably asking too much for Graeme McPherson’ charge to oblige for the third time in four runs.
Big Society has yet to break his duck in seven attempts over fences and makes little appeal while top weight Farbreaga has been heavily penalised for a win at Uttoxeter last month and looks best left alone.