Golden Call to Win Grimthorpe
The Grimthorpe Chase looks like the final preparation race for many a Grand National hope but not Golden Call. He has been busy learning the ropes over fences having had his first chasing start last May. Hard to believe he is a 10 year old with just 6 chasing starts but age hasn’t prevented him jumping well. The key to Golden Call is good ground over a trip. He really appreciated the good/soft ground when winning last time out and today’s ground will be better again. He hurdling rating is still 6lbs higher than his chasing despite the 8lb hike for winning last time out. Harry the Viking is weighted to reverse placings with Golden Call but he has done nothing but disappoint since finishing 2nd to Teaforthree at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival. Jennie Candlish has her string in good form with a recent winner and most hitting the places. Dougie Costello is in the plate once again and can steer Golden Call to another victory.
Back Golden Call each way in the Doncaster 15:30 at 11/1 in places
Eye Catchers for Week Ending 23rd February
God’s Own – Trainer Tom George – Jockey Paddy Brennan
God’s own looked a tricky ride when finishing 2nd to Balder Success in the Grade 2 Pendil Novices Chase run at Kempton. He showed a tendency to hang to his right not fully willing to pass the leader. I may be wrong and something else is ailing him but one thing if running straight he would have went very close to winning. He travelled best to the last and is a horse that might be undervalued come the Aintree Festival although that is left handed so maybe Punchestown is more likely. Good ground will suit better and he is interesting following this effort on just his third chasing start.
Bury Parade – Trainer Paul Nicholls – Jockey Noel Fehily
This not overly big type surprised everyone including trainer Paul Nicholls when an unlucky 2nd off top weight in the Betbright Chase at Kempton. He is a classy chaser as that is what’s required to run so well carrying top weight in a handicap. Paul Nicholls mentioned Punchestown Gold Cup as an option or Sandown at the end of this season as he needs to run right handed. I am pretty sure he would have won last weekend but for having to switch off the rail coming to the last fence and not enjoying a great trip during the race. A step into graded races will suit as the fields are usually smaller and he can get a lead without getting into traffic issues.
Minella Foru – Trainer Eddie Harty – Jockey Mark Walsh
Minella Foru has been on our radar since added to our September 2013 eye catchers list following a good win at the Listowel Festival. He won next time out quickening well to beat Very Wood in a Grade 3 on yielding ground before running below form in the Grade 1 Royal Bond novice hurdle at Fairyhouse. Eddie Harty freshened him up since and last weekend he ran a cracker coming off a winter break. He was settled out the back but jumping and travelled really well. The winner had flown but Minella Foru made eye catching ground on the run to the line despite not been given a hard race. This proves he is a very genuine horse and has plenty in the locker. That effort will have left him spot on to run a massive race in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham where the Irish have a tremendous record. The British handicappers did not miss him as they have rated him 6lbs higher at 139 compared to his Irish rating before last weekend’s run. Alderwood won the County Hurdle off the exact same rating of 139 for JP McManus back in 2012.
Killultagh Vic – Trainer Willie Mullins – Jockey Patrick Mullins
All eyes were on Golantilla in this race but he was put in his place by Killultagh Vic who set a strong end to end gallop that found out Golantilla for fitness. The second is supposed to have blown up and will appreciate better ground but on the day Killultagh Vic looked awesome and will develop into a cracking novice hurdler next season if taking to that game. First up he has booked his ticket to Cheltenham for the champion bumper and has a favourite’s chance if the ground comes up soft on the day. If the ground contains the word good I would be afraid he will get done for a finishing kick by some other contender.
Best of Luck,