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|Notachance||8/18/1||each-way (5 places)
|Place BetPlace Bet|
|Achille||9/19/1||each-way (5 places)
|Place BetPlace Bet|
Date of Tips: 14/01/2022
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (10:37 14/01/2022) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
The prize money boost that Coral have pumped into their feature day at Kempton Park on Saturday has had varying effects – best to focus on the 20-runner ‘fiendish-as-fire’ Coral Lanzarote Hurdle at 2.40, as opposed to the drab 4-runner Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase 35 minutes earlier.
I’ve done my absolute best to pick through the Lanzarote Hurdle, and have plenty on the shortlist, so without knowing how the track is riding, there just seems to many imponderables for me to recommend a bet just now.
Given that Sky Bet are offering a whopping 7 places each-way, this goes against my natural instincts a touch, but trying to fit square pegs in round holes is never a good idea.
Instead, I will be aiming two square pegs at the big betting race at Warwick – the Agetur UK Limited Classic Handicap Chase at 3.00. The great thing with these two is that they are hopefully being slotted into square holes too, as they actually finished 1-2 in the race last year!
No, this is not just a lazy betting angle. In putting up horses that handle the track well and have run well in the race before, it is an easy judgement to make. But the main attraction is that both Notachance and Achille are significantly overpriced, given they have suggested that they are coming to the boil nicely for the race again.
Notachance at 8/1 each-way with Sky Bet and Achille at 9/1 each-way, also with Sky Bet, are the two main picks for the Classic Chase. Sky Bet are standard bearers again with their place terms, offering 5 places on the 15-runner field.
There are a couple of more unexposed types in this year’s renewal, compared to when the pair fought out the finish last season, but I can see some negatives about the likes of Gericault Roque, Corach Rambler, Padleyourowncanoe and No Rematch – that could count against them in what will be a real war of attrition.
So, with that in mind, allied to the fact that both Notachance and Achille seemed to want to out-idle each other in the race last season, as they had pulled nicely clear of the remainder, makes me feel they both could have more in the locker than what they showed last season.
With the early market aligning itself to the unexposed types, I see this as an opportunity to take some juicy prices about a pair, who will run their race and be bang there – Notachance at 8/1 each-way and Achille at 9/1 each-way, both with Sky Bet.
You would have to forgive the fact that Notachance has failed to finish three of the four races he has contested since winning the Classic Chase last season, but he showed much more zest at Haydock last time, and trainer Alan King is nothing if not a creature of habit.
Going back through the last 10-15 runnings of this race, it is littered with Alan King horses who have not only won it, but come back to run well in it on a number of occasions, and also (something I found a little surprising), King likes to play around with headgear fairly regularly.
Admittedly, this latter revelation has seen varied results. But the fact D’Argent won this race for him in 2007, in blinkers that has been applied for his previous start in the old Hennessy Gold Cup, (where he paid for trying to go with a certain Denman,) give me hope that the first-time visor Notachance will sport, will have the desired effect.
Achille is the eldest statesman at this particular party, at a newly-turned 12 years of age, but on his two starts this season, he has suggested that he may actually be better than ever.
A spritely run in the Becher Chase, before shaping as if needing the run late on, has been followed by a huge effort in the Welsh National, that is worth marking up considerably. That is on account of an unfortunate set of events that meant track position and challenging moves at the wrong time in the race, both combined to scupper any winning chance for Achille.
Charlie Deutsch gets back on board, who easily could have gone to Kempton Park for the ride on Green Book in the Lanzarote Hurdle, and trainer Venetia Williams relies solely on last year’s runner-up Achille, when she had runaway Cheltenham winner Commodore also entered.
Square pegs in square holes is where it’s at for me at Warwick on Saturday, and I believe the tried and tested pair of Notachance at 8/1 each-way and Achille at 9/1 each-way, both with Sky Bet, can fight off the up-and-comers in the Classic Chase at 3.00.
If there was a danger to these standing dishes, it could be the Paul Nicholls-trained UK chase debutant Grace A Vous Enki. A half-brother to Yala Enki, he won’t lack for stamina, but the absence of cheekpieces (which he wore regularly in France) and the worry that Warwick will present a significant jumping test for a horse that will have been used to brushing through the top of French ‘fences’, means I will cast a watching brief on Bryony Frost’s mount on this occasion.