1.55 Cheltenham – Nassalam (e/w) – 20/1 Bet365, generally 16/1 & Top 5 Places.
With plenty of rain forecast, Nassalam should get his preferred conditions on Sunday and with the race being stages on the ‘New Course’ which represents a slightly stiffer test of stamina than the ‘Old Course’ the venue for his last outing in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, he has a lot more in his favour than he did there. He’s very much at his best on soft ground, with his best hurdles runs coming in those conditions, including when 2nd in a Grade 1 behind Adagio. He’s also won two of his three chase starts under those conditions. He wears Cheekpieces here for the first time to just keep him focused on the job in hand and is expected perform better than he did last time with conditions to suit, which should see him put up a massive run.
Result: 3rd at 8/1
Notebook Comments from previous run:
Having jumped and travelled well, he was badly outpaced as the race got serious and lost a number of places just after jumping the open ditch, four fences from home. He looked to be struggling and wasn’t helped when hampered by a faller 3 out, pushing him even further back, as a result when turning for home he was in last place. To his credit he then stayed on really well to finish a highly respectable 6th, finishing as well as the principles on the run in from the final fence. He has to go left handed as shown when running no race at Ascot last time, as he continually jumped to his left. He’s also a much better horse on soft ground, so was understandably outpaced here on ground quicker than ideal. He’s still only a 5yo and can certainly be competitive in these top class handicaps when getting his preferred conditions.
One Bet Advised to Members on Friday:
2.00 Haydock – Easy As That – WON 9/2Has yet to fulfil the promise he showed when winning both his starts in NH flat races impressively, mainly due to his poor hurdling technique, which did improve when bolting up on his final run over hurdles. He jumped okay on his chase debut, but couldn’t match the winner for pace over two miles and will appreciate stepping up in trip here. He acts very well in soft conditions and is taken to prove himself still to be well handicapped, as he has some engine and when putting it all together is better than a 126 horse.
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Cheltenham Festival Tip at 33/1 to be advised to Members on Saturday afternoon….
A final little New Year fling for 2022, he’s one not to miss….