Foxhunter Chase Tips – Day 4 – Cheltenham 2015
Always one of the biggest spectacles of the festival, the Foxhunter Chase over 3m2f (4.00) has been won by runners at both ends of the market, though one common theme has been that all bar one was a 7-9yo.
Of the last 10 Foxhunter winners…
9 were 7-9yo’s
9 were French or Irish-bred – the British-breds were 0-55
9 moved up in trip from last time
Current To Land Event?
Only the 10yo, Baby Run, won from outside the 7-9yo bracket during the last 10 years, counting against quite a number of Friday’s field, unlike the 8yo, Current Event (10/1).
Returning from a 14-month break last month, Current Event impressed in winning by 6l at Musselburgh (3m3f, good) and will come here a fresh horse.
Heading the betting, though, is Warren Greatrex’s, Paint The Clouds, on 4/1, who made it a four-timer in winning at Doncaster last month (3m2f, good to soft). Each of those victories came via wide margins, and as a dual winner over hurdles here at Cheltenham, he’ll handle the conditions and looks the one they all have to beat.
Also amongst the leading fancies is the 10yo, On The Fringe (6/1), who has proven consistent down the years in making the frame in 13 of his last 15 races. One of those efforts was when third in this very race 12 months ago, and having been second at Leopardstown last month, he could be one for each-way backers.
Salsify Back For More
Some 27l back in fourth at Leopardstown was the 2012 and 2103 winner of this race, Salsify. This 10yo missed the race last year, but showed some sparkle at Leopardstown before a lack of fitness told following a 14-month absence, and he should come on for that over conditions he enjoys.
The 9yo, Aerial, also has form at Cheltenham on good ground, and won over points 55 days ago. At around the 10/1 mark, it wouldn’t surprise if he went well, as might another points winner from last time out in Harbour Court. This 9yo was fifth (over 6l behind On The Fringe) in last year’s Foxhunters, staying on all the way to the line, and his odds of 8/1 suggest he is expected to be thereabouts once more.
Also on 8/1 is Muirhead, an evergreen 12yo who amazingly appears here at Cheltenham for the first time since being fifth in the 2009 Champion Hurdle. He has been in good form winning a couple of points this year, and his experience of this venue will put him in good stead.
Second Win For Nicholls?
But, what of Paul Nicholls, who won this race back 10 years ago and has a live chance in the 10yo, No Loose Change? A winner of three of his last five races, including a small hunter chase last month (3m2f, heavy), he handles quick ground and will have James King aboard, who won on him last time.
With the younger 7-9yo’s having performed best in this during recent times, the vote goes to an 8yo in the shape of Current Event, who won by 6l on his hunter chase debut last month when the ground was similar to what awaits on Friday.